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.

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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Are flounder and sole safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users?

My wife has been recently diagnosed with a heart valve leakage and has been placed on Warfarin. I have purchased all of your books and have had great success so far. I have always done all of the cooking and would have been really stuck.

My question is about flounder and sole. Your fish recipes don't include these fish. Do they affect the Vitamin K levels ? I am staying between 70 & 80 mcgs and always stick at 3 or 4 oz, of fish, meat, or poultry for my wife. I bought a digital scale and weigh and watch everything. Is there a reason you don't have many recipes for these fish?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

cooked fillet of sole

Flounder and sole are great, economical choices when you are looking for a delicious white flakey fish. They have very little Vitamin K and should be safe. We don't have a lot of recipes for these fish mostly because we try to stick with fish that will be pretty reliably available.

You can pretty easily substitute flounder or sole in recipes that call for lighter fish like catfish or trout. Even recipes that call for salmon will work, because of how long you typically cook salmon. Fattier fish like salmon can be cooked to medium or medium-rare, and that's usually how Dr. Gourmet recipes are designed. With drier fish like flounder or sole, you want them cooked all the way through (but not overcooked), and the times given for medium-to-medium-rare salmon will cook the thinner fish perfectly.

Thanks for writing, and I hope you enjoy your fish. Let us know how your substitutions work out.

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