Dr. Gourmet's Health & Nutrition Bites

"Drink more water" for UTIs: testing the old wives' tale

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.

For decades the prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs) was based on recommendations handed down as old wives' tales. "Drink cranberry juice" and "drink more water", based on my completely non-scientific polling of my patients, are the top two pieces of advice that women have been hearing, not only from other women, but also from medical professionals.

The thing about "old wives' tales" is that it's critical to subject them to rigorous scientific testing - ideally with randomized, controlled trials. Sometimes these remedies can be proven scientifically, and sometimes they can't. Take, for example, the recommendations for cranberry juice (see previous Health & Nutrition Bites here and here). The jury is still out on cranberry juice despite these recent studies. What about the advice on water? Drink water »

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! Get the book! The Dr. Gourmet Diet for Coumadin Users 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. Get the book! The Dr. Gourmet Diet for People with GERD / Acid Reflux: paperback: $19.95 + s/h | PDF: $14.95

a person pouring salt from a salt shakerLow Sodium Diet

Following a diet that's low in sodium (salt) doesn't have to be bland or boring! With these healthy, low sodium recipes from Dr. Gourmet, you'll be eating well and eating healthy without needing to reach for the salt shaker. Get the book! The Dr. Gourmet Low Sodium Diet: 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

The Mediterranean Diet

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

Ask Dr. Gourmet

Have a question about food or nutrition? Dr. Harlan answers your questions. Ask Dr. Gourmet.

Fast Food Guide

Burger and Fries

What are the healthiest choices at fast food restaurants? We've compiled a list: Fast Food Guide

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

Delicious, healthy recipes that taste great? Yes! Try an easy, healthy recipe from Dr. Gourmet today.


Learn how to make the most out of your exercise with easy-to-follow exercise videos and training plans.


Food Reviews

TV Dinner

We've reviewed frozen meals and convenience foods so you can eat well and eat healthy.

News You Can Use

the ingredients for a healthy fish soup

Get the facts - based on peer-reviewed research - on health and nutrition. We report on the latest nutrition news and tell you how you can use it in your daily life. Health and Nutrition Bites.


The How and Why of Eating Healthy

Place Setting

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

A Healthy Pregnancy

a breastfeeding baby

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


Get the Coumadin Diet Plan and Cookbook!

Coumadin Book

This indispensable book includes:

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How Much Vitamin K is in...?

Find out the exact amount of Vitamin K (in micrograms) of almost a thousand common foods: get the paperback or downloadable eBook now!

Featured Recipes

Linguine with Leek and Pancetta

Leeks are amazing. They are pungent and sweet at the same time. In this dish they take center stage and bring both flavors to the dish. This is complemented by the combination of a little bit of intensely flavored ham, garlic and black pepper.

Penne Arrabbiata

Great sauces don't have to take hours and hours simmering on the stove. Many terrific pasta sauces can be made in about 20 minutes, which is about the same amount of time that it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. A dish like Fettuccine Alfredo, for example, might seem elegant and complicated, but it takes only 20 minutes or so to put together.

This Penne Arrabbiata is a great example. It is amazingly quick and easy to make, and many of the ingredients are ones that you can easily keep on hand: onions, garlic, parmesan, canned tomatoes, pasta, spices.

Pan Roasted Chicken Shawarma

When you think shawarma, you think of the salty, fatty mystery meat on a long skewer roasted by a broiler flame with slices cut off randomly to stuff into pita bread. It's one of those food items served on the streets of New York, London, or Madrid that seems of dubious origin and even more curious content. Originally a Turkish dish of lamb, it is also made with poultry or beef and the Lebanese gyros are a sibling with similar flavors.

You don't have to get your shawarma at a take-out joint or a food cart, however. This recipe is super simple: it takes about 5 minutes to make the marinade and the yogurt sauce and another 20 minutes or so to roast the onions and chicken. It has a lot of ingredients - mostly spices - but the whole comes together quickly and tastes fantastic.