Welcome to the Dr. Gundry podcast, the weekly podcast, where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Dr. Gundry (00:15):
Welcome to the Dr. Gundry podcast. So with the weather getting cooler, nights getting longer, and the holiday is right around the corner. There’s one thing on a lot of people’s minds. No, I’m not talking about that perfect present, figuring out the whole Thanksgiving meal, or even trying to figure out how in the world we’re actually going to safely gather with loved ones this year. I’m talking about baking, and this time of year everyone’s doing it, including me. You heard that right, believe it or not, I’ve got an incredible sweet tooth and I actually love cookies, cakes and pies this time of year. And one of the best parts of the year was helping my mother make about 10 different kinds of holiday confections and cookies every year and experimenting with it. So, we would tweak our recipes and I like to tweak our favorite recipes to make them safe to eat.
Dr. Gundry (01:18):
So on today’s episode, I’m going to share the secret ingredients in my pantry. How to make simple baking swaps for healthier treats, and a few of my favorite holiday table must haves, so stay tuned.
Dr. Gundry (01:35):
So let’s start with flour. Plain old wheat flour. It’s in everything, so it’s got to be good for you. Right? Flour is loaded with lectins. And now with the advent of really useful leaky gut tests that I have available and others have available, I’m more and more and more amazed that our sense that gluten causes leaky gut and the other components of wheat caused leaky gut is born out every day. A hockey player, national hockey league, NHL hockey player, who developed out of the blue ulcerative colitis and he’s lost over 70 pounds and is off right now. And when we tested him for leaky gut, this guy wildly reacts to all the components of wheat. Wheat germ agglutinin, which is the hull, all the different components of gluten, and he reacts to the 25 to 30% of proteins in wheat that are non-gluten. And he just lights it up.
Dr. Gundry (02:46):
And the good news is, and I just talked to him actually yesterday, he is now making actually a dramatic recovery after we took these things away from him. It’s so much so that he’s going to spend the summer actually teaching hockey in Canada between seasons. And we’re hopeful that he’s going to make a full recovery for next year’s season. So, it’s not the good stuff like you and I used to know.
Dr. Gundry (03:19):
So it’s pretty rare to come across a dessert recipe without some kind of flour in it. So what can you do? Just, well, I’m not going to do that anymore? Well frankly, it depends on what you’re cooking. So let me give you a few tips. My recipe developer, Kate, and I for the last three years, more than three years now, have been figuring our way around this arena. We have a lot of wonderful recipes in our various cookbooks and books.
Dr. Gundry (03:55):
We have a lot of people who have taken the lectin free lifestyle to heart, and I’ll mention those as we go along. And there’s actually a lot of products out there that didn’t even exist three years ago when the plant paradox started. So for cookies, the best combination is almond flour and coconut flour, plus a little xanthin gum for structure. Now, if you do without the xanthein gum, you’ll get a drier, more crumbly cookie. And quite frankly, a lot of people like a dryer, crumbly cookie. So the fun stuff is, these are becoming easier and easier to find even in most supermarkets, you don’t necessarily have to go to a specialty store anymore. You don’t necessarily have to go on Amazon or Thrive market, but these things are getting more and more available.
Dr. Gundry (04:51):
Now for cakes, almond flour and coconut flour, make really a nice, dense cake. Like for instance, our olive oil cake. Now, if you want, you can add millet flour and tapioca starch for a fluffier cake, that quite frankly gets pretty close to a traditional birthday cake. And again, it’s really kind of fun to see if you’re after a single layer cake, a pancake like our olive oil cake, then almond flour and coconut flour is really going to make a really nice dense cake.
Dr. Gundry (05:29):
Now how about for pie? Well, almond flour and tapioca starch actually do make a nice flaky crust. It’ll likely be a little more delicate than a traditional pie crust, but the flavor is actually fantastic and it’s kind of fun to fool family and friends and they go, “Oh, this is a really great pie crust, what’s in it?” And then you tell them, and the go, “What?”
Dr. Gundry (05:57):
Now there’s always alternatives to almond flour for those that are allergic. And there’s now a number of flours that I’ve experimented with, that Kate’s experimented with, certainly they’re harder to find, but think about hazelnut flour, it’s getting more and more available. If you have a nut allergy, tiger nuts are not nuts, even though the word sounds like a nut, they’re actually a tuber. You can find tiger nut flour. I think it’s great to work with. Green banana flour is available. There’s a lot of things to like about green banana flour, but it’s still one of the harder flours to find. But look around. I particularly like Chestnut flour. There’s a lot of Chestnut flour recipes that are used in Italy. You can usually do a one-to-one swap with Chestnut flour for almond flour. Again, it’s a little harder to find. Some Chinese groceries have them, some Italian groceries, particularly traditional Italian groceries. That’s where I get mine.
Dr. Gundry (07:11):
So, half the fun is trial and error. And get the family involved, try two or three different versions simultaneously, but it’s really great fun to experiment with this. And some of my best moments growing up was experimenting with recipes with my mother in the kitchen. And we just had a great time and yeah, sometimes the batch was a disaster and you’d have a good laugh over it. Well, I won’t be doing that again. So you can also do some fun stuff to make a crumb style crust with dried figs and pulse nuts. Just be careful with the dried figs or dates because they do have a really concentrated fructose content. So, just be aware. And you just press this crust into a pan.
Dr. Gundry (08:07):
All right, bread. So bread is where it gets really interesting because you really do need something to give it that gluteny stretch, which is really why we’re so addicted to gluten in the first place. It gives structure, it gives stretch, and it’s also because of the ability to stretch it makes it light and fluffy. So we’ve played a lot with this. I like psyllium husk for the stretch. And if you mix it with water, it forms a really gloppy paste that really does work great instead of gluten.
Dr. Gundry (08:45):
Now, I like a mix of flax and millet flour for structure and tapioca starch and arrow root starch to create that fluffy texture. Now, you can often substitute any of these flours, one-to-one with regular flour, but don’t try one individually. It’s just not going to work. You really have to get multiple flours. And right now there isn’t a perfect lectin light flour that’s a perfect swap for regular old, all purpose baking flour.
Dr. Gundry (09:26):
For a lot of things, I find like two thirds almond flour, one-third either coconut flour or tapioca starch and a pinch of xanthan gum works really pretty well.
Dr. Gundry (09:39):
Okay. So what about sugar? I mean, who can imagine a holiday dessert without sugar? Well, like I said, I have a big sweet tooth, but there are always ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without packing on the pounds. And the good news is that there are a lot of healthy sugar substitutes that are actually becoming widely available. So, one of my baking go-to is a one for one monk fruit sweetener, like the Lakanto brand, which is now available in a lot of regular grocery stores, and it’s even in Costco now. And by the way, they make a great maple syrup substitute. That’s a great use instead of corn syrup based maple syrups, and it’s perfectly great on our pancake recipes from the book. And even if you want to find one of the widely available paleo or keto pancake recipes that are pre-packaged, that are also in Costco now. My grandkids love Lakanto maple syrup on their pancakes that they make from our recipes. And so, if they can’t tell the difference, believe me, you won’t be able to tell the difference and it’s actually good for you.
Dr. Gundry (11:00):
Now, you can also use things like xylitol Erythritol, Stevia, pure Monk fruit, and even agave inulin. Now please do not confuse agave inulin with agave syrup. Agave syrup is pure fructose. And I see all these sites that say paleo-friendly or Keto friendly, and they’ve got a half a cup or a cup of agave syrup in it. Or for that matter, a half a cup of maple syrup in it. I’ve got news for you. There is no way that that’s Keto friendly, it’s pure fructose. So please, don’t be misled by agave syrup. There is a great inulin based sweetener, which is a little hard to find called Just Like Sugar, but you can use that one for one in recipes to replace sugar. And it works really well in baking.
Dr. Gundry (12:04):
There’s another new sweetener that’s becoming more available called Allulose. It works well. Dave Asprey and I are actually fond of Allulose with the proviso that so far, most Allulose seems to be coming from corn. And he and I are on the lookout for non corn based Allulose. We’ll tell you when we find it. He’s actually, I think, trying to get a company interested in making it, so look for it.
Dr. Gundry (12:41):
Okay. How about fat in your cooking? Well, quite frankly, holiday cooking is going to need some form of fat. So, go ahead and use butter, but please use French or Italian or Switzerland butter. They’re actually becoming easier and easier to find. We’re beginning to see A2 butter products in the stores. There’s now some A2 yogurt that’s popping up. So people are beginning to recognize that there is a difference between A2 and A1 casein. So look for it. It’s available.
Dr. Gundry (13:23):
Don’t be misled by all the advertising that this is grass fed butter. Most of the cows, sadly in the United States are A1 cows, they’re Holsteins. So even a step of eating grass is certainly better than giving them the crap they’re normally fed, but it’s now pretty easy to find Italian butter or French butter. Costco even has Italian butter. So it’s easier to find.
Dr. Gundry (13:53):
Now, extracts, vanilla extract, almond extract, or definitely your friend. Mint extracts is great with chocolate. A word of interesting warning. As I have mentioned, I do a lot of leaky gut tests and a lot of food sensitivity tests, and in some of my really difficult patients with a really difficult leaky gut and autoimmune disease, I’m finding a handful, actually more than a handful, that react to vanilla bean and they react to almond, even almond flour. So I’m not saying please avoid vanilla extract, please avoid almonds, but make sure your almond flour is blanched almond flour, not the stuff that still has the skins. And if you want to check and you’re suspicious about vanilla as a culprit, try an imitation vanilla extract and just see if you notice a difference.
Dr. Gundry (15:00):
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Dr. Gundry (15:27):
Now, is there a healthy shortening? Well, really coconut oil is probably the best alternative. If you can find red palm oil, which is made from the palm fruit rather than palm oil, which is made from the kernel. Red palm oil actually has tremendous amounts of polyphenols and it’s full of tocotrienols, the really important component of vitamin E. So those tocopherols and tocotrienols, and so red palm fruit shortening actually is one of your better choices. And usually you got to go to a health food store or find it online. It’s not readily available yet.
Dr. Gundry (16:15):
Now, instead of you using vegetable oil use avocado oil, it has a very neutral flavor. Make an olive oil cake. I’ve been really playing with plain sesame oil, not toasted sesame oil. And I got to say, it’s my new go-to oil for a number of reasons that you’re going to learn about in The Energy Paradox.
Dr. Gundry (16:43):
It has an absolute neutral flavor. When you toast it, it has that really great toasted sesame flavor, but plain sesame oil as an absolute neutral flavor. So, experiment this holiday season, give it a try.
Dr. Gundry (16:58):
Okay. So that covers the big ingredients, but what about the mix-ins? Well, extracts, vanilla almond extracts, are your friend. Mint extract is great with chocolate. I love citrus zest. It’s loaded with polyphenols number one, and actually citrus pith, the white pith that’s right under the zest has some of the best sources of Quercetin, which is really one of the best plant-based anti-histamines there is. So, don’t be afraid of actually putting some of that citrus pith in. Chocolate, as an add in, the darker the better. Particularly if you’re making chocolate chip cookies or any chocolate, just kick up, start with 72% and work your way up.
Dr. Gundry (17:54):
We’re rapidly seeing Stevia sweetened chocolate bars. There’s a number, I’ll give a shout out to my hometown company of Lily’s in Santa Barbara. I have no relationship with them, but a hometown success story. But there’s a number of ones that are now coming out with either Stevia or monk fruit base. And there’s they’re well-worth your trying them. You do have to be careful, particularly with erythritol or xylitol based sweetener in chocolate, too much of these often give people abdominal cramps and quite frankly diarrhea. And maybe that’s just telling you you’re eating too many of those bars and maybe ought to cut back.
Dr. Gundry (18:42):
Coffee, brewed coffee, even coffee granules are great in chocolaty treats they actually up the flavor of the chocolate. Now, instead of raisins, get yourself some dried, unsweetened cranberries. They’re really hard to find, but worth the look. Try adding some dried chopped figs. It’s actually a flower, it’s not a fruit, but just be cautious. There is a lot of great prebiotic fiber in figs, but figs do have a pretty high fructose content. So, use them as an additive, not as the mainstay.
Dr. Gundry (19:26):
Now, vegans always want to know, well, what the heck? What am I going to do for eggs? Because so many of the recipes call for eggs. We used to have a real favor that unfortunately completely changed the recipe and started using soy, so we don’t recommend them anymore. I think the best replacement commercially available is Bob’s egg replacer. Yes, it does have some potato starch, but starch is not a lectin. So, that seems to be the one that works the best. You can always do a flaxseed egg. They’ll often fail if you’re trying to have a raised something. I like the idea of mixing flax seed and basil seeds together. Believe me, basil seeds are so much better for you than chia seeds and they actually work much better than chia seeds.
Dr. Gundry (20:21):
For dairy replacements, there’s great coconut milk options. Our friends at Lava, we just learned last week, are making a milk replacer out of pili nuts. And apparently it’s now released and look for it. Again, it’s a small little self-start company taking a great idea. If you haven’t tried their yogurts yet, they’re totally plant-based, they’re loaded with probiotics and they’re now nationwide. So look for that as well.
Dr. Gundry (21:01):
Now, before I go, I’m going to share the quickest holiday candy recipe you’ll ever hear. It’s completely compliant, completely delicious, and it’s something I keep in my freezer almost all the time, unless I completely eat it all up and then it’s not there anymore.
Dr. Gundry (21:17):
So all you need to do is chop up a bunch of toasted nuts, walnuts, pistachios, and macadamia nuts. My three go-to, quite frankly are especially good. You add a few chopped figs or puffed millet. If you want. Puffed millet is being easier and easier to find. And then you mix them with melted bittersweet chocolate until they’re fully coated. Now, I use the 90% variety, but anything over 72%, is fine.
Dr. Gundry (21:50):
Now, you spoon them into little clusters. You sprinkle with a little iodized, sea salt, and then let them set. And again, I keep them in the freezer because Palm Springs is a little hot this time of year, but it’s an instant dessert that your family will absolutely love.
Dr. Gundry (22:10):
So are you looking for more compliant recipes? Well, I mean, there are so many talented resources out there. We’re just doing amazing work in the lectin-free community. And I really urge you to hop on any of their sites. They’ve got Instagram and they’re just wizards at making this work and making it friendly.
Dr. Gundry (22:37):
Look up Keto holiday recipes as another good starting place. Go to Pinterest, type in Keto holiday recipes, you will be shocked at the availability. Now, most of these already have the sugar and flour taken out, so it’s a lot easier to make swaps. Some of them are pretty sketchy, but you’ve got enough sense now to pick out the good ones. But it’s a really good place to start experimenting with and there’s just oodles to choose from.
Dr. Gundry (23:10):
Okay, that’s it. And let’s go to the audience question from Kristen of Lectin-Free Gourmets. “I like Vitafiber and tapioca IMO syrup for baking. The particular IMO, which is isomalto-oligosaccharide, I like is made from the cassava plant, not corn. It is labeled as a prebiotic fiber and when I use it in moderation, it does wonders for my gut and regularity. However, I’ve read recently that the FDA rejected IMO as a fiber. Can you tell me if it’s still okay to use? I sure love it.”
Dr. Gundry (23:49):
Well, here’s the deal, a particular company wanted to claim the fiber benefit that you can put on a label as being heart healthy. And so they wanted to make this compound, which is a oligosaccharide. And if you followed me, oligosaccharides are what your good gut buddies eat to produce all the incredible beneficial compounds that you started learning about in the Longevity Paradox, but they’re going to come front and center in the Energy Paradox. So you’re right. Anything that you can do to give gut buddies the things they like to eat, which are oligosaccharides, the better. Now they’ve apparently had a little tussle with the FDA that even though this is an oligosaccharide they don’t think it classifies as a fiber. And this is government at its worst, quite frankly.
Dr. Gundry (25:01):
It really doesn’t matter if the FDA says it’s a fiber or not. It is an undigestible starch that your gut buddies think is gut buddy heaven. It’s dessert to them. So, please don’t be afraid of it. Vitafiber is really useful. And yeah, the more you can put this into recipes, the better your gut health is going to be. So, even though the FDA says, it’s not a fiber, please keep using it. That’s a great question.
Dr. Gundry (25:35):
Another audience question, Nora Kay Jetsa on Instagram asks, “I’m wondering if soaking pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cashew nuts, et cetera, overnight with apple cider vinegar can reduce the lectins in them?” Well, unfortunately, fermentation definitely reduces lectin content. One of the reasons we think ancient cultures fermented most of their grains and even fermented things like peppers was to reduce the lectin content.
Dr. Gundry (26:13):
They didn’t know that’s why they were doing it, but there’s no evidence that soaking in apple cider vinegar is going to reduce the lectin contents. But there’s great swaps, you can use toasted pine nuts for pumpkin seeds. Please, please, please use basil seeds instead of chia seeds. And if you’re looking for that same creamy texture in a lot of raw vegan recipes, macadamia nuts work great as a replacement for cashew nuts. And you can use those same things in baking swaps. So you don’t need to soak things in apple cider vinegar overnight to achieve what you’re looking for.
Dr. Gundry (26:58):
By the way, I’ll just add an interesting question. The native American Indians obviously were the first to grow corn. And interestingly, they always treated corn with lye, it was called pozole or hominy. And that was to actually unbind the nitrogen so it was available. And we know that the Italians, when Columbus brought corn back from the new world, didn’t know this trick. And I’ve talked about how pellegra was widespread in Northern Italy when they adapted corn as a food. And one of the things I’m suspicious, and I have not found a paper to confirm it, but I wonder if lye treatment of corn and turning it into hominy, reduced the lectin content in corn. We have one individual who is going to do a self experimentation on this, who is wildly reactive to corn in its normal form and all the lectins in corn, but in the interest of science, we’re going to try that, and I’ll give you an update maybe in a couple of months as the experiment progresses.
Dr. Gundry (28:21):
And again, I wouldn’t learn anything except for working with my valued patients for the last 20 years who have either said, “What do you know about this?” Or, “Hey, I’m happy to volunteer to eat something or not eat something.” And this has been a process. I learn something new every day and that’s the latest experiment we’re going to do.
Dr. Gundry (28:47):
Okay. It’s time for the review of the week. This week’s review of the week comes from Nourish and Feast on iTunes who wrote, “Love all the information Dr. Gundry has put out. It’s really improved my life by making all this information straight forward and digestible.” Ha, ha, ha. He didn’t put ha, ha, ha or she didn’t. Well, thanks. We want to give you useful information that is straight forward. It’s based on research. It’s not based on conjecture or what’s in this week or what’s trending as the fad of the week. And when I learn something that is important or changes my mind, you’re going to be the first to hear about it. The good news is, if conventional wisdom is conventional and you always have to question conventional wisdom. And that’s what we’re here doing. So, thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you next week on the Dr. Gundry podcast.
Dr. Gundry (29:56):
Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry podcast, you can always find me on YouTube @youtube.com/drgundry. Because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.