Foods for Ailments: A Doctor's Shopping List

Find out what top docs pick up at the grocery store.
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Portion patrol

What are the best foods to help prevent such illnesses as cancer, heart disease and diabetes? To find out what doctors feed their own families, LHJ went grocery shopping with five specialists from the Mayo Clinic.

The expert: Maria L. Collazo-Clavell, M.D., an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes, is married to a cardiologist and has three children, ages 12 months, 8 years and 10 years.

A few of the things in her shopping cart:

  • Onions, cucumbers, romaine lettuce, red and green peppers: "We try to eat salad often."
  • Skinless chicken breasts and pork chops: "Leaner cuts of meat are healthiest."
  • Baked potato chips: "Lower in fat than regular chips; good for snacking."
  • White bread with added fiber: "My kids don't like whole wheat, so this way they get the fiber they need."

A growing problem: "Servings have gotten out of control, and that's contributing to the rise in obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Years ago, soda came in eight-ounce bottles, and now it's not uncommon to see vending machines with sixteen or even twenty-ounce bottles. Appropriate portion sizes are key to a healthy diet."

Downsizing: "I used to buy enough meat to feed up to six people, but that's too much for two adults and two kids. Many people are surprised when they see that a three-ounce serving of meat is only the size of a deck of cards."

Must-have food: "Low-fat milk. Adults and kids today don't get enough dietary calcium."

Added incentives: "It takes a little extra effort to sell healthy things to my middle child. I sometimes sprinkle sugar on top of strawberries, for instance -- whatever it takes to get her to eat fruits and vegetables!"

Little indulgences: "We do buy bacon or sausage, but have it only a couple of times a month as a treat. We also buy ice cream, although we serve only one scoop and rarely use toppings."

Bottom line: If you want it, eat it -- in moderation."

Continued on page 2:  Foods that help prevent cancer


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