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Don’t Eat This If You’re Taking That

By Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, CNS, and John Fernstrom, PhD

Book Description

NBC Today show nutrition and diet guru Madelyn Fernstrom and award-winning neuroscientist and pharmacologist John Fernstrom—partnering with AARP—present the ultimate guide to food and medicine interaction.

Millions of Americans take prescription drugs to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or other conditions. But beware: The foods you eat and the medications you take could be working against each other.

Don’t Eat This If You’re Taking That takes the mystery out of food and medication interactions. This easy-to-use guide details foods that can interfere with the action of the medication—whether taken for the short or long term. In this book, readers can easily find a medication, see what foods to avoid, and make smart swaps.

We all believe a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is part of healthy eating—right? Not always. Dr. Fernstrom explains exactly what foods to avoid when and why. For instance,

  • If you’re taking cholesterol medicine, you should cut out—or cut down on—grapefruit.
  • If you’re on thyroid medication, nix the soy.
  • And more small diet changes with big health payoffs!

As an added bonus, each chapter offers a “Dietary Supplements Alert” box, providing the most up-to-date information on interactions with vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements.

With this concise, scientifically based guide, consumers can easily personalize their eating plan to work with, not against, their medications.


 “A commonsense approach to understanding how the action of medicine can be influenced by foods and dietary supplements . . . it’s a must-read for anyone taking medication.”

—Sanjay Gupta, MD, staff neurosurgeon, Emory Clinic, chief medical correspondent, CNN



Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, CNS, is a national health expert, neuroscientist, and on-air NBC News and Today show health and nutrition editor.

John Fernstrom, PhD, is a nationally renowned and award-winning neuroscientist and pharmacologist.