Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Preventative Care By Eating Healthy

Chronic diseases and certain cancers have been on the rise in the United States, but thankfully, healthier diets are becoming more of a priority to an increasing amount of the population. “When we see healthier eating, we see more disease prevention and less hospital stays, which means less money spent on healthcare,” says Leah Sarris, chef and program director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University.  This program started in 2012 and entails medical students better counseling the health of their patients through learning how to cook. Jasleena Grewal states in her article in YES! Magazine, “in 2010, chronic disease accounted for 86 percent of all healthcare spending; four years later, the cost of treating heart disease alone totaled $315.4 billion, including medication and hospital care.” Having a medical educational program focused on culinary practice is providing this generation of doctors a chance to learn and teach long-term health management through the art of cooking.

Students enrolled in this program complete a total of 24 hours of in-class culinary practice, are able to attend seminars focused on a variety of clinical interests, and teach free cooking classes to the public in order to enhance their learning process and get involved with the community. These free classes are extremely popular within the community and offer recipes that are affordable to those with low-income, thus helping them manage their time, budget their money, and learn how to cook healthy and inexpensive meals.

This program is not only being adopted by multiple medical schools throughout the country, but it may be reforming the way current healthcare is structured. “In five years, your doctor might prescribe you a cooking class, and healthcare companies will pay for that,” says Sarris.

Healthy cooking is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the country as a form of preventative care. This means that patients who make their diet a priority will be able to better fight disease in a more affordable and enjoyable way.

Grewal, Jasleena. "Is Healthy Food the New Medicine?" Organic Connections. YES! Magazine. 

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