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Movie nights just aren’t complete without the right food for snacks. But snacks don’t have to be filled with sugar and calories. In fact, there are lots of healthier options than what you might find at the concession stand.

If you’ve been eating GundryMD approved foods, you know you’ll want to steer clear of lectins, nightshades, and any fruit that’s not actually in-season. And while traditional movie popcorn is on the GundryMD “no” list, you can definitely find some great substitutions.

So, what are the best popcorn and candy replacement snacks for your healthier, lower-in-calories movie night?

Try these healthy movie snacks the next time you head to the movie theater or crash on the couch to watch movies at home.

Movie Night Nut Mix

Nut mixYou don’t need popcorn, sugar, and all the empty calories to satisfy your hunger. A great healthy snack idea is trail mix, and if you use the right variation of nuts, you’ll end up with a healthier snack that is crunchy, and savory. Speaking of sugar, take a moment to read about high sugar fruits to avoid.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ⅓ cup pistachios
  • ⅓ cup walnuts
  • ⅓ cup macadamia nuts

And Here’s What To Do:

  1. In a small pan, combine ½ the amount of coconut oil, garlic, and rosemary. Heat these ingredients over a medium flame until the garlic is aromatic and a rich golden brown.
  2. Add the nuts to the pan. Drizzle the other half of the coconut oil over your nut mix and toast on the stovetop for one minute more.
  3. Remove the nut mix from the heat. You can either serve your trail mix warm or let cool to room temperature.

Whether you’re watching a matinee between meals or snacking while watching a film after dinner, this is a great, satisfying snack that won’t pack on the pounds or wreak havoc on your gut. Just make sure you don’t eat more than two servings of ¼ cup of the trail mix per day.

Not Your Movie Theater Nachos

Traditional tortilla corn chips are loaded with lectins. But if you’re following a lectin-free diet, there are plenty of healthy substitutions you can use to make and enjoy your favorite foods.

This lectin-free recipe has all the chip and dip lovers covered.

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 omega 3 egg white

What to Do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk your dry ingredients together until any lumps are gone. Then, add your egg white and mix.
  3. Roll out your dough between sheets of parchment paper until it’s thin (about 1/8”). Then, cut your dough into chip-size triangles using a pizza cutter. Use a spatula to gently separate the pieces from one another.
  4. Bake your chips for 10 minutes (or until golden). Allow them to cool while you make your own lectin-free guacamole.


guacamoleOf course, avocados are delicious and full of healthy monounsaturated fats (the good-for-you fat).1 But when you order guacamole out, you’re usually still consuming lectins because traditional guac is full of terrible nightshades like tomatoes and peppers.

Try this flavorful lectin-free guacamole instead.


  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 crushed raw garlic clove
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp hot sauce (optional)

What to Do:

  1. Mash up the 4 avocados in a bowl.
  2. Add all other ingredients.
  3. Mix it all together until well-combined.
  4. Serve with your lectin-free tortilla chips.

Note: This recipe for lectin-free chips and guac was discovered on by Ester Perez. This recipe has not been tested by the GundryMD team.

Dark Chocolate

While you can’t reach for licorice candies or sour gummies on a lectin-free diet, you can most definitely indulge in a few bites of dark chocolate (72% or higher).

If you’d like something a bit more substantial than a piece of dark chocolate, try the following GundryMD recipe next time you host a movie night.

dark chocolate

Mint Chocolate Chip Avocado Ice Cream

What You Will Need:

  • 15 oz. can coconut cream (non-BPA)
  • 3/4 cup Swerve
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (non-alkalized)
  • One bar dark chocolate (72% or higher)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 3 Tbsp fresh mint (chopped)
  • 1⁄2 cup extra-dark chocolate chips (72% or higher)

What to Do:

  1. Combine coconut cream, Swerve, instant coffee, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Whisk the mixture over medium heat. Make sure the sweetener completely dissolves and the mixture is well blended.
  2. Turn off heat. Chop the chocolate bar. Add the chopped-up chocolate to saucepan and stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture in a blender and add your vanilla extract, avocados, and mint. Blend until the mixture becomes smooth. Pour the ice cream mixture into a bowl. Cover it, and let it refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. When the ice cream mixture is cool, stir in your chocolate chips. Make sure they’re evenly dispersed. Next, spoon your ice cream mix into your ice cream maker and churn until thickened. Your ice cream should have a “soft-serve” consistency.
  5. Serve and enjoy.

Note: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can pour your ice cream mixture into a metal loaf pan. Place it in your freezer. Stir every 1/2 hour to break up ice crystals. When your ice cream has reached the consistency you desire, it’s ready to be served.

Look for Dark Chocolate, Approved Nuts, and Fresh In-Season Fruit

Movie theater marqueeIf you do find yourself at an actual movie theater, don’t let all those processed, junky foods full of empty calories tank your eating habits for the night. Instead, focus on finding healthier options.

Theaters may offer the following healthier choices:

  • Dark chocolate bars
  • Mixed nuts (make sure they’re Gundry-approved nuts and not caked in candy or sugar)
  • Fresh fruit (in-season only)
  • Salads (ask for extra virgin olive oil, lemon wedges or balsamic vinegar instead of processed dressing)
  • Water
  • Red wine (in moderation)
  • Unsweetened coffee or tea

Movie Snacks for Home Viewings and Beyond

heallthy snacking while watching movieSo, ditch the lectins. Forget the empty calories. Kick sugar to the curb. You can still have your snacks and eat them too. You really don’t need potato chips, popcorn, or Milk Duds to enjoy your favorite movies.

But that doesn’t mean you should cancel movie-time snacking altogether.

Just get creative with the lectin-free classic recipes above, or doctor up your own treats comprised of all the good things on the GundryMD “yes” list.

Learn More:

How To Cook Healthy Food That Tastes Good

Type Of Chips To Make From Fall Produce Foods: Snack Idea Guide

Dr. Gundry’s Skillet “Pizza”