Your Plant Paradox No List: Stay Away From Lectins

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Plant Paradox" by Steven R. Gundry. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here .

What should you avoid on the Plant Paradox Program? Which foods are on the Plant Paradox No List?

The Plant Paradox No List identifies the things that humans just haven’t adapted to eating yet. See what’s on Plant Paradox No List.

Plant Paradox No List

The off-limits items—the Just Say “No” List—were foreign to the human diet until the Agricultural Revolution about 10,000 years ago; that’s not enough time for humans to develop resistance to the lectins contained in these foods. 

Let’s take a closer look at the rationale for including some of the items on the Plant Paradox No List. 

Whole grains: Contrary to popular health-food knowledge, white bread, white rice, and other white starches are actually better for you than their brown, whole-grain counterparts because the bran in the whole grains contains lectins. But for this phase, both brown rice and white rice—as well as oats, popcorn, rye, bulgur, and corn—are off-limits and are on the Plant Paradox No List.

Quinoa: This pseudo-grain—although widely considered a health food and popular gluten-free alternative—contains lectins, so they’re off-limits unless you pressure cook them, which removes the lectins, so that is an option. 

Beans: Beans, peas, soybeans, lentils, and other legumes have some of the highest levels—and most dangerous forms—of lectins. For example, the lectin in castor beans is ricin, the most potent lectin and a deadly poison. Avoid these as well as green beans, chickpeas, edamame, and tofu. 

Peanuts and Cashews: Despite their names, peanuts and cashews aren’t nuts; they’re legumes. As such, they contain harmful lectins.

Seeds: Lectins are contained in the seeds and skins of fruits and vegetables, so avoid pumpkin, sunflower, and chia seeds. 

Cow’s Milk: As a reminder from chapter 2, almost all products from cow’s milk contain a lectin-like protein called casein A-1, so avoid ice cream, yogurt (even Greek yogurt), and cheese. Not all milks are on the Plant Paradox No List. Goat’s and sheep’s milks are approved on the PPP because they don’t have this protein; however, they do contain the Neu5Gc sugar molecule that’s linked to heart disease and cancer. 

Meats: Avoid all meat that’s not pasture-raised, farmed seafood, and fish that’s high on the food chain (e.g. swordfish, tilefish, grouper, and tuna) because they tend to have more mercury. Additionally, cut down on beef, pork and lamb (even grass-fed) because they carry Neu5Gc.

Fruit: Fruits contain sugar that signal to your body that it’s summer time (aka fat-storing season), so you can only have them in limited servings. In addition to familiar fruits, this includes several that are commonly called vegetables, such as nightshades (e.g. eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, and goji berries) and squash (e.g. cucumbers, pumpkins, and zucchini). 

Oils: The off-limits oils are made from lectin-containing seeds and beans; these include vegetable, corn, and peanut oil. Additionally, canola oil is off-limits because it almost universally comes from GMO seeds. 

Initially, you should also limit certain fats and oils that help LPSs get through your gut wall. These include

  • Coconut oil and animal fats (long-chain saturated fats)
  • Olive oil, avocado oil, and MCT oil (mono- and polyunsaturated long-chain fats) 
  • Cheese, cream cheese, heavy cream, and sour cream (saturated fats)

Sweeteners: Avoid this deadly disruptor because it harms your microbiome; eliminate Splenda, NutraSweet, Sweet’n Low, and diet drinks.

With this Plant Paradox No List, you can make sure you always eat the right food while following this program.

Your Plant Paradox No List: Stay Away From Lectins

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best summary of Steven R. Gundry's "The Plant Paradox" at Shortform .

Here's what you'll find in our full The Plant Paradox summary :

  • Why eating more vegetables isn't enough, and why some vegetables are toxic to your body
  • The science behind lectins and how they tear apart your body, making you fat and sick
  • The 6-week program to get your body back on healthy grack

Rina Shah

An avid reader for as long as she can remember, Rina’s love for books began with The Boxcar Children. Her penchant for always having a book nearby has never faded, though her reading tastes have since evolved. Rina reads around 100 books every year, with a fairly even split between fiction and non-fiction. Her favorite genres are memoirs, public health, and locked room mysteries. As an attorney, Rina can’t help analyzing and deconstructing arguments in any book she reads.

One thought on “Your Plant Paradox No List: Stay Away From Lectins

  • March 4, 2023 at 10:09 am

    Well what does that leave to eat?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.