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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.

I have a history of heart disease. How do I factor that into this diet?

Diets that promote good heart health are well-balanced, limited in saturated fats, and contain plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with soluble fiber (including oat products, breads, cereals, and some dried beans). In fact, most heart-healthy diets are similar to vegetarian diets except that they include small amounts of lean animal protein.

The WebMD Weight Loss Clinic program recommends that everyone choose plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and use only limited amounts of fat.

Also, make sure to select from a wide variety of foods within the meal plan, and choose:

  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Lean meats, and low-fat or skim dairy products
  • Fish rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel, two to three times per week
  • Oatmeal and legumes, which contain soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol
  • Very little, if any, alcohol. If you do drink, choose a glass of red wine
  • Limited amounts of total fats and animal fats; instead, choose heart healthy oils like olive and canola

Remember, you should check with your doctor before starting any new diet.

I am allergic to wheat. Can I follow the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic diet?

People with wheat allergies can enjoy a long list of foods, although they need to avoid all products that contain wheat. Many grains and other food products are available online and in natural-food stores that are safe alternatives to wheat-based breads, cereals, and other starches.

If you have a wheat allergy, you should select from a wide variety of foods within the meal plan, including:

  • Plenty of fruits and fruit juices
  • Lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds
  • Potatoes, corn, and other vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Breads and baked goods made from gluten-free grains like amaranth, pure buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice, wild rice, arrowroot, corn flour, potato flour, and soy flour
  • Cereals made from cornmeal, grits, rice flakes, soy flakes, or rice
  • Pasta made from beans, corn, peas, potatoes, quinoa, rice, and soy

Remember, you should check with your doctor before starting any new diet.

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