Articles and Guides/ Latest Posts

The Plant Paradox Shopping List (Printable, Lectin-Free Diet)

plant paradox shopping list

Are you interested in the plant paradox program and want a plant paradox food list? Or looking for more information on what is considered lectin-free, lectin-light, or plant paradox compliant? Or maybe just want a printable shopping list with plant paradox-approved food? Not only you will find a downloadable, pretty plant paradox shopping list in this article, but also a quick overview of the plant paradox and of ‘Dr. Gundry’s YES & NO food lists‘.

If you landed on this page, you probably heard of The Plant Paradox book, by Dr. Steven Gundry. I hope you read it, and if you didn’t yet, I recommend you do. The plant paradox program covers more than just food, but this article will only focus on food lists. The premise of this program is that lectins are proteins found in certain foods, having a negative impact on our health.

Just as a bit of a background, I discovered Dr. Gundry and the plant paradox in August 2017. While I was what by many standards is considered a clean eater, physically active, doing daily yoga, I felt like I was continuously gaining weight (I was in my late 30s) and had digestive issues and lots of inflammation. One day I came across an interview with Dr. Gundry about the dangers in healthy food. It was the first time I heard about lectins. That’s when I realized my diet, although clean, was very heavy in lectins.

This approach resonated with me so much, that I immediately stopped the NO foods, cleaned my pantry, and started eating only from the YES list. Weight loss came instantly and since then I’ve been able to maintain a healthy weight without making any efforts. While the primary focus of eliminating lectins is not losing weight, this is probably one of the first noticeable changes. My surprise came when I realized that the pains I had all my life considered normal, suddenly vanished (like period pains).

Naturally, the YES foods will be foods low in lectins, and the NO foods will be foods high in lectins, but also foods that even if they don’t have lectins, are highly inflammatory (such as sugar, industrial oils).

However, like with anything, there are a few more premises that need to be considered:

  1. Bioindividuality – we are all different, so we need to personalize this plan to fit our needs.
  2. This program is split into stages, also called phases (1, 2, 3), and some of the NO foods can be reintroduced in phase 3. There is also a Keto program.
  3. You don’t HAVE TO eat any of the foods on the YES list, they are just suggestions so you can make your own plan.
  4. There isn’t just ONE WAY to get healthy, or a ONE SIZE FITS ALL approach. Explore, try, and see what works for you.
  5. There is a plant paradox food pyramid, created by Dr. Steven Gundry – which will make it easy for you to understand how the plant paradox plate will look like.

What is different about this plant paradox shopping list?

There are quite a few plant paradox food lists on the internet, including Dr. Gundry’s YES & NO food lists, but this one is unique. Not only it lists most of the plant paradox-approved foods, but it categorizes them into levels, according to Dr. Gundry’s food pyramid.

On level Level 1, the base of the pyramid, are the foods you can consume without restrictions, ending with Level 5, the top of the pyramid, with the foods/drinks that are approved but in very limited amounts.

So, when you go shopping, you will know which foods to stock up on, all the time, and which foods are just occasional treats.

Dr. Gundry’s ‘Just Say NO’ food list – The Plant Paradox, Phase 1 & Phase 2

While I like to focus on the food I choose to eat, it’s important to have an overview of what is considered inflammatory and hence not a part of a healthy lectin-free diet. But remember, the plant paradox program is split into phases, and some of the foods below, like legumes, beans, or nightshades can be reintroduced if prepared appropriately to reduce lectin content.

  • Grains and pseudo-grains, except for sorghum, millet and teff, which are considered lectin-free
  • Legumes, beans and soy (fermented, organic soy products, such as miso, are allowed)
  • Nightshades: tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, eggplant, goji berries
  • Pumpkins and melons
  • Sugar, including maple or agave syrup; small quantity of local, raw, or Manuka honey is acceptable
  • Almonds with skin on or almond meal; peanuts and cashews 
  • Dairy made with milk from cows with casein A1 milk
  • Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds
  • Industrially raised and produced animal protein
  • Inflammatory oils: canola, sunflower, grapeseed, soy, peanut oil or anything sold as vegetable oil
  • Fruits high in sugar like grapes and ripe bananas; fruits in season are allowed, in moderation, preferably organic and local; berries are low in sugar and can be consumed more often; avocados, lemons and limes are fruits, but they are not restricted; fresh figs are excellent, they are flowers, not fruits.
  • Heavily, industrially processed foods

The Plant Paradox Phase 3 Reintroductions

In theory, Phase 1 will last 3 days, Phase 2 will last 6 weeks, and Phase 3 will be the maintenance phase. I personally stayed in Phase 2 for two years, some people choose to stay even longer. It’s up to you, and it depends on how you feel and if you achieved your health goals. As you can imagine, a 20-year-old with no serious health problems, who wants to do this for athletic performance, will have a different approach than a 50-year-old with an auto-immune disease and obesity. One size doesn’t fit all.

It’s important to note that, as in any reintroduction phase, these foods should be introduced gradually and in small quantities, to understand how they affect your body, as we are all different. It’s also OK not to want to reintroduce any of these foods.

  • Beans and legumes, only soaked and pressure-cooked
  • Nightshades: heiroolm, local, seasonal and preferably organic, peels and seeds removed, pressure-cooking will also remove lectins
  • White potatoes, pressure-cooked, cooled in the refrigerator (preferably overnight) and consumed cold or reheated
  • White Indian basmati rice, red rice and black rice (preferably organic), pressure-cooked and cooled in the refrigerator before eating or reheating
  • True artisan white sourdough bread, made with organic flour, consumed in extreme moderation, as an occasional treat, and only if there isn’t any gluten allergy.

The Plant Paradox Food Pyramid

As mentioned previously, I found it useful to make a list that is organized on levels, Level 1 is the base of the pyramid, and Level 5 is the tip:

  • LEVEL 1 – Go nuts! You have green light to eat as much as you’d like from this list. Stock up on this items every time you go shopping. Eat the rainbow. Use healthy fats to cook and season all your meals.
  • LEVEL 2 – Don’t eat anything. Time restricting eating is part of a healthy diet. Avoid grazing and try to keep a 12-16 hour time gap in between the last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day.
  • LEVEL 3 – Ok to eat a limited quantity of this foods per meal.
  • LEVEL 4 – Enjoy these foods in moderation, a small quantity a few times a week.
  • LEVEL 5 – Eat / drink a very limited quantity of these foods, a few times a week.

It’s important to note that this is only a guideline and that the lines between levels are not strict. Periods of feast can be followed by periods of fasts, days are different, our needs are different.

As Dr. Gundry likes to say: “Do the best you can with what you have”

The Plant Paradox Pantry

While this shopping list is mainly focused on produce, you can find plant paradox-approved pantry items in the SHOP section of this website. This shop contains carefully curated plant paradox-approved items that are essential for a lectin-free diet and healthy lifestyle, from pantry staples to cookware, to gadgets and books.

The Plant Paradox Shopping List (Printable pdf)

I personally don’t like to look at things as black and white, and especially when it comes to food, something we will have to deal with for at least twice a day for the rest of our lives, we need to allow for a bit of flexibility.

Obviously, I tried to keep this list as short as possible and to make it print-friendly, while giving it a look that makes it visually attractive. I am a visual person and for me, that’s very important. Plus, I think this will make a great hand note if any of your friends and family are asking you: “So, what else is out there to eat?”

This is not an exhaustive list. I tried to cover as much as possible in as little space as possible. There are probably hundreds of plant species that could get on this list, but I stuck to those that are more common, covered by Dr. Gundry, and that I am familiar with.

Since I started the plant paradox journey, I lived in the United States, Denmark, and Romania. I’ve been traveling and living abroad for two decades, so I’m familiar with the food landscape in many parts of the world, including specialty items. But I’m sure that there are plenty of plants specific to different areas of the world that are not on this list. If you are curious if something is compliant, and you can’t find it on any list, you can always leave a comment below and I’m sure we will find out.

Download the printable Plant Paradox Shopping List here

I hope you find this plant paradox shopping list useful and if you do, please share it with your friends, family, and community.

Do you need this plant paradox food list in a different language?

I am open to translating this food list into other languages if there is a need. Romanian is on my list because The Plant Paradox was not translated into Romanian and there is no list of lectin-free foods available in Romanian. If you have any specific requests that you think will help a wide audience, please leave a comment below.

Also, I would be interested to hear your feedback. This list can certainly be improved if there is a need.

More articles that explain The Plant Paradox and the lectin-light or lectin-free diet.

*This post contains affiliated links, which means I get a small commission if you choose to purchase something via one of my links, at no extra cost to you.

Gundry MD Ambassador Shop

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply