Doctors Who Cook Well Give Better Advice

It is unfortunate that more time is not given in medical school to teaching prospective physicians about the importance of a balanced diet or healthy cooking.

There is more of an emphasis, at least in North America, on treating symptoms with pharmaceuticals and surgeries rather than through proper nutrition. This is what is known as a symptom-based medical system, not a preventative-based system.

However, thanks to a program sponsored by Harvard University and the Culinary Institute of America, physicians are getting an opportunity to learn about the importance of nutrition and healthy food preparation.

The premise behind the program, called “Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives – Caring for Our Patients and Ourselves,” is that the more that health care providers know about nutrition and healthy cooking, the more likely they are to impart this knowledge to their patients.

Knowledge is contagious, and we tend, as human beings, to share the things that we know and practice ourselves. Since so little time is spent on nutrition and other lifestyle factors affecting health in medical school, the program allows health care practitioners an opportunity to gain an understanding and appreciation for such things as nutritious shopping, eating and cooking. The objective is to increase knowledge and interest so that others can also learn and benefit.

Positive Results

The health care providers who have participated in the program report an increase in making better food choices for themselves, cooking more meals, eating more nuts, vegetables and whole grains.

Prior to the workshop, 46 percent said that they could advise overweight people on sound nutrition and lifestyle changes while, after the program, 81 percent felt confident in giving this advice.

Why Lifestyle Changes Should be First

cookingOver 90% of all chronic and fatal health conditions are the result of poor dietary and lifestyle choices. While such things as excessive alcohol intake, recreational drug use and smoking are all contributors, so are eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, sleeping regularly and managing stress.

With firm counselling and follow-up on these lifestyle issues, many lives could be saved. Not to mention the number of people who would no longer be dependent on toxic drugs for their entire lives.

Health care providers who use sound nutritional principles and other lifestyle changes as a basis for preventative healthcare and as part of overall health management don’t do much for the pharmaceutical industry, but can benefit patients tremendously.

The more that physicians take an interest in their own lifestyles, the more they are likely to share that information with patients. If this movement continues, it will begin to shape the face of modern medicine to take on a more preventative approach rather than a symptom-based approach.

Hippocrates really was right when he stated, “Let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food.”

-The Alternative Daily


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