Dr. Gourmet's Health & Nutrition Bites

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.

The controversy continues over whether a person can be considered healthy if their weight is not in the normal range. The problem, of course, is how you define "healthy" and how you define "normal weight."

Much of the research that I've reported on in this column has defined "normal weight" in terms of Body Mass Index (BMI), with "normal" being a score of 20-25, "overweight" a score of 25-30, and "obese" 30 and up. But BMI isn't particularly accurate for whole groups of people, including children (there's a child-specific BMI range instead), the elderly, people who are extremely muscular (have low levels of body fat), and others. (Find out your BMI.) Waist to hip ratio is another score that may actually be more useful than BMI as a measure of healthy weight. (Find out your Waist to Hip ratio.)

"Healthy" is most often defined in terms of cardiovascular health, including cholesterol scores and blood pressure along with glucose levels and insulin response. Can you be fit and fat? »

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! Get the book! The Dr. Gourmet Diet for Coumadin Users 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. Get the book! The Dr. Gourmet Diet for People with GERD / Acid Reflux: paperback: $19.95 + s/h | PDF: $14.95

a person pouring salt from a salt shakerLow Sodium Diet

Following a diet that's low in sodium (salt) doesn't have to be bland or boring! With these healthy, low sodium recipes from Dr. Gourmet, you'll be eating well and eating healthy without needing to reach for the salt shaker. Get the book! The Dr. Gourmet Low Sodium Diet: 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

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.

Fast Food Guide

Burger and Fries

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

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.


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

Get the facts - based on peer-reviewed research - on health and nutrition. We report on the latest nutrition news and tell you how you can use it in your daily life. 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


Get the Coumadin Diet Plan and Cookbook!

Coumadin Book

This indispensable book includes:

Buy the paperback | Download the eBook (PDF)

Questions about ordering? Click here to read the FAQ.

How to order by mail: We are happy to accept personal checks drawn on a US bank for delivery within the United States only. Download the form to order by mail. We regret that we are unable to process orders by phone or ship printed books outside the United States.

How Much Vitamin K is in...?

Find out the exact amount of Vitamin K (in micrograms) of almost a thousand common foods: get the paperback or downloadable eBook now!

Featured Recipes

Shrimp Jambalaya

I doesn't get much more Mediterranean than this! Good oil, lots of veggies, a little bit of meat, whole grains and fish.

I choose my sausage carefully. First and foremost, it can be very salty. The andouille that I used in this recipe contains 400 mg in a 2 ounce serving. This is pretty reasonable and you should look carefully at the package and set that as your target. Many sausages can have twice that amount.

Shrimp Etouffee

The flavor of a brown roux is not in the fat but in the cooked flour!

Blackened Redfish | Low Sodium Version

This healthy recipe is so quick and simple and there's nothing better than the taste of New Orleans. The iron skillet will let you heat the pan until it is smoking hot - and that's key to the blackened spice crust. If you don't have an iron skillet, use a stainless steel or aluminum pan, but not one coated with non-stick material.