Get the Coumadin Cookbook!

Coumadin Book

This indispensable book includes:

• A primer on WHAT a Mediterranean-style diet is and WHY it's great for you
• 95+ delicious Coumadin safe recipes
• Information about managing your diet on Coumadin
• Ingredient and cooking tips throughout the book
• Complete Nutrition Facts, including Vitamin K content, for each recipe

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Note: This is a revised and updated version of Dr. Harlan's The Dr. Gourmet Diet for Coumadin Users. These are the same recipes with updated Nutrition Information, with the addition of information on a Mediterranean-style diet.

How Much Vitamin K is in...?

Find out the exact amount of Vitamin K (in micrograms) of almost a thousand common foods! Listed both alphabetically and then in order of the amount of Vitamin K in the food, this list will help you know exactly how much Vitamin K you're eating. Just $4.95 for the eBook (PDF) or $12.95 for the paperback. Get your copy now!

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

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, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


Ask Dr. Gourmet

Does salt affect INR levels?

My girlfriend (age 46) just had a heart valve replacement and was placed on Coumadin. She was told to avoid food with a high sodium content. We have some questions about this and what actually affect her INR levels.

Does salt actually increase the INR level? They also told her she could use "sea salt" in moderation, but from what I have read it's still salt, is this true? Is sea salt really better for you?

What about the lack of iodine in sea salt, I have not found any iodized sea salt yet. Does she need to worry about iodine supplements if using non-iodized sea salt or salt substitutes?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a person with long hair shaking salt from a salt shaker onto their food

The sodium content of table salt (sodium chloride) should not have an effect on your girlfriend's INR or her Coumadin® (warfarin). It may be that her doctor wanted to make sure that there are no problems with salt worsening her high blood pressure or issues of fluid overload in the body that could lead to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF).

Sea salt is salt. A teaspoon might have a little less sodium in it because of the fact that sea salt crystals are larger and therefore don't stack together in a spoon like Morton's salt. That said, salt is salt. There are impurities in sea salt that can contribute to flavors in the salt, but otherwise the sodium and chloride are the same. Sea salt is salt and all salt in excess is something that pretty much everyone should avoid. I don't see that sea salt is worth the extra money.

Most folks get enough iodine in a healthy diet. Using a mixture of salt and sea salt should be fine but check with her doctor about the amount of sodium he wants her to have each day. She really shouldn't need to worry about iodine supplements this way.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet

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