Topic 3 Culinary Medicine VS Nutrition

  • Culinary medicine is not nutrition, dietetics, or preventive, integrative, or internal medicine, nor is it the culinary arts or food science. It does not have a single dietary philosophy; it does not reject prescription medication; it is not simply about good cooking, flavors or aromas; nor is it solely about the food matrices in which micronutrients, phytonutrients, and macronutrients are found.
  • Learning about culinary medicine will not make you a nutrition expert. Nutrition is important, but most families need practical skills and resources, in addition to nutrition education, to help them move toward healthier diets.

Using Culinary Medicine, we instead focus on how to: prepare delicious foods, simply, inexpensively, and quickly.

The nutrition lessons begin stealthily, meaning that the focus is on learning techniques to prepare delicious, craveable food. Only after the students are hooked by the smells, sounds, colors, and flavors of the cuisine—tasted while sitting around a table with others who worked together to prepare the meal—do the nutrition and counseling lessons emerge and take root.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

  • Culinary medicine pairs the art of cooking with the science of medicine.
  • The objective is to educate about the powerful influence that food has on health and disease and through hands-on cooking classes teach skills for preparing meals with nutritional health benefits toward preventing, managing, and reversing chronic disease.
  • It’s about teaching the why and how behind low-cost, convenient, health promoting, and delicious home-cooked meals, and eating patterns.
  • With Culinary Medicine there is learning about which foods reduce inflammation and fight disease as it is about how to slice an onion and cook with healthy spices and herbs.
  • Culinary medicine should be targeted for the audience, with medical training and professional education including clinical case studies and peer-reviewed journal articles and community classes focusing on education and skills that can be translated in the home kitchen.
  • Although culinary medicine doesn’t adhere to one dietary pattern, it is aligned most closely with the Mediterranean diet and whole food and plant-based eating patterns—both of which are supported by a rigorous evidence base for their health-promoting and disease-fighting properties.

First-year medical students are cooking alongside Rutgers nutritional sciences students to gain a better understanding of the role food can play in treating patients. Professors at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School believe requiring a class in culinary medicine will produce better doctors