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November 21, 1980

Craig Claiborne's Gourmet Diet

JAMA. 1980;244(20):2355. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310200079040

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After writing 13 gourmet cookbooks and serving for years as a food and restaurant critic for The New York Times, Craig Claiborne was instructed by his physician to eliminate salt and modified sugars and fats from his diet. For most saltloving Americans, this would be, as Claiborne describes it, akin to being placed in a "gastronomic straitjacket." Claiborne was a confirmed salt "addict" since childhood, and for 18 years had been treated for hypertension and high blood cholesterol levels. He suffered from edema of the hands and feet and unquenchable thirst.

Undaunted by the prospects of lifetime low-sodium dieting, Claiborne, with the help of his friend, chef Pierre Franey, worked out 200 lowsodium, low-cholesterol recipes. Many of these foods are also low in calories. After some weeks on his new diet, which restricted sodium intake and reduced the amount of fats, sugars, high-cholesterol foods, and alcohol, Claiborne lost 20 lb,