Gut-Microbiome-Friendly Holiday Eating Tips

Written by Kristin Neusel — December 15, 2021

Gut-Microbiome-Friendly Holiday Eating Tips


By Kristin Neusel, MS, RD, LD, CDCES

     Tara Karr, MS, RD, LDN, CDCES

     Jennifer McManus, RD, LDN, CDCES

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …”  

(BTW—Did you know that chestnuts—in addition to being a holiday-season food staple—are high in fiber and low in fat)?


Happy holidays to you and yours. As the song says — “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

When it comes to food choices, it’s also the most “enticing” time of the year. 

Despite there being gut-microbiome eating plans, nothing screams “WESTERNIZED DIET” quite like the month of December.

Here are some tips for the holidays that can help you stay on track with your gut-microbiome-friendly eating plan.

1. Swap hearty appetizers for a seasonal snacking tray

Snack trays are an easy way to add seasonal fruits and vegetables to your holiday spreads.

Try things like nuts, pears, apples, whole-wheat crackers, hummus, and cranberries for a festive and tasty treat.

Artichokes are a really good source of soluble fiber, which helps feed your gut microbiome.

Anything with fiber is a “good” carb that:

  • Feeds the Gut Microbiome - The bacterial strains in your gut like to eat soluble fiber and resistant starch. Over time, your gut microbiome—and its composition—can change. Making sure that you are eating fiber and probiotic foods can really help with the diverse and beneficial-bacterial-dense gut microbiome.
  • Delays the absorption of sugarWhen it goes into your intestine, fiber forms a gel. This makes it really hard for the sugar to get in and get absorbed. Plus, it makes food digestion go slower, which is good because we don’t want those spikes.
  • Improves satietyIt helps you feel full longer, which can help against overeating later on.
  • Aids with digestion  
  • Can help improve cholesterol 


2. Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate

Did you know that dark chocolate has more antioxidants and less absorbed sugar?

Your gut will be thanking you because it is a great source of fiber

Make sure you read the labels and aim for dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao

 Swap the old cookie recipes for cookies 2.0

3. Swap the old cookie recipes for cookies 2.0

By adding 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds to your favorite cookie recipe, you add 3 grams of fiber and a heart-healthy fat boost

You can have ground flaxseed with so many holiday dishes, including:

  • Casseroles
  • Pizza-roll crust
  • Cookies

  4. Swap mashed potatoes for cauliflower mash

4. Swap mashed potatoes for cauliflower mash

If you are somebody who cannot portion control with mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower instead. Check out the difference:

Regular mashed potatoes (1 cup)

  • 36 grams of carbs
  • 3 grams of fiber


Cauliflower mashed potatoes (1 cup)

  • 6 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of fiber


Swap #5: Swap creamy soup for Greek Yogurt

Swap out your favorite “Cream Of” can, and try Greek yogurt instead. It will give you a ton of extra protein, less sodium, and less carbs.


Check out Pendulum’s resources for your gut-microbiome-friendly eating plan

When looking for gut-microbiome-health resources, always look for credentialed, qualified sites that have registered dietitians providing sound, scientific advice.
Pendulum's registered dietitians (RDs) have gut-microbiome-friendly eating plans all year round.

In addition, click here to sign up for Microbiome Nutrition Bootcamp. With the help of a gut-microbiome RD, your can stay on track in the New Year and learn how to nourish your gut health through nutrition and Pendulum Glucose Control—the only medical probiotic used for the management of Type 2 diabetes. Classes are 100% virtual. 

Also, if you want to try some gut-microbiome foods that help to manage your blood sugars, check out the 42 and 84- unique meal plans that Pendulum's RDs have created. 

For more information, go to

Before you consider any of these gut-health solutions, talk to your healthcare provider. 

The FDA has not approved or evaluated these statements. Pendulum products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.