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This probably won’t be the only 2018 holiday guide you read to help you stay as healthy as possible during this fantastic time of year. One way to do so is to try and avoid lectins, which, unfortunately, can be found in many traditional holiday dishes. This holiday guide is geared toward helping you go lectin-free as the year winds down.

Let’s take a look at some low-lectin substitutes to some holiday food staples as 2018 winds to a close.

Substitutes for High-Lectin Dishes

Many types of holiday food dishes are loaded with lectins, but the good news is, there are also plenty of lectin-free, or low-lectin, substitutes you can make. Here are just a few:

Broccoli Casserole

Substitute for: Green Bean Casserole

A lot of people eat this holiday staple not knowing that it’s packed with lectins – not only in the green beans but also in the French fried onions that are usually placed on top of the dish. Add in the high sodium, lectin-loaded, cream of mushroom soup most people use in their recipe, and this is one of the worst holiday foods you can eat.

Holiday Guide | Gundry MDBut there are several healthy ingredients you can use as a substitute to avoid lectins and make a really healthy dish.

For example, you can use broccoli instead of green beans and use caramelized instead of fried onions. And swap unsweetened coconut cream for that terrible canned cream of mushroom.

Pasture-Raised Turkey

Substitute for: Factory Farm-Raised Turkey

If possible, find a free-range, pasture-raised bird. You might need to go to a specialty grocer to find one. Pasture-raised poultry is less likely to have fed on plants that contain lectins.

Homemade Gravy

Substitute for: Store-Bought Gravy

When it comes to the gravy, store-bought options use lectin-laden flour. To keep your gravy light on the lectins, opt for Gundry-approved cassava flour or organic heavy cream as a thickener. Gravy also requires some kind of broth; sometimes the drippings from cooked poultry are used. Opt for pasture-raised chicken or turkey, grass-fed beef, or vegetable stock as a substitute, unless you’re using a pasture-raised bird.

Millet Stuffing

Substitute for: Bread Stuffing

Just about everybody loves stuffing, right? Well, you can substitute cooked millet for the bread in your stuffing recipe to help make it lectin-free.


Substitute for: Potatoes

Holiday Guide | Gundry MDSpeaking of substitutions, you can always substitute cauliflower for potatoes. Cauliflower is an excellent lectin-free alternative to any healthy dish. You can mash it, roast it, and even fry it. You’ll get the same starchy feel and great flavor, and you’ll be avoiding lectins.1

Sweet Potato Pie

Substitute for: Apple Pie or Pumpkin Pie

As hard as it might be to do, stay away from apple or pumpkin pie during the holidays–unless you know that the fruit used is in-season! Play it safe by going for a low-lectin sweet potato pie as a substitute.

A Holiday Guide to Surviving Parties With Junk Food and Alcohol

Any holiday guide to staying healthy as 2018 winds down will mention all the temptation you’ll face when you go to parties. But you might also find temptation at the office when your co-workers bring in their own holiday food. So, how do you deal with all the cookies, candy, and other treats you’ll encounter? Here are a few things to consider as you strive to stick to your lectin-free plan through the holidays…

Take precautions – You will very likely have quite a bit of advance notice when you’re invited to a holiday party. If so, you’ll be able to put together a plan in advance – so you’re ready when the party arrives. On the day of the party, eat something small before you leave home. That way, you won’t be as tempted to dive into all of those treats. And you won’t eat as much when dinner is served. The last thing you’ll want to do is starve yourself because that will probably lead to overindulging.

Bring your own healthy dish – As you saw earlier in this holiday guide, there are many things you can do to substitute lectin-free or low-lectin ingredients to make healthy dishes for the holidays. If you have the option to bring your own food to the party, take advantage of the opportunity to make it as healthy as possible.

Grazing at the office – You’ll probably encounter a lot of holiday food at the office. Your co-workers may bring in dishes, or your customers or vendors may send food your way. Don’t be rude, of course – graciously accept the gifts of food, and consider sampling some of the offerings. But make your own lectin-free treats, and keep plenty of them at your desk. Or, if there’s lots of chocolate lying around, indulge in a little bittersweet chocolate — just a bite or 2.

Holiday Guide | Gundry MDParties with alcohol – The holiday parties you attend will likely have serve alcohol. If you choose to drink, stick with wine. And drink plenty of water in between each glass. If there’s no wine available, politely decline to drink alcohol. The host and other attendees should always respect your decision.

Holiday Guide Health Facts

Many studies detail just how hard it can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the holidays. Even if you bring your own healthy dish to every party you attend, it can still be difficult to deal with all the temptation you’ll face. And according to research, you won’t be alone.

For example, one study found that people tend to gain the most weight about 10 days after Christmas. And it can take people as long as five months to shed the extra pounds they put on during the holidays.3

Another study involved 178 participants who had lost at least 77 pounds and had managed to keep the weight off for several years. 4

Despite their best efforts to watch what they ate, they typically gained about two pounds during the holidays.

Now, if you find yourself struggling to eat healthy and lectin-free or low-lectin during the holidays, It can be helpful to surround yourself with people who can help you stay on track.

Another study involved nearly 60 overweight people who had lost at least 33 pounds. The participants not only monitored their food intake, but they also received weekly calls reminding them to do stick to their weight loss regimen. According to the results, the participants not only avoided weight gain, they actually lost an average of two pounds during the holidays.5

The Last Word

The purpose of this holiday guide is not to scare you into staying lectin-free as you say goodbye to 2018. It’s going to be challenging to completely stick to your lectin-free plan. If you slip and eat some not-so-healthy dishes, don’t waste time getting down on yourself. Have a good time during the holidays – just try to employ the above tips, so you can stay as healthy as possible.

Learn More:
Dr. Gundry’s Delicious Sage & Sweet Potato Kale Recipe
Dr. Gundry’s Lectin-Free “Potato” Salad Recipe
Dr. Gundry’s Satisfying Broccoli Cheddar Quiche (lectin-free recipe)