Plant Paradox Diet is a diet in which lectin is avoided. It is based on a popular book.
What are Lectins?
Lectin is a type of protein found in plants. It is a part of the defense mechanism of the plants that are used to paralyze insects.(1) It is found in many foods such as legumes, grains, and nightshade, and in vegetables like tomatoes and eggplant.(2)
Some lectin may be dangerous, but foods containing lectins are nutritious and have a good amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Lectin passes through the human body without being digested. It is categorized as an anti-nutrient, as it lowers the ability of the body to absorb key vitamins and minerals.
What is a Plant Paradox Diet?
Plant Paradox Diet cuts down the long list of foods that contain lectin, to reduce inflammation, repair gut health, and prevent weight gain.
Plant Paradox Diet is a straightforward plan that involves avoiding lectin-containing foods. You can choose from any diet plan, whichever works for you, whether it is three meals a day with snacks, intermittent fasting, or some other eating pattern.
There are two specialized programs to follow in Plant Paradox Diet:
- Keto program: A low carb, high-fat version of the diet for people with cancer
- Detox program: It is a 3-day detox plan for people who are new to the lectin-free eating pattern
Foods To Eat And Avoid In The Plant Paradox Diet
As plant paradox diet restricts numerous plant foods, it emphasizes on the whole and nutritious source of protein and fat.
Foods to Eat in The Plant Paradox Diet
Following is the list of foods that are encouraged to be consumed when following a Plant Paradox Diet:
- Proteins: Pasture-raised poultry, grass-fed or finished meats, free-range eggs, wild-caught fish, and hemp products.
- Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, hemp seeds, hazelnuts, and sesame seeds.
- Starch and grain-free products: Sweet potatoes, rutabaga, plantains, parsnips, paleo wraps, or bread.
- Fruits: Avocadoes, coconut, and berries.
- Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, sprouts, carrots, okra, beets, kale, radish, and cabbage.
- Dairy: Organic sour cream, goat milk and cheese, organic cream cheese, and organic heavy cream.
- Fats and oils: Grass-fed butter, coconut, olive, and avocado oils.
Cow’s milk is excluded but A2 milk is allowed. A2 milk is produced from cows that only produce one type of casein i.e. A2 beta-casein.(3)
Foods To Avoid in The Plant Paradox Diet
Following are the foods that contain lectins and therefore, should be avoided while on a Plant Paradox Diet.
- Proteins: Soy products, farmed fishes, and all beans and legumes.
- Grains and Starches: Potatoes, pasta, cookies, crackers, pastries, whole grains, rice, wheat, oats, barley, corn, and popcorns.
- Nuts and Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and cashews.
- Fruits: All fruits except berries
- Vegetables: Pumpkin, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, bell pepper, and eggplant.
- Dairy: All conventional A1 milk products, American cheese, greek yogurt, and cottage cheese.
- Fats and Oils: Soybean, canola, corn, peanuts, vegetable, and sunflower oils.
Plant Paradox Diet and Weight Loss Benefits
For weight loss, you need to concentrate mainly on the calories you consume.
Plant Paradox Diet in its either types i.e. 3-day detox or keto program does not restrict calories.
Plant Paradox Diet concentrates on protein and healthy fats and excludes starchy foods and increases the feeling of fullness. This helps stick to a calorie deficit diet.(4)
This diet also removes processed foods and added sugar that may help restrict calorie intake.
Plant Paradox Diet helps in losing weight but you may want to choose an alternative pattern that is meant for weight loss.
Other Health Benefits Of The Plant Paradox Diet
There are several other benefits of Plant Paradox Diet.
Aid Insulin Sensitivity
Sugary and starchy foods increase blood sugar levels and cause a spike in insulin.(5) Over a while, these foods may make the body insulin resistant and result in weight gain and several chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.(6, 7)
Removing these foods from the diet increases insulin sensitivity and decrease weight gain and the risk of chronic diseases.(8)
Boost Digestive Health
The main benefit of a lectin-free diet is good digestive health. It is beneficial mainly for people suffering from digestive issues.
People sensitive to lectin may experience digestive tract lining damage and gut bacteria imbalance on eating foods containing lectin.(9) This may lead to constipation or diarrhea as well as a weakened immune system, stunted growth, and skin conditions.
Eliminating lectin may bring about an improvement in symptoms and give the gut time to heal.
Aid Autoimmune Condition
The autoimmune protocol (AIP) involves an eating pattern similar to the Plant Paradox Diet. It helps manage autoimmune conditions such as bowel disease, celiac disease, and Hashimoto’s.
Wheat and lectin-rich grain are known to promote inflammation that can lead to gut dysfunction, changes in immunity, and worsening of the autoimmune condition in some people.(10)
In a study done on 15 people, it was found that AIP reduced inflammation and improved symptoms in only 11 weeks.(11)
Likewise, a Plant Paradox Diet can also benefit people with autoimmune conditions.
Downsides of Plant Paradox Diet
Excessive food restriction is the main downside of starting with a Plant Paradox Diet. Many of these foods are extremely nutritious and have very little lectin.
Another downside is, this diet discourages grain-fed meat and is hence expensive to follow.
It can be an unnecessarily restrictive diet for people who are not lectin sensitive. Consider all health factors before starting with this diet pattern.