Dr. Gourmet's Health & Nutrition Bites

More evidence against sweet drinks

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.

If you've been reading the Dr. Gourmet's Health & Nutrition Bites for even a little while, you are probably aware that I'd much rather you drank water, coffee, or tea rather than sugar-sweetened beverages. Aside from the fact that they are too often excess, empty calories, we have seen in multiple studies that apart from their caloric content they have been linked with a greater risk of stroke, poorer metabolic scores, and may contribute to higher blood pressures.

While one might argue that the problem is what the sugary drink is sweetened with, it seems that when people consume more sugar from their beverages, whether in the form of fruit juice, with its more naturally-occurring sugars, or from beverages like sodas with various types of sugar added, they were still more likely to have poor metabolic scores. Sugar-sweetened beverages and diabetes »

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Featured Recipes

Polish Hunters' Stew

One of my favorite restaurants is a Polish-Mexican bistro in London: L'Autre. When I was there recently I had a version of this stew and it was fantastic, so here it is for you. You can make this with goat if you want, but the pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat, is probably more easily available to you. Don't worry that there is not a lot of liquid - it's supposed to be very thick. You can make this stew meat free by using a second onion and a second pound of mushrooms.

Cacio e Pepe Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a terrific vehicle for many great flavors. Today's new recipe is a riff on Cacio y Pepe (linguine with pepper) and is a great example. So easy to toss together, and as a base for a piece of fish or grilled chicken it makes a simple yet elegant meal.

Pasta alla Norma

I first saw the recipe for this dish and was a bit skeptical. The first version of the recipe that I read was intriguing because I love eggplant and am always looking for something new. Most of the recipes call for canned tomatoes, and the instructions create an essentially basic tomato sauce with the addition of the eggplant and cheese. Some roast the eggplant and others don't (with the latter I would think that the eggplant would just end up too mushy).

I decided to roast the eggplant, so roasting fresh tomatoes was a natural fit. I love using grape or cherry tomatoes. The smaller tomatoes are full of tomatoey flavor: almost but not quite like a fresh, homegrown summer season tomato. I will often roast a few with some shallots and capers to put on top of otherwise plain grilled fish.