Dr. Gourmet Newsletter: July 20, 2009

Dr. Tim Says....

Timothy S. Harlan, M.D.[This is another in our series on the How and Why of Eating Healthy.]

We know that fiber can help prevent some cancers, reduce your cholesterol, help you avoid problems with heart disease and help diabetics control their blood sugar. Almost every week I read another positive study on how great high fiber foods are for your health. While there's no magical dietary cure, eating foods that are higher in fiber is pretty close and is one of the easiest changes you can make in your diet.

Fiber is what your grandma used to call "roughage." It's not one particular food, but it's simply the part of plant foods that your body can't digest. Fibers are technically carbohydrates, but your body doesn't have the enzymes to break them down. As a result, they're not absorbed and essentially have no calories.

Most of us need to increase the amount of fiber in our diet. The average American gets only 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day, while 25 to 30 grams per day is optimum. Fiber

Featured Recipe

Tuna and Tomato Salad

Tuna and Tomato SaladThis recipe is so deceptively simple and at once complex. It was served to me by Chef Luis at the Bodega Garmendia in Spain for lunch and is a staple of Spanish kitchens. The tomatoes are sweet and tart, there's a bit of bite from the onion, savory tuna with the fruity olive oil. Just the sprinkle of salt and pepper finishes it off. It just tastes like a hot summer day in Spain: with a bowl of chilled pea soup and a crust of bread, you're there (then time for a siesta).

This recipe is safe for those who are on Coumadin (warfarin) and those who are on low-sodium diets. It is gluten-free and lactose-free, but those with GERD / Acid Reflux should avoid it.

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