Changing your habits to include healthy food substitutions can be a true challenge.
However, once you get the hang of healthy eating, you could discover a whole new world of healthy fats, tasty meals, and great lectin-free desserts.
Read Dr. Gundry’s guide to healthy food substitutions. Healthy eating can still be easy and delicious with the right knowledge.
Healthy Food Substitutions When Utilizing The Gundry Diet
It might be a bit of a challenge at first, but once you get into the swing of things, knowing which healthy foods to swap into your diet and which sugary, full-of-calories foods to swap out of your diet really will become second nature.
The thing is, many people mistake healthy eating substitutions for giving up on their favorite foods, so they opt not to “deprive” themselves of the foods they’re used to. But you don’t have to give up all of your favorite foods. You just have to reimagine them with new ingredients.
Healthy food substitutions can prove to be invaluable tools. Because once you learn what one food can do to replace another — for instance, replacing whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour with almond flour or arrowroot — you can apply that substitution to any recipe. Think of substituting as increasing your food knowledge, not limiting it.
If you’re ready to learn about specific food substitutions, let’s start by eliminating the biggest culprit when it comes to unhealthy foods — sugar.
Swap Out Foods High In Sugar For Healthier Food Options
High-sugar foods are everywhere you look. Even foods you think might be healthy — like fruit juice, yogurt, and mashed potatoes — can be high in sugar or unhealthy fats. So, how can you meet a craving for something like ice cream without having to suffer the dietary consequences of eating unhealthy foods? Substitution.
The right sugar substitutes can go a long way to keep your food tasting great without compromising your health. But, you need to know exactly which sugar substitutes to avoid and which sugar substitutes to utilize and get creative with.
Certain fake sweeteners can actually destroy your gut and your health. You’ll often find the worst sweeteners in processed “light” foods, yogurt, and “diet beverages.” Recently, scientists have suggested that chemically produced artificial sweeteners can trigger food reward pathways. They don’t actually do anything to trigger satiety, but they could potentially increase your appetite and lead to weight gain.1
Of course, people seek foods that will satisfy their craving for sweet things. So chemically produced artificial sweeteners promote sugar dependence because they’re built to mimic sugar.2
Avoid The Following Artificial Sweeteners:
- Aspartame – Found in NutraSweet and Equal
- Acesulfame K – Also found in NutraSweet and Equal
- Saccharin – Prevalent in Sweet ’N Low, Sweet Twin, and Necta Sweet
- Sucralose – Found in Splenda
These sweeteners do nothing for you but intensify your need for the ultra-sweet.
Instead, you can use natural sweetening agents found on the Gundry “Yes” list.
Stevia — Stevia is one of the best naturally-sourced, zero-calorie sweeteners you can find. Though it may seem new to Western nutrition, the stevia plant has natural sugar substitution for centuries. The stevia plant comes from South America. There, people have been sweetening drinks, chewing the leaves, sweetening teas, and flavoring medicines with stevia for a long time.3
Chicory Root — Roasted chicory root contains mildly sweet inulin-type fructans. And modern research shows that chicory root could potentially help when it comes to the following health concerns: too much sugar in your bloodstream, abnormal cholesterol, and even irregular bowel movements.4
Other great sugar-alternatives include:
- Boca Sweet
- Erythritol (Swerve is a Gundry favorite)
- Just Like Sugar (from chicory root)
- Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup
- Luo han guo
- Monk fruit
Infuse Water With Real In-Season Fruit: Tricks To Replace High-Sugar Drinks Like Soda Pop
Another wonderful trick for replacing high-sugar beverages like fruit punch or soda pop is to infuse water with your favorite in-season fruits, vegetables, and herbs. As you probably know, water is necessary in order to live a healthy life. Therefore, preventing dehydration is a big deal. But downing sugary soda pop and fruit juice won’t really help in this regard.
Without water, people can only live for a few days. Why? Because water makes up 75% of an infant’s body weight. It also makes up 55% of body weight in the elderly body. Therefore, it is necessary for maintaining cellular health at any age.5
If you’re thirsty but water seems to plain for you, doctor it up with natural flavors. Infuse it with fresh mint and lemon juice. You can also infuse water with in-season berries and other herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or even blackberries and basil. Almost any combination of herbs and in-season fruit will do.
Healthier Baking And Pasta Making: Flour Substitutes
When it comes to baked goods or pasta, you might think you’re out of options if you avoid flours. But you’ve got more options than you may think. Below is a list of all sorts of flours (and starches) you can use as substitutes when baking or whipping up fresh pasta:
- Almond (blanched)
- Green banana
- Sweet potato
- Tiger nut
To enhance your baking, you can utilize coconut oil (if you’re following the Gundry Diet, only use this in phase 3). But you can also opt to replace saturated fats with avocado or some of these other oils:
- Algae oil
- Avocado oil, extra virgin
- Macadamia oil
- MCT oil
- Olive oil, extra virgin
- Perilla oil
- Sesame oil
- Walnut oil
And if you’re dying for pasta, you have plenty of options. Of course, you’ll want to avoid pasta made with all-purpose flour and wheat flour. And don’t be tricked by other grain foods like quinoa. Quinoa is not Gundry-friendly. Instead, try any number of these noodle replacements (affectionately ‘foodles’) below:
- Cappelo’s almond flour pasta
- Kanten pasta
- Kelp noodles
- Korean sweet potato noodles
- Yam noodles
- Hearts of palm noodles
- Millet pasta
- Miracle Noodles
- Sorghum pasta
And remember, spaghetti squash is not a pasta replacement on the Gundry diet. So, if you’re chatting with someone about pasta replacements and they offer spaghetti squash as a contender, remind them of the lectin content in all squash.6
Also, instead of nightshade-based tomato sauces, try drizzling a little avocado or olive oil on your pasta with a pinch of salt and pepper. Or, better yet, make your own olive oil-based pesto.
Eat This Not That For The Gundry Diet
In the end, if you refer to the GundryMD Yes/No List, you can find a ton of wonderful healthy substitutes for foods that just aren’t that good for you. And once you get used to managing your health by adding these substitute foods, you’ll forget all about the not-so-good for you foods you may have relied on in the past.
Ditching sugar, lectin-filled veggies (including spaghetti squash), milky yogurts, lectin-rich grains like rice and quinoa, and problematic fats doesn’t have to mean you’re limiting your diet. Instead, take the time to get creative with healthy food substitutions. And if you happen to share your meals with others, they’ll be delighted to know you’re giving them something delicious and nutritious. They may even ask you for your secret.