By Dra. Josephine Holgado
Hello! Thank you for reading my two blogs on culinary medicine.
In my first blog, I shared that culinary medicine is not gourmet cooking. It is a field of medicine that is evidenced based which combines the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine. I also discussed how choosing whole food, plant based diet can decrease the risk and even reverse cardiovascular diseases as well as how eating behaviors can be improved with nutrition education.
In my second blog, I’ve shown you two ways to transition from unhealthy food to healthy food without an abrupt shift that may not agree with your taste buds and what your palate has been used to by using a “protein flip” and “dessert flip.”
I’m Doc Joy. As a general pediatrician for almost twenty five years. I’ve met families of two to three generations and have seen how chronic diseases start to occur among the parents of my patients when they come and visit me with their grandchildren. Thus, it has been part of my advocacy to educate the primary caregivers which can be the grandparents, parents and even a hired hand to raise healthy kids through a healthy kitchen. It starts with teaching them to choose predominantly whole food plant based diet (WFPB). All of them will benefit in the process because the caregivers are the ones preparing and cooking the food.
Some of the benefits of WFPB diet are the following: decrease in all-cause mortality; weight loss; favorable changes in the lipid profile; decreased risk and also reversal of cardiovascular disease; reduced risk for some cancers; decreased markers of early stage, biopsy proven, prostate cancer; reduced risk of diabetes and improved glycemic control or normalized blood glucose levels for those with diabetes; and improved migraine symptoms.
The predominantly WFPB diets are composed of whole, plant foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds but processed and animal foods are either limited or excluded. Thus, it is not a vegan diet because it can include any animal-derived foods.
You can prepare healthy, delicious and accessible meals through recipes that you can tweak or make your own. The key is to find the balance between taste and texture and tailor them to fit your palate and those of others.
Learn to familiarize yourself with the different flavors like sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami (savory) and adjust the taste depending on where you want it to go. If it is too sour or bitter, add something sweet. If the taste is bland, add a few drops of sour like lemon juice or vinegar, or hot sauce and salt to taste. When you can taste the flavor of the food at the back of your tongue without feeling parched in your throat after eating a dish, then you have added enough salt. To reduce salt intake, you can add herbs or spices to savory food and cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg or ginger to sweet foods. You can also add a little bit of sour to a dish before salting.
Incorporate a variety of textures in your meal. Crispy and crunchy textures stimulate the appetite whereas creamy textures can be comforting.
The use of some ingredients in the WFPB diet like added sugar, oil and salt is to bring out and balance flavors. Sugar occurs naturally in varying degrees in some food
depending on the season so choose ripe over unripe if you prefer natural sweetness.
In my next email, I will show you how you can maintain your health and prevent, treat and even reverse some diseases through nutrition education and home cooking. It will only be available for a limited time so watch out for it.
For now, you can post your comments below if you have questions and concerns.