Culinary medicine may be a new term, but the ideas behind it are not. In the past we have heard, “You are what you eat,” or, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” A few doctors in the United States are beginning to embrace the benefits of training not only in medicine, but also in culinary arts and the ways that food influences health.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), no other factor has more influence on the health of Americans than food. While life spans have increased in recent years, the health of Americans has not. In short, people are living longer, but not necessarily better.
Unfortunately, most medical schools do not offer training in food preparation and planning for health. The program at Tulane University is headed by Culinary Director Chef Leah Sarris who runs Tulane’s groundbreaking new program that teaches medical students, doctors and patients the tenets of healthful cooking and the significant role food plays in preventing and managing obesity and associated diseases. As the first full-time chef ever employed by a medical school, Leah uses her culinary background to translate the latest nutrition science into practical strategies patients can take home to reduce their salt intake, cut calories and eat more healthful meals.
The benefits of teaching doctors to teach their patients good nutrition habits are:
- Reduction of years lived with disability– As the population ages and life-spans increase, the burden of disabilities caused by poor nutrition also increases. These burdens include complications from obesity such as Type II Diabetes.
- Increase of healthy life expectancy– People want to live not only longer, but also better. Having good health in a long life is directly related to nutrition.
- Reduction of years of life lost due to premature mortality– Naturally, as overall health increases, complications such as heart disease decrease.
- Reduced dependency on prescription drugs– While modern medicine has proven to cure many conditions and improve the lives of millions, the costs, both monetary and in side-effects, can range very high.
As innovators in culinary arts, we are eager to talk more about culinary medicine and the ways food affects health. Please Contact Us to discuss this, or any other culinary topic.
Reference: A Dose Of Culinary Medicine