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WebMD Weight Loss Clinic: Special Diets

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about how to diet with various medical conditions.
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic-Exclusive Feature

When you filled out your eating habits evaluation, the questionnaire asked you whether you were allergic to, or did not want to eat, certain foods. You may have noticed that not all the common foods to which people are allergic were listed. That's because we don't ask about allergies to foods that we never specifically prescribe -- or foods that you already eat, as indicated by our questionnaire answers.

A couple of examples:

  • We don't ask whether you're allergic to shellfish because your eating plan will never specifically call for shellfish. It may recommend lean or fatty fish/seafood, but you can choose from a long list of different types -- and avoid the ones that give you problems (or that you just don't like).
  • We don't ask about milk allergies if you say you drink milk or eat other dairy foods. We do ask this question if no dairy products show up on your questionnaire.

And remember, before starting any diet plan, check with your doctor.

I'm supposed to be on a low sodium diet. Will this plan work for me?

The WebMD Weight Loss Clinic program can work for all but those on the strictest low-sodium diets (less than 2000 mg a day). Of course, it's always a good idea to discuss any new diet or fitness program with your doctor.

Reducing the sodium in your diet will help control high blood pressure, as will losing , eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limiting alcohol. Here are some tips for keeping your salt intake down while following your eating plan:

  • When making choices within food groups, select fresh instead of canned foods
  • Become a label reader to determine which foods are high in sodium
  • Use low sodium versions of soups and other packaged foods
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Choose whole-grain rice, pastas, cereals and breads
  • Keep in mind that sodium occurs naturally in some foods, like breads and dairy products
  • Avoid processed meats, like cold cuts
  • Avoid high-sodium condiments like soy sauce, pickles, and olives
  • Limit the amount of salt you add during cooking
  • Taste your food before salting it
  • Use herbs, spices, vinegars, fruits, and vegetables to add extra flavor to your food so you won't miss the salt
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