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Ask Dr. Gourmet



Can I substitute canned fish for the meats or cheeses in my sandwiches?

The Dr. Gourmet Diet Plan for me includes a lot of animal/fish/cheese protein, which is fine. I do not eat enough fish.

I do not like canned tuna, but I do like a lot of Trader Joe's brands, including canned salmon, trout and sardines and probably more things along that line that they have. Can I substitute 2 ounces of that for the 2 ounces of meat or cheese for the sandwich? I would probably drain it if it is packed in oil, and use lemon and maybe 2 wasa bread crackers along with salad (again with lemon and maybe a dash of oil). Would that work and be acceptable?

Also, I am ok with using skim milk in place of 2% most of the time, so is that substitution ok?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

Canned sardines in oil

Both of your substitutions are great choices. Canned salmon will make a fine substitution for canned tuna. The trout is a good choice as well. In both cases look for canned fish that is lower in sodium.

Sardines are something that you might want to have sparingly. There are good Omega 3 fats in sardines and most of them are packed in olive oil. Drain them well. The drawback is that sardines generally have a fair amount of sodium, so occasional lunches are the best way to go.

Skim milk is a great choice. In some cases I find that 2% is a better choice for cooking, in soups, sauces and the like.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP
Dr. Gourmet