Dr. Gundry Review: All about Dr. Gundry’s diet advice and supplements

We examine the superfoods Dr. Gundry says to eat or avoid, as well as scientific research about lectins

Last updated: Dec 22nd, 2023
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Dr. Steven Gundry is a well-known doctor and author who founded Gundry MD, a website dedicated to improving your health through diet, supplements, and education. He’s the author of several books on healthy eating, including The Plant Paradox, Unlocking the Keto Code, and the forthcoming Gut Check, which each discuss the potential danger of lectins, a protein found in many plants and animals.

While more scientific research is needed to back up some of Dr. Gundry’s claims about the dangers of lectins, several studies have connected various lectin sub-groups to altered gut microbiota, gut perforation, and overactive immune responses.

Read our guide to find out which superfoods Dr. Gundry suggests you introduce into your diet and which foods you should avoid to minimize your lectin consumption.

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Why you should trust us

At Innerbody Research, we extensively test each health service or product we review, including products from Gundry MD. Over the years, we’ve tried numerous supplements and food products available on Dr. Gundry’s website, and we’ve become intimately familiar with the customer process, from purchasing to customer service.

Our team has also spent more than 200 hours studying scientific journal articles pertaining to the ingredients in Gundry MD products and the nutritional claims made throughout Dr. Gundry’s books and website. Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this review was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.

Over the past two decades, Innerbody Research has helped tens of millions of readers make more informed decisions about staying healthy and living healthier lifestyles.

What superfoods to eat

Top Superfood Supplement

Vital Reds combines 34 superfruits to support fat burning and digestion, plus probiotics to promote gut health and enhance energy levels.

Gundry MD provides an easy-to-take supplement that mixes with water, free from soy, added sugar, and lectin. Customers enjoy bulk savings, free benefits with an account, and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Before we get too deep into the science fueling Dr. Gundry’s recommendations and product line, we should answer a question at the heart of this article: What superfoods should you eat to stay healthy?

For clarity’s sake (and so our medical review board can sleep at night), we should point out that the term “superfood” is not recognized as having a specific meaning in agricultural or medical communities. That said, it’s become such a commonplace term that even respected medical establishments have adopted it as a way to promote certain healthy eating styles.

Typically, a superfood is:

  • High in antioxidants
  • Nutrient-dense
  • Low on the glycemic index
  • Fibrous

You’ll note that “low in lectins” isn’t on this list, and that’s because many foods considered or marketed to be superfoods have high lectin counts. So, what are the top foods that fit this mold and meet Dr. Gundry’s stringent criteria for inclusion in your diet?


Avocados are nutrient-rich and contain large amounts of potassium, magnesium, fiber, vitamins A and C, and folate, among others. Studies show that consuming avocados can help with cardiovascular health, weight management, and aging.

Walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and pine nuts

Nuts have been shown to provide antioxidants and reduce inflammation. They are also a good source of dietary polyphenols, organic plant compounds that have been associated with improved metabolism, weight, chronic disease, and cell proliferation.

Extra dark chocolate

Eating one ounce per day of extra dark chocolate containing at least 72% cacao can benefit the cardiovascular system and provide antioxidants.


Dr. Gundry explicitly recommends shiitake and maitake mushrooms. Mushrooms, in general, are a great source of prebiotics that help stimulate good bacterial growth in the gut.

Sesame seeds and oil

Sesame has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help prevent and reverse cardiovascular diseases.

Zen basil seeds

Basil seeds are high in protein, fiber, and minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. They have shown to be a great source of antioxidants and may also have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects, among others.

Of course, your entire diet can’t consist of just these few superfoods. To figure out what else you can and should eat, Dr. Gundry would refer you to his food pyramid.

Dr. Gundry’s food pyramid

Dr. Gundry presents a food pyramid outlining foods you should consume often and those best eaten in moderation. He also includes a list of food to avoid.

Eat as much as you like

The bottom of the food pyramid includes foods you can enjoy anytime and in any quantity. They include approved fats, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables, specifically things like extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, avocados (and avocado oil), lettuce, kohlrabi, spinach, seaweed, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and radish, among others.

Eat a limited amount

The next level of the pyramid includes foods enjoyed in small portions with each meal, such as nuts, flour alternatives, sorghum, millet, and resistant starch. According to Dr. Gundry, you should avoid legumes altogether, but approved nuts include macadamia, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, coconut, hazelnuts, and chestnuts. Use coconut or almond flour instead of processed white flour, and enjoy resistant starches like green bananas or plantains.

Eat an even more limited amount

The next pyramid level also includes foods you should limit per meal. They include wild-caught seafood, pastured poultry, eggs, and in-season fruits. Dr. Gundry also recommends some fruits that are always in season, including bananas, mangoes, papayas, and avocados.

Eat in moderation

Next, Dr. Gundry provides foods that should be consumed infrequently, including milk and alcohol. He recommends consuming Southern European cow, goat, sheep, and buffalo milk. If you decide to drink alcohol, stick with red wine, champagne, or dark spirits only once or twice weekly.

Eat in minimal amounts

Dr. Gundry suggests eating grass-fed, pasture-raised meat only once or twice weekly. These include bison, wild game, venison, boar, elk, pork, lamb, beef, and prosciutto.

Notice there is no “never eat” category. And this is something we appreciate about Dr. Gundry’s philosophy, whether or not you subscribe to his views on lectins. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect. He encourages his patients and his customers to allow themselves indulgences and even some foods that are packed with lectins (he even willingly shares video evidence of himself eating a big serving of pasta while on vacation in Europe).

The approach is about minimizing your exposure to lectins, not eliminating them altogether (unless you have an identified intolerance for lectin-associated foods, like wheat gluten).

What are lectins?

Lectins are naturally occurring carbohydrate-binding proteins found in all plants and animals. They are most commonly found in legumes and grains. While lectins are mostly harmless and can even be removed by cooking and boiling, some lectins are toxic to the human body, causing illnesses and even death.

When eaten in excess, lectins may cause:

  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Digestive problems
  • Intestinal damage
  • Leaky gut
  • Autoimmune issues
Dr. Gundry’s Lectin Elimination Support
Lectin Shield

Lectin Shield is intended for use by those who want to reduce their lectin intake but also want to enjoy their favorite foods on occasion — even if they’re high in lectins.

The ingredients in Lectin Shield serve several functions, including giving lectins in your food easily digestible targets to agglutinate. In theory, that should allow your body to function as normal and absorb nutrients without issue.

Should you avoid lectins?

Lectins like ricin and phytohaemagglutinin can be toxic. Ricin, for example, is a poison created from castor beans. Its lectins specifically prevent your cells from producing proteins necessary for their survival. It is unlikely that anyone would die unintentionally from ricin poisoning, as the castor beans must be processed in a particular way to make ricin.

Phytohaemagglutinin is a lectin in red kidney beans. If the beans are not cooked properly, consuming them can lead to kidney bean poisoning, which causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Properly cooking the beans reduces the lectin and makes the beans safe to eat.

Some scientists classify lectins as antinutrients because their carbohydrate binding can prevent your body from absorbing certain nutrients — typically carbohydrates of one kind or another, but also conjugated proteins. However, not all lectins are bad guys, and nutrient absorption isn’t at the heart of what might make some lectins especially dangerous.

There is not much scientific evidence to support the claim that eliminating lectins from your diet will make you healthier or help cure certain illnesses or diseases. More research must be done to substantiate the health benefits of eliminating dietary lectins. However, some research shows eliminating or reducing lectins may help those with:

Animal studies that have illustrated certain lectin dangers have also used massive amounts of lectins in their methods, with one relying on a dose of 7g/kg (about 1g/kg in human equivalence). That’s about 90g of lectins daily for a 200lb individual. For context, one study places the median lectin quantity in breakfast cereal to be 33 micrograms per gram. That would require the consumption of around 6lb of cereal daily.

Why you might not want to avoid lectins completely

Many of the foods containing lectins — whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables — are part of a well-balanced and healthy diet. Eliminating them may give you fewer options for eating well. Cooking and processing foods tend to reduce the number of naturally occurring lectins, which means you wouldn’t eat a toxic level of lectins in your everyday diet.

If you feel unwell and suspect your diet is the culprit, we recommend that you consult your doctor or a dietician. These professionals can help you determine if you have a food allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance. A radical shift in your diet — like eliminating foods with lectins — will not work for everyone living with digestive or other food-based issues.

Foods high in lectins

Legumes and grains aren’t the only foods high in lectins, but they are the foods Dr. Gundry specifically suggests eliminating from your diet. Here is a list of other foods that are high in lectins:

  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Raw beans
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Milk
  • Wheat
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Barley
  • Corn-fed animal meat
  • Grain-fed animal meat
  • Sugary snacks

Foods low in lectins

Dr. Gundry recommends a diet low in lectins by consuming the following foods:

  • Pasture-raised chicken and beef
  • Cooked sweet potatoes
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Olives

How to maintain a lectin-free diet

For starters, maintaining a lectin-free diet is all but impossible. They’re too abundant in our food supply, and you might not get enough balanced nutrition to stay healthy if you limit yourself to lectin-free foods alone. The goal would be to eliminate from your diet the foods that contain the most concentrated amounts of lectins or work to remove them by proper preparation before consumption.

If you decide that eliminating most lectins from your diet is the right step for you, follow these three steps to reduce the number of lectins you consume:

  1. Cook food properly. Cooking food — especially beans — can drastically reduce the number of lectins in them. This may also include soaking, peeling, de-seeding, fermenting, boiling, or stewing foods to reduce lectins. Dr. Gundry specifically recommends pressure-cooking dry beans to eliminate lectins.
  2. Eliminate foods high in lectins. These foods include legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, dairy products, certain meats, and sugary snacks.
  3. Choose foods low in lectins. These foods include mushrooms, leafy greens, asparagus, celery, garlic, onions, and pasture-raised meat.

Is a lectin-free diet worth it?

There are no severe health consequences to limiting lectin consumption. However, eliminating these foods from your diet can make it more difficult to achieve balanced nutrition, leading to some adverse health effects.

Eliminating whole grains, beans, and legumes — foods that are commonly considered part of a well-balanced diet — limits your nutrient intake. Because foods that are high in lectins are also typically high in fiber, you may find that a lectin-free diet results in changes to bowel habits or leads to digestive issues.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 (sponsored by the USDA), a well-balanced diet should include:

  • Vegetables of all types
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Protein
  • Oils

About half of your grain intake should be whole grains, and protein should include meat as well as beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, and soy. Dr. Gundry suggests eliminating many of these foods because of their high lectin levels.

Eating a balanced diet at every stage of your life can reduce your risk of developing:

  • Diabetes
  • Iron deficiency
  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Various cancers

If you think you may be sensitive to lectins, then a lectin-free diet may be worth it. The elimination of dietary lectins has been shown to help symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and multiple sclerosis, so this diet may be right for you if you live with those illnesses. Check with your doctor or dietician to ensure this is the right path for your health.

Dr. Gundry’s product line

Vital Reds Mixed In Glass

Photo by Innerbody Research

To a certain extent, most of the products in Dr. Gundry’s catalog are related to the lectin issue, either directly or indirectly. For example, Lectin Shield is specifically designed to protect your system when you eat high-lectin foods. That’s a direct connection. But lectins have also been associated with upsetting the balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, for which you might be interested in taking a probiotic — an indirect connection.

We’ve recommended several of these products in other guides and reviews for specific conditions and types of consumers, often without taking the lectin question into account. Ultimately, many of these products may provide benefits to people who do and do not subscribe to a low-lectin diet.

Insider Tip: Many of the products on Dr. Gundry’s website seem expensive at first glance. And if you were to pay the initial sticker price for many of them, you might be overpaying. But the site provides deep discounts for its members, and membership is free. That brings the prices more in line with the competition.

It's critical that you take much of what Dr. Gundry says on his website with a hefty grain of salt. He tends to employ marketing language around his products that includes unsubstantiated claims, or at least claims that are unsettled scientifically.

For example, Dr. Gundry occasionally talks about “speeding up your metabolism,” despite recent evidence that an individual’s metabolism is more or less set in place for most of one’s lifetime. It doesn’t always mean that a product on the site with overblown advertorial language can’t provide a benefit; it just means it might not do quite what the doctor claims it can.

The website divides them into subcategories for type, health goal, or main ingredients, but multiple products reappear in several categories, so we’ve broken them down under the following umbrellas:

  • Digestion and gut health
  • Energy
  • Weight
  • Aging
  • Heart health
  • Immune support
  • Food products

Below, we’ll take a peek into each of these categories to highlight some of the company’s most compelling products. We’ll take an especially close look at supplements for digestion and gut health, as that’s at the core of Dr. Gundry’s philosophy.

Digestion and gut health

Total Restore With Pills

Photo by Innerbody Research

This is the category in which you’ll find supplements most closely related to low-lectin eating. Let’s take a look at each and examine what Gundry MD claims they can do:

Lectin Shield

Intended to reduce the impact of lectins throughout your body. Lectins bind to other nutrients, and many of the ingredients in Lectin Shield bind more readily to certain lectins than the important nutrients in your food. So, Lectin Shield may divert the action of some lectins, preventing them from obstructing your body’s normal function and nutrient absorption.

Vital Reds

This drink mix employs various ingredients containing polyphenols, which may improve gut health by positively impacting the microbiome. Our testers thought it tasted a little bitter at first, but that soon gave way to a fruitiness from the berry and pomegranate components. Read our full review.

Total Restore

Total Restore is designed to help keep your gut lining healthy. It combines a long list of botanicals and minerals, the most important of which is l-glutamine. Studies repeatedly show that it can help protect the mucosal lining of the intestines, preventing or treating so-called “leaky gut” and amino acids. Learn more in our full review.

Bio Complete 3

This product employs pre-, pro-, and postbiotics to affect the balance of your gut’s microbiome. Bio Complete 3 has evolved over the years from using a single-strain probiotic to pairing up two well-studied bacterial strains, the most effective of which is Bacillus coagulans Unique IS-2. Check out our full review.

24 Strain Probiotic

The combination of species in this potent probiotic formula is 30 billion CFU strong and comprises numerous well-studied species. But the product doesn’t get into strain-specific information for each entry, so it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting.

GI Advantage

While this product contains probiotics and other ingredients intended to bolster gut health, it would be better considered a digestive enzyme blend. It can help your body break down certain components of foods like milk sugars in lactose intolerant individuals.


This is a dedicated prebiotic intended to serve as food for the good bacteria in your gut. It’s a generous 10g dose of commonly used prebiotic fibers, but like many prebiotics, it may not be ideal for those with FODMAP sensitivities.


Many of the products Dr. Gundry promoted for improved energy aren’t intended to provide short-term pick-me-ups. Rather, they can potentially improve energy production at the cellular level, which takes more time.

  • Energy Renew: Relies on polyphenols and d-ribose to improve energy production
  • Vital Recharge: This is essentially a smaller dose of d-ribose than in Energy Renew paired with a multivitamin and electrolytes
  • Primal Plants: A multivitamin and plant complex that may be a nice supplement if your low-lectin diet is preventing you from getting enough fruits and vegetables
  • H2 Restore: A strong magnesium supplement


Dr Gundry Superfood To Eat Mct Wellness

Photo by Innerbody Research

The Gundry MD products targeting excess body mass are among the least supported products in the catalog. MCT Wellness is likely the most well-studied and likeliest to make a difference for many users. But others contain low doses of poorly supported ingredients that make them hard to recommend.

  • MCT Wellness: Combines polyphenols with medium-chain triglycerides, which can pair well with a ketogenic diet and contribute to weight loss and blood sugar management
  • E-Balance: May balance hunger-related hormones like ghrelin using Harpagophytum procumbens


One way or another, an argument can be made that many Gundry MD products can bolster anti-aging efforts. But the catalog has relatively recently added specific skincare and haircare products, including:

  • Dark spot treatment
  • Repair serum
  • Probiotic skin cream
  • Firming and sculpting cream
  • Botanical cleanser
  • Anti-aging nutritional supplement

The most interesting among these is likely the probiotic skin cream. Recent research into the dermal microbiome has led to a slow but steady increase in microbiome-conscious skincare products.

Heart health

Diet and heart health are closely linked, and several common supplement ingredients have been linked to improved heart health and reduced risk of adverse cardiopulmonary episodes. Gundry MD products employ several such ingredients, with a focus on polyphenols as potent antioxidants.

  • Heart Defense: This chocolate drink sweetened with monk fruit contains several ingredients that offer heart-healthy flavonoids, with its cocoa powder among the most important
  • Active Heart: Among other things, this contains black garlic, which studies connect with improved heart health
  • Enhanced Circulation Formula: Uses ingredients like beetroot and epimedium to boost nitric oxide and widen blood vessels

Immune support

Dr. Gundry’s immunity-focused lineup is smaller than most other aspects of his catalog, but most things that can improve your gut health can also bolster immunity, so these can be considered supplemental to that effort for those especially concerned with immunity.

  • Untox: Addresses liver function to let your body detox the way it’s supposed to
  • Active Advantage: Contains fulvic mineral powder, a collection of naturally occurring minerals that may reduce inflammation

Food products

Dr. Gundry also sells food products that can help contribute to a lectin-free diet rich in his recommended superfoods. These products include:

  • Pancake mix (Homestyle)
  • Pancake mix (Cocoa)
  • Protein shake mix
  • Polyphenol-rich olive oil
  • Chef’s Select Organic Olive Oil
  • Coconut chocolate bars
  • Multi-purpose bread mix
  • Sourdough bread mix
  • Lectin-free vegetable broth
  • Polyphenol pearls
  • Manuka honey nut bars
  • Polyphenol macadamia bars
  • Sorghum spaghetti
  • Pearled white sorghum
  • Waffle mix
  • Sorghum crisp chocolate bars
  • Sesame oil
  • MCT coffee creamer
  • Ethiopian coffee
  • Allulose sweetener
  • Olive snack packs

Gundry MD also includes a listing of lectin-free recipes and free nutrition articles that discuss how to maintain a lectin-free diet, among other topics.

Final takeaway

Dr. Gundry doesn’t always present himself or his company as the most trustworthy — silly ties and glasses, overblown efficacy claims — but many of Gundry MD’s products can offer some benefits to those who take them, even if they don’t buy into the doctor’s theories about lectins.



Innerbody uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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