Dr. Gourmet's Health & Nutrition Bites

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.

Back in 2006 and 2007 I reported on two studies that showed that both adults and children tended to eat more while they watched TV. Listening to music also seems to affect how much you eat. The theory is that being distracted from what you're eating appears to reduce your attention from physical or mental cues to stop eating.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom sought to gain greater understanding of the distraction phenomenon by adding the question of snacking to the equation (Appetite 2015;92:287-294). They designed three brief studies to find out if being distracted in various ways while eating a meal would have an effect on how much a person ate later. In all three studies, the participants were split into three groups, with one group serving as a control group. They were served a standardized lunch followed 2-3 hours later with the opportunity to snack on as many cookies as they wished. Appetite and mood questionnaires were administered before each eating session. Avoid distractions »

Did You Know?

Our online meal planner is absolutely free! With The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan you can create customized two-week meal plans for just yourself or your entire family, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Includes printable shopping lists for each week, so you can save time and money by doing all of your grocery shopping at once. Create plans for people with GERD / Acid Reflux, Lactose Intolerance, Gluten allergies, or those who take Coumadin (warfarin). All plans are appropriate for those with Type 2 Diabetes, as well. Find out why.

Planning is the key to a healthy diet and a healthy weight, and The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan makes eating well and eating healthy easy. Find out more!

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Lose Weight

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Use our FREE interactive meal planner and reach your goal of healthy, permanent weight loss.

The Mediterranean Diet

Shrimp Taco Salad
What is a Mediterranean Diet? Find out how familiar foods are part of this healthy style of eating.

Ask Dr. Gourmet

Have a question about food or nutrition? Dr. Harlan answers your questions. Ask Dr. Gourmet.

Eat Healthy

It's easier than you think to eat well and eat healthy. Find out how to make eating healthy part of your life.

Healthy Recipes

Delicious, healthy recipes that taste great? Yes! Try an easy, healthy recipe from Dr. Gourmet today.


Learn how to make the most out of your exercise with easy-to-follow exercise videos and training plans.

Learn to Eat for My Condition

Zucchini SoupCoumadin (warfarin) Diet

This guide will help you manage your Vitamin K intake while still eating great food. Lists of foods that are high (and low) in Vitamin K, Coumadin-safe recipes and more! Coumadin (warfarin) Diet Information | Get the book! The Coumadin Diet and Cookbook (paperback: $19.95 + s/h) (PDF: $14.95)

Shrimp ScampiGERD / Acid Reflux / Heartburn Diet

This five-step guide to reducing the burn comes with easy tummy tips and delicious recipes to help you manage your reflux. Managing Your GERD / Acid Reflux / Heartburn Get the book! The Dr. Gourmet Diet for People with GERD / Acid Reflux: (paperback: $19.95 + s/h) (PDF: $14.95)

Glass of MilkLactose Intolerance Diet

It's not unusual to have difficulty digesting lactose and needing to avoid foods containing cheese or milk. This index will help guide you to Dr. Gourmet recipes you'll safely enjoy. Lactose Intolerant Recipe Guide and More Information

FishDiabetes Diet

What is the best diet for those with diabetes? A Mediterranean Diet! For diabetics, eating well is THE key to controlling blood sugar. For those with Type 2 diabetes, The Mediterranean Diet seems to help you control your diabetes better, without medication. The Best Diabetes Diet


Fast Food Guide

Burger and Fries

What are the healthiest choices at fast food restaurants? We've compiled a list: Fast Food Guide

Food Reviews

TV Dinner

We've reviewed frozen meals and convenience foods so you can eat well and eat healthy.

News You Can Use

the ingredients for a healthy fish soup

Health and nutrition news and what it means for you. Health and Nutrition Bites.

The How and Why of Eating Healthy

Place Setting

Simple, straightforward articles on eating healthy in the real world. The How and Why of Eating Healthy.

A Healthy Pregnancy

a breastfeeding baby

Pregnant or planning to be? Diet tips, do's and don'ts for your pregnancy. A Healthy Pregnancy

Healthy Eating for Kids

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Healthy snack ideas and diet guide for the children in your life. Healthy Eating for Kids and Young Adults


Featured Recipes

Mexican Fried Rice

This recipe happened because my wife and I were talking about the different types of fried rice dishes and realized that they were all restricted to Asian flavors. That makes sense, but the fact is fried rice is a simple, essentially one pot meal that is both quick and a great way to use leftovers.

So why not a Mexican fried rice? The interesting thing is that this took a few tries. There is a key component of Asian food and fried rice: soy sauce. That rich umami flavor is what makes fried rice, well, fried rice.

For this dish the chicken helps provide that umami flavor, as do the onions, but the key was the cheese. By adding just a bit this strikes the right balance of being both Mexican/Southwest flavors but also a fried rice.

Spanish Rice (Rice-A-Roni)

Remoulade Dressing Recipe by Dr. Gourmet

This recipe is based on Rice-A-Roni Spanish Rice. Those products not only taste terrible but are terrible for you.

The argument is always that these products are easier, cheaper and take less time than making your own. As with our analysis of Hamburger Helper, this is simply not true. This takes about the same amount of time, tastes better, is cheaper, and is much better for you, with fewer calories, less salt, and more fiber. To make it even more Spanish, add a few coarsely diced black olives toward the end of cooking.

Remoulade Dressing

Remoulade Dressing Recipe by Dr. Gourmet

When you think about it, Remoulade is actually the precursor to Thousand Island Dressing - but with so much more flavor. This recipe is best made the night before using and goes great on salads, sandwiches (in place of mayonnaise), or as a perfect substitute to the traditional Cocktail Sauce served with steamed shrimp.

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