New Culinary Medicine program empowers Cincinnatians to eat healthier
The Osher Center for Integrative Health hosts food as medicine events and cooking demonstrations
Culinary medicine is an educational and nutritional approach to improving eating behaviors and overall health by focusing on food shopping, storage, and meal preparation skills. The Osher Center for Integrative Health at the University of Cincinnati has an interdisciplinary team that utilizes food as medicine to teach students, patients, and the community the importance of food and its impact on your health.
In Ohio, research shows more than 90% of people do not meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. This is concerning because the evidence shows we should be eating 10+ daily servings, more than the recommendation from the CDC.
Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, Medical Director for the Osher Center of Integrative Health
Food as medicine
The culinary medicine team offers education on the health benefits of a plant-based eating pattern which maximizes the consumption of nutrient-dense plant foods by encouraging vegetables, fruits, beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, seeds and nuts and minimizing the consumption of processed foods, oils, and animal foods.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of adults in Ohio who meet the recommended daily intake of fruits is 9.5%, and only 7.4% of vegetables. Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, medical director for the Osher Center for Integrative Health explains, "In Ohio, research shows more than 90% of people do not meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. This is concerning because the evidence shows we should be eating 10+ daily servings, more than the recommendation from the CDC."
Learn from culinary medicine experts
The Osher Center for Integrative Health's new Culinary Medicine program offers something for everyone.
A new three-part virtual series Cooking for Optimal Health will run February 21, March 21, and April 18 from 6-7:30 p.m. via zoom. The series will teach the science and evidence behind plant-based eating patterns and the benefits to your health, in addition to a healthy cooking demonstration. Recipes include lavish lentil stew, vibrant brussel sprout kimchi, and design-your-own protein bars/balls.
The Osher Center is also hosting Plant-Based Power Hour with Chef Stephanie Michalak-White, EdD, a free virtual event that will teach basic knife skills and knife safety, how to choose the right ingredients for a balanced and filling lunch, and how to properly package your meal for optimal freshness.
Collaborations with community organizations throughout Cincinnati offer healthy hands-on cooking experiences including the Turner Farm Teaching Kitchen and LaSoupe. Diva Jonatan, nurse practitioner, of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the Department of Internal Medicine at the UC College of Medicine, collaborated with LaSoupe to bring four monthly kitchen-based classes for Centering diabetes and pre-diabetes patients to learn how to cook healthy, nutritious meals. According to Jonatan, patients in this program saw their A1C, a common blood test used to diagnose diabetes, drop on average of 2% within 12 months of healthy food and lifestyle changes.
Pamela Sharpe, nurse practitioner, recently joined the Osher Center for Integrative Health team, bringing her experience as a trained chef to her patients. Born out of her desire to create higher-quality nutritional meals for her family and friends who were adversely affected by chronic health and lifestyle-related conditions, Sharpe's clinical practice focuses on providing patients with a personalized self-care plan to implement and sustain a healthier lifestyle.
Culinary medicine is only one aspect of integrative health
Integrative healthcare emphasizes multimodal interventions and a focus on whole-person health including a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connections.
Integrative health practices, such as healthy nutrition, movement, and mindfulness meditation, have been shown to positively impact both chronic and acute conditions to improve health outcomes. According to the World Health Organization, one-third of deaths worldwide are from cardiovascular disease; while lifestyle modifications could prevent 80% of coronary heart disease, 90% of type 2 diabetes, and 70% of colon cancer and stroke according to the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.
Our mission is to flip the healthcare model from one of sick and disease care only to one that includes prevention, self-care and wellness with concepts like food-as-medicine.
Sian Cotton, PhD, Director, Osher Center for Integrative Health
The Osher Center provides an array of integrative and lifestyle medicine offerings. Sian Cotton, PhD, director of the Osher Center for Integrative Health, explains, “Our mission is to flip the healthcare model from one of sick and disease care only to one that includes prevention, self-care and wellness with concepts like food-as-medicine," says Cotton. "By providing Cincinnatians with culinary medicine education and our other integrative therapies, we are continuing to improve health outcomes in Cincinnati.”
The Osher Center for Integrative Health is changing health outcomes in Cincinnati
Helping patients take control of their healthcare through preventative, integrative therapies at UC Health and training future healthcare professionals at the UC College of Medicine. Learn more about the Osher Center for Integrative Health.
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