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It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to askdrgourmet@drgourmet.com and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D. tells you what to eat and when in order to eat healthier, lose weight, and keep it off - permanently!

With The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan, you'll create a two-week custom meal plan including breakfast, lunch and dinner, for yourself or your entire family - even kids under 14! NO making separate meals. Online planner includes:

1. Automated shopping lists - Just print and shop for the next two weeks of meals.

2. Frozen meal options for lunch or dinner such as Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers.

3. Easy, delicious recipes, with leftovers for lunches or later in the week.

4. Options for allergies and special diets, including:

  • Vegetarian (lacto-ovo)
  • Low sodium
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Coumadin (warfarin) use
  • GERD / Acid Reflux
  • Gluten allergies (Celiac disease).
  • Diabetes: All meal plans are safe for type 2 diabetics because they are based on the Mediterranean Diet, which is known to be the best diet for type 2 diabetics.

5. Combine special needs if needed: low sodium and lactose intolerant? Coumadin and celiac disease? Just select the options and get your delicious meal plan!

Other Web sites charge you as much as $29.95 per month for this service, but Just Tell Me What to Eat: The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan is completely free. (We don't even ask for your credit card information.)

Sign up for Just Tell Me What to Eat: The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan now! »

Get The Dr. Gourmet Diet for People with GERD / Acid Reflux!

The Dr. Gourmet Diet for People with GERD / Acid Reflux

The Dr. Gourmet Diet will help you eat healthier, maintain a healthy weight, and manage your GERD / Acid Reflux. All recipes are specifically designed to avoid common trigger foods. Flavorful, delicious food that you'll love!

Includes:

Six weeks of meal plans, along with shopping lists
Over 50 GERD-friendly recipes, complete with nutrition information
Tummy Tips to help you manage your GERD / Acid Reflux
Ingredient information, cooking techniques and tips

Click here to buy the printed book: $19.95
Click here to buy the download (PDF file): $14.95

Ask Dr. Gourmet



Questions About Health

Cancer

As a cancer survivor, can I follow the same diet as my diabetic husband?
If I am on Femara, should I avoid soy?
I've been told not to take estrogen. Should I avoid soy?
Does caffeine increase the risk of breast cancer?
Are edamame (soy beans) safe for breast cancer survivors?
How can I make food that is palatable for those on chemotherapy?
What are your suggestions for eating during chemotherapy?
If I have had thyroid cancer, should I avoid iodine in my food?
I've heard that too much edamame (soybeans) is not good for you since it has estrogen. Is this true?
Are mung beans safe for women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer?

Children, Teens and Young Adults

Does washing remove the pesticides from foods?
Shouldn't teaching cooking start in elementary school rather than college?
Should I avoid eating canned tuna every day for lunch?
How can diet help my daughter avoid kidney stones?
How can I feed my vegetarian teen without making her a separate meal?
Is my vegetarian teen going to get enough protein and iron?
I've heard that too much Edamame (soybeans) is not good for you since it has estrogen. Is this true?
Are those who are allergic to tree nuts also allergic to nutmeg?
Can you suggest healthy lunches for my middle-schooler?
My husband and I are beginning The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan. Is The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan appropriate for children, or should I make and serve them different foods than my husband and I?
Is a low-carb diet appropriate for my whole family?
I think I have an eating disorder. How can I avoid damaging my body any further?
Is this an eating disorder?
Does starving or throwing up help you lose weight, and what are the consequences?

Cholesterol

Will rice bran oil really reduce cholesterol, and is it good for you?
My wife has very high triglycerides and we are thinking about having a baby. Suggestions?
Does scrambling eggs oxidize the cholesterol in them?
What do you think of Dr. Esselstyn's 'Heart Attack Proof' Diet?
Are the coconut milk products I'm using keeping my cholesterol high?
Can you lower your cholesterol without exercising?
How Much Cholesterol in My Daily Diet is Too Much?
I need a diet for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, GERD / Acid Reflux and Coumadin (warfarin). Help!
Is quark cheese better for my cholesterol than mozzarella?
Is this email about butter vs. margarine true or is it an urban myth?
How can I reduce my cholesterol if I can't take cholesterol lowering medicine for it?
Where is the cholesterol-lowering diet?
Will eating spicy tuna rolls (sushi) help lower cholesterol?
Which sushi is OK to eat with high cholesterol?
Do nuts help prevent metabolic syndrome?
If CoQ10 with red yeast rice does damage to the liver, is there a safer way to reduce my cholesterol?
Is sushi high in cholesterol?
What foods will help raise HDL (good) cholesterol?
Am I eating too much oatmeal?
When choosing foods to help lower my LDL, is it better to go by the saturated fat or the cholesterol number?
What diet will help me increase my HDL?
What are the best ways to increase HDL (good cholesterol)?
With my cholesterol problem, should I avoid all cheeses?
My husband has had two stents put in. Can you advise me on a heart-healthy diet?
I am trying to find out if shrimp is good while one is trying to reduce cholesterol. Can you help?
What is HIGH cholesterol content in a recipe?

Diabetes

How can I get enough whole grains in a gluten-free diabetic diet?
Does our body process agave differently than sugar?
Is tilapia (the fish) good for diabetics?
What is the right diet for pancreatitis and diabetes?
What diet should those with diabetes and high potassium levels follow?
If you have prediabetes (or are prediabetic) are you really diabetic?
What is the best diet for Metabolic Syndrome?
Why are carbohydrates from whole wheat flour better than carbohydrates from white flour for diabetics?
Are all Dr. Gourmet recipes really OK for type 2 diabetics?
As a type 2 diabetic, which is better for me: grits or oatmeal?
Which is more important: a food's glycemic index or its fiber?
Does drinking milk or taking selenium lead to diabetes?
As a cancer survivor, can I follow the same diet as my diabetic husband?
Will green tea capsules help me improve my blood sugar levels?
Does Green Tea Extract Help Control Blood Sugars?
Is Parboiled Rice as Good For You as Brown Rice?
I need a diet for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, GERD / Acid Reflux and Coumadin (warfarin). Help!
If I can't have white sugars, white breads and white rice, is honey OK?
Does eating sweets cause diabetes?
I have hypoglycemia and now my blood sugars are going higher and my eyes are blurry. What should I do?
Where can I get recipes for my husband, who is overweight and has type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure?
Is agave nectar better for diabetics than sugar?
How can I exercise with Charcot or difficulty walking?
Is it true that diabetics should not eat carbohydrates?
Is lemon juice as good as vinegar for reducing blood sugars?
I am lactose intolerant and pre-diabetic. Is Almond Breeze milk substitute safe for me?
Does cinnamon help control blood sugar levels?
I have gastroparesis. What should I eat?
I need menus for my father who is diabetic and on Coumadin (warfarin).
Should a pre-diabetic eat sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes?
Is there a connection between high acid blood levels and high blood glucose levels?
How can an underweight diabetic gain weight safely?
How should you eat if you have diabetes and gout?
How can I add diabetes to my Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan profile?
Do you have diet plans for those with Type 2 diabetes?
I am pre-diabetic. Can I eat popcorn made with oil?
What can you eat if you have gout and diabetes and are on Coumadin (warfarin)?
How can I help my husband control his pre-diabetes?
How many carbs should my pre-diabetic husband eat each day?
What is a healthy weight for a man with diabetes?
Do you have any diet advice for a recently diagnosed diabetic?

Diverticulitis / Crohn's Disease

Will linseed (flaxseed) oil help with symptoms of Crohn's Disease?
I already eat vegetables and salads for my diverticulosis. How can I get more fiber?
What are the foods to avoid for a person with diverticulitis?
Are seeds really a problem for those with diverticulitis?

Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Will linseed (flaxseed) oil help with symptoms of Crohn's Disease?
What if I am allergic to fish?
I hate fish. Can I take fish oil capsules instead?
Do kidney beans contain Omega 3 fatty acids?
Are shellfish included in 'eating more fish'?
Will eating spicy tuna rolls (sushi) help lower cholesterol?
Which sushi is OK to eat with high cholesterol?
Is there a connection between high acid blood levels and high blood glucose levels?
What are the benefits/non-benefits of the tilapia fish?
Is sushi high in cholesterol?
If I don't like fish, how can I get omega-3 fatty acids?
Is it healthier to avoid all meat?
Is frozen fish as good for you as fresh fish?
Does sushi fit into a healthy eating plan?
How much Omega-3 Fatty Acids should I be getting per day?

Fish and Mercury

If mercury in fish is linked to Alzheimer's disease, how much fish should I eat?
Should I be concerned about the level of mercury in the fish I eat?
Should I avoid eating canned tuna every day for lunch?
Can you eat too much fish?
Do the Benefits of Eating Fish and Shellfish Outweigh the Risks of Mercury and Gulf Oil Contamination?

GERD / Acid Reflux

Are Nutri-Grain breakfast bars safe for those with GERD?
Which of your recipes can be pureed?
I have GERD - what can I eat that won't cause symptoms?
I need a diet for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, GERD / Acid Reflux and Coumadin (warfarin). Help!
What recipe book or cookbook do you recommend for those with GERD / Acid Reflux?
What beverages are safe for those with GERD / Acid Reflux?
Can I eat nuts if I have GERD / Barrett's?
Why do 'GERD-safe recipes' sometimes contain foods listed as triggers?
My husband has GERD and is lactose intolerant. What can he eat?
Can you exercise if you have GERD / Acid Reflux?
Will apple cider vinegar help my acid reflux while I am on Coumadin (warfarin)?
Can I freeze your GERD-friendly tomato sauce?
Is there a connection between high acid blood levels and high blood glucose levels?
Will sushi provoke GERD / Acid Reflux?
Would adding baking soda to chili to make it GERD-friendly ruin the taste of the chili?
Why do some of your recipes contain GERD triggers when they're marked 'GERD safe'?
Are there low acid canned tomato products?
Is there a list of which foods are safe for GERD and which are not?
Do you have a diet to help me heal my GERD?
The Six Bean Soup recipe says that it's safe for those with GERD / Acid Reflux, but wouldn't the onions and garlic both be GERD triggers?

Gluten Allergy / Celiac Disease

How can I get enough whole grains in a gluten-free diabetic diet?
Which gluten-free pastas do you think are good?
Is gluten used as a filler in medications?
Is balsamic vinegar gluten-free?
Is wheat gluten truly bad for everyone or is this just another fad?
How can I get more fiber in my gluten-free diet?
Should I avoid dairy products if I have celiac disease?
Would keeping a food diary be helpful in diagnosing celiac disease?
Do lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity often go together?
Which of your diets would be best for someone who is gluten-sensitive?

Gout / Kidney Stones

If I have gout can I eat Fiber One Cereal?
Can I take cherry fruit extract while on Coumadin (warfarin)?
Are we eating too many high oxalic acid foods?
Can you clear up the controversy over what to eat for gout?
How should you eat if you have diabetes and gout?
How many milligrams of potassium would be acceptable in a recipe if you are trying to bring your potassium levels down?
Would a vegetarian diet elevate my serum uric acid?
What can you eat if you have gout and diabetes and are on Coumadin (warfarin)?
My husband has gout. What proteins can he eat?
How can diet help avoid kidney stones or gout?

Lactose Intolerance

Can you please give some good recipes for no butter, no cream, no cheese and no milk.
Will drinking apple cider vinegar help with my lactose intolerance?
What's the difference between a milk allergy and lactose intolerance?
Should I be getting 3 servings of milk a day if I am over 50?
I am lactose intolerant and pre-diabetic. Is Almond Breeze milk substitute safe for me?
Does evaporated milk contain lactose?
Does sherbert or sorbet contain lactose?
Does cooking affect lactose content?
Does ghee (clarified butter) contain lactose?
Is it safe to use a lactase enzyme supplement more than once a day?
Are there cheeses that are safe for those who are lactose intolerant?

Potassium

What could be causing my husband's muscle cramps?
How many milligrams of potassium would be acceptable in a recipe if you are trying to bring your potassium levels down?
Do you have a list of potassium rich foods?
How can I help my husband keep his potassium levels down?

Pregnancy

My wife has very high triglycerides and we are thinking about having a baby. Suggestions?
Should I take a multivitamin or individual supplements if I am trying to get pregnant?
If my folate level is high, will that be a problem when I get pregnant?
I'm taking fenugreek to help with my milk supply but it doesn't seem to be working. What am I doing wrong?
What vitamins and minerals should I be getting during my pregnancy?
How many extra calories do I need for breastfeeding?
What's a healthy way to lose weight while breastfeeding?

Sodium (Salt)

Will drinking more water counteract the high sodium in some foods?
What do you think of Walmart's plan to reduce sodium in their foods?
Where does all the sodium come from in your Hummus recipe for Coumadin patients?
How many milligrams of sodium should a person on a low-sodium diet be getting per day?
What could be causing my husband's muscle cramps?
How do you decide if Dr. Gourmet recipes are 'low sodium'?
If I wash canned canned beans and vegetables am I washing off some of the salt?
Isn't chicken a low sodium food?
Are there ways to adjust your recipes to make them lower in sodium?
Is cellular salt really that important?
What can I recommend to my elderly grandmother to help her manage her low-sodium diet?
Has our society substituted the taste of salt for good food?
For those on Coumadin, shouldn't salt substitutes be avoided because of the high levels of potassium?
Doesn't sea salt have a higher concentration of potassium chloride than regular salt?
Does sea salt have less sodium in it than regular salt?
Which types of salts have the least sodium?
Is sushi a low salt food?

Vitamins / Supplements

Should I take a thyroid supplement?
Are there supplements, such as glucosamine, chondroitin or omega-3s, that help repair cartilage?
Will linseed (flaxseed) oil help with symptoms of Crohn's Disease?
Can I take cherry fruit extract while on Coumadin (warfarin)?
Will green tea capsules help me improve my blood sugar levels?
Does Green Tea Extract Help Control Blood Sugars?
Should I take a multivitamin or individual supplements if I am trying to get pregnant?
Is Vitamin Water Zero a scam?
What do you think of Mangosteen products like Xango?
Will acai berry interact with Tegretol?
Can Juvenon really slow the aging process?
Will apple cider vinegar help my acid reflux while I am on Coumadin (warfarin)?
Will these herbal supplements - Hoodia Gordonii Plus and Acai Berry - act as appetite suppressants?
With a gastrectomy, how can I get more iron?
Do you know anything about the Chews4Health product?
Does papaya help to lose weight?
What are the health benefits of chia seeds or acai berries?
If CoQ10 with red yeast rice does damage to the liver, is there a safer way to reduce my cholesterol?
Would taking grape seed extract be as good as taking Resveratrol?
If I eat flax seeds will I get the same benefits as flax seed oil?
Is there any medical proof to the claims about pomegranate juice or cinnamon?
What do you think of PGX, the weight loss supplement?
Could taking glucosamine cause weight gain?
Can I take Fenugreek with my other medications?
If Iodoral is so effective, why hasn't my endocrinologist heard of it?

Vegetarian Diet

What do you think of Dr. Esselstyn's 'Heart Attack Proof' Diet?
How much protein should I eat in a day?
Is there another way for a vegetarian to get protein other than tofu and beans?
Would a vegetarian diet elevate my serum uric acid?
Is it healthier to avoid all meat?
How can I feed my vegetarian teen without making her a separate meal?
Is my vegetarian teen going to get enough protein and iron?
As a vegetarian who still eats fish, am I healthier than my friend who eats meat?
What are the pros and cons of being a vegetarian?
I have several questions about diet and vegetarianism...

For questions about weight loss or Body Mass Index, see our Weight Loss page.

Miscellaneous

Should I have the same thing for lunch every day? What?
Does microwaving reduce nutrients in food?
Do nightshade plants, like eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers, cause inflammation?
Will Honeybells (tangelos) interact with medications like grapefruit does?
What do you think of Dr. Esselstyn's 'Heart Attack Proof' Diet?
What is the right diet for pancreatitis and diabetes?
What diet is best for those with hemochromatosis?
What is the best diet for Metabolic Syndrome?
How can I best support my son's recovery from back surgery?
Are there supplements, such as glucosamine, chondroitin or omega-3s, that help repair cartilage?
What are the best choices at the movie theater?
Since I have a-fib, should I avoid chocolate since it contains caffeine?
What could be causing my problem with balance?
Do you have recipes for those with dairy, egg and nut allergies?
Is it safe to use aluminum pans or aluminum foil?
Does washing remove the pesticides from foods?
Should I be getting 3 servings of milk a day if I am over 50?
How accurate is the nutrition information for your recipes?
Is all the alcohol cooked out of your Chicken Piccata recipe?
I am allergic to nuts, except for peanuts. What can I substitute?
Does cooking in a cast iron skillet raise the amount of iron in the food?
Is canola oil good for you or bad for you?
Is this email about butter vs. margarine true or is it an urban myth?
With his enlarged prostate, why should my husband avoid caffeinated coffee?
Are there as many antioxidants in decaffeinated coffee as there are in caffeinated coffee?
How many calories should I be eating for breakfast?
What can be causing everything to taste bitter?
I have gastroparesis. What should I eat?
Is the casein in dairy products causing flare-ups of my psoriasis?
How much protein should I eat in a day?
Is it okay to put peas and corn on my salad?
What could be causing my husband's muscle cramps?
Will certain foods affect an irregular heartbeat or an enlarged prostate?
How can I eat healthier if I only like a few vegetables?
Does cooking vegetables cause them to lose their nutrients?
Why does the Chicken and Corn Salad recipe have so much fat in it?
Is there a connection between high acid blood levels and high blood glucose levels?
Doesn't your Pork Chops with Garlic Sauce recipe have too much fat in it to be healthy?
With a gastrectomy, how can I get more iron?
Do nuts help prevent metabolic syndrome?
What evidence can I use to convince someone that their diet is contributing to their health problems?
How can I cook these mushrooms so they are safe to eat?
Should fruit only be eaten on an empty stomach?
Where can I get information on the amount of tyramine in foods?
If I don't eat seafood, how often should I be eating chicken?
Where can I go to get my percentage of body fat measuredand compared to my muscle mass?
Are meats such as goat, venison or buffalo good substitutes for beef?
Is ground turkey better for you than ground beef?
Do you have suggestions for eating healthy for a busy lifestyle?
Is our food less nutritious today than it was years ago?
What foods can cause or prevent migraines?
I am allergic to MSG. Why do you allow ads for products that contain MSG?
Should I avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup?
What does Waist to Hip Ratio have to do with Body Mass Index?
I have Hepatitis C. Is the Mediterranean Diet good for my liver?
Am I eating too much oatmeal?
How many fat grams should a woman consume in a day?
How much saturated fat is healthy?
Is a 'raw diet' healthy?
Should I avoid eating canned tuna every day for lunch?
What do you think of Lipton's diet green or white flavored teas?
Which diet is better for you - low carb or the Mediterranean Diet?
I've heard that you should avoid shrimp because they are "bottom feeders." Is that true?
Is Body Mass Index accurate for everyone?
Is drinking grape juice as good for you as red wine?
Does grapefruit really interact with medications?
Does using aluminum foil or aluminum pans cause Alzheimer's Disease?
Is corn not as good for you as other whole grains?
Does tea have as much antioxidants as vegetables?
Would baking soda also neutralize the acid in chili?
What is BUN and should I be concerned that mine is elevated?
Are those who are allergic to tree nuts also allergic to nutmeg?
What foods are high in iron?
Do you have information on the amount of tyramine in foods for those on MAO inhibitors (certain antidepressants)?
How can a nutrition label say NO trans fats, NO saturated fats, and NO cholesterol, when it contains hydrogenated oils?
Should I avoid all corn syrup?
Is drinking diet soda the same as drinking water?
Should my wife and I do a colon cleansing program?
I'm on a low fat diet after my heart attack and now I'm underweight. How can I gain?
What are your thoughts on the Mediterranean diet?
Can I substitute vitamins for vegetables in my diet?
What do we need for a healthy diet?
How many calories can a lumberjack eat in a day?
Is that plaque?
Can you suggest healthy lunches for my middle-schooler?
Some people with secondary and primary lymphedema feel that low carb diets make them feel better with their disease. What do you think?