Dr. Tim Says....
I receive a lot of questions to the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature of the website about diverticulosis. Here are some examples:
“Is eating strawberries a no-no for persons with Diverticulitis? I note that you say that the seeds in cucumbers and tomatoes are really not a problem.”
“Will you please give me some information on how to eat for diverticulitis - do I really have to 'seed' a can of tomatoes? Can I still be a spontaneous cook?”
People with diverticulosis have small out-pouchings of the colon. It is a very common condition with 1/3 of the population developing diverticulosis by the age of 60 and 2/3 by the time they reach 85. Oftentimes the pouches will become infected and the result can be quite serious with abscess formation, hospitalization and frequently surgery. The longstanding theory has been that the seeds might become stuck in the small diverticula (pouches) and create a setting for infection (known as diverticulitis).
Those of you who follow Dr. Gourmet commentary know how important having clear evidence about a condition is before making recommendations to patients. Diverticulitis
Frittatas make an easy and elegant alternative to the ordinary breakfast and they only take a few minutes to make. You don't have to use the oven (if it's summer and you don't want to heat up the kitchen, for instance). Simply reduce the heat on the range to very low and put a cover over the pan. You'll want to remove the lid about every 3 - 4 minutes or so to let the steam escape.
When choosing Creole seasoning make sure to choose not only one labeled "no salt added" but also check to see that salt substitute is not an ingredient. Often potassium chloride is used and will give a salty metallic taste to your dishes.
I have used three excellent brands including Paul Prudhomme, McCormick and Spice Hunter. They are sodium and potassium free -- just spice.
This recipe is Coumadin® (warfarin) safe and gluten free. Those who are lactose intolerant should note that it contains cheese - you may or may not be able to tolerate it. It is likely too spicy for those with GERD / Acid Reflux.
Fat Per Ounce in Cheese
Cheese averages about 8 to 10 grams of fat per ounce. This is only part of the issue when using cheeses in recipes. Just because a cheese is "high fat" doesn't mean that it's off limits. I use cheeses that are higher in fat but in lower amounts. Two ounces of a bland low-fat cheese can easily have more fat and calories than an ounce of a good quality higher fat cheese.
The intense flavor of parmesan is a good example. Averaging about 9-10 grams per ounce, sometimes a half an ounce is almost too much for a recipe. As with any ingredient, using the best quality goes a long way. Using Parmigiano-Reggiano instead of domestic parmesan will enhance the flavor of a recipe without having to add more cheese (and thus more fat). Good quality blue cheese is another example. Full of flavor and you only need a little.
Don't get me wrong; there are a lot of lower fat cheeses with plenty of flavor. You can find low-fat cheddar and Swiss on the market that range between 4-6 grams per ounce. In many recipes these cheeses cook better because they don't separate when melting (as do full fat cheddar cheeses).
Non-fat or very low-fat cheeses are something to avoid. They taste terrible eaten plain or in recipes. They don't cook well and in some cases they won't melt at all (sort of like eating orange plastic).
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.
eatTHISdiet for Coumadin Users: