Chef Tim Says...

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.

One of the challenges in studying diet is that we're studying, well, people. Asking people just to recall what they eat is prone to error (although there are ways to ensure more accurate data), and as anyone who has tried to lose weight on a strict diet will tell you, it's tough to stick to a restrictive diet for the long haul.

These sorts of issues are just as prevalent for more mainstream diets as they are for fad diets, and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is no exception. The most common hurdle with the DASH diet is the amount of fat - or rather, the fairly low amount of saturated fat in the diet: the goal is about 6% of total calories from saturated fats and about 27% of total calories from all fats. For a 2,100 calorie diet that's about 14 grams of saturated fat and 63 grams of total fat.

The DASH diet, you may recall, was developed initially to treat high blood pressure, but recently I reported on research that showed that it also helps improve total cholesterol scores and reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). In light of the difficulty people have sticking to a more restrictive diet, researchers in Northern California wondered, and taking into account other studies suggesting that dietary fat is not the bad guy we always thought, what would be the effects of consuming full-fat dairy products instead of the typical low- and non-fat dairy products in the context of a DASH diet? Does the DASH diet have to be low-fat? »

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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The Mediterranean Diet

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

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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

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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

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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

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

The How and Why of Eating Healthy

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

A Healthy Pregnancy

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

Healthy Eating for Kids

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


Featured Recipes

Smoked Paprika Risotto

A great one pan meal that has it all: rich, savory, umami flavors with sweet and spicy paprika. The best part is that with the onions, beans, and mushrooms there's a lot of added fiber and this makes a HUGE serving – almost too much to eat.

Onion Risotto

Most of the risottos that are on the Dr. Gourmet web site are created as single pan meals and have some meat and veggies along with the rice. They are not completely traditional because in Italy risotto is generally served as an appetizer course. On the other hand, in Spain paellas are complete meals and that's generally what I prefer to make. They are great because they are single pan, take about 30 minutes and most of the ingredients are those I always have on hand: Arborio rice, onions, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano... I only need a few other things like some chicken or shrimp to make the meal.

This dish is a super simple version of risotto and is a perfect side dish. Serve it under a piece of broiled or grilled fish, a simple steak or pork chop. Add a veg and you are good to go. For example, one of my favorite meals is roasted salmon topped with pesto and served with simple roasted cherry tomatoes.

Cauliflower Pie

While this is called Cauliflower Pie, it is really very much like a crustless quiche. The best part of this dish is that it keeps really well and is actually tastier cold (in my opinion). Serve it any time of day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Ask Dr. Gourmet!

It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to 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.

What's New in Ask Dr. Gourmet

Why do you use so much water in your rice recipes?
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Is the green layer under the skin of my yellow potatoes harmful?
Will eating fruit on an empty stomach make my hair turn grey or make me bloated?

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

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