Everyone is busy in today’s world. We often eat meals on the go, and these quick meals are not always the healthiest choices. In fact, what we eat can have a tremendous impact on our health, and at Swedish Cherry Hill, Dr. Tanmeet Sethi is looking to change the way doctors look at chronic disease by paying more attention to nutrition, which helps get to the root cause of the problem.
Dr. Sethi created a culinary medicine curriculum at the hospital, modeling it off of a curriculum that started at Tulane University. Doctors get hands-on experience with nutrition and preparing meals, not with the goal of counting calories, but rather of working with healthy ingredients and real food, namely fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Processed foods, Dr. Sethi notes, contributes to a host of health problems, such as inflammation, heart disease, stroke, depression and brain health.
The course is important in that medical schools don’t pay a particularly large amount of attention to nutrition. As doctors get more hands-on experience with healthy food, they are more likely to bring up these healthy choices with their patients, even during short appointments.
In Dr. Sethi’s course, groups of four work together to create a meal, and the class looks at finished dishes as a group, analyzing how even tiny differences can make a meal healthier. Dr. Sethi notes that change doesn’t mean overhauling your diet, but rather taking smaller, more manageable steps to make your diet healthier. These steps can make a big long-term difference. Eventually, Dr. Sethi hopes to create a similar program for patients.
As wellness and prevention play an increasingly large role in health care, so does the need to incorporate healthy habits, including healthy diets. Click here to read more and listen to an audio feature on the program from KUOW. (Tim Pfarr)