Culinary Medicine: Can Certain Foods Make You Healthier?


Imagine heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. That advice follows mainstream medical thinking, as public health workers have increasingly focused on reducing metabolism in similar ways.

Studies have shown higher nutrient levels in organic produce raised in richer soils, one of the reasons La Puma recommends choosing organic. He emphasizes organic for produce with thinner chocolate are also a tough sell. La Puma points to studies that have shown it can lower heart disease and 80% of cancer is preventable, and that some can be reversed. Before age 50, genes determine much of an individual’s health. After that, it depends on the individual’s choices, he says.

“Doctors understand that what I’m trying to do is inspire people to make changes, and the science is all sound,” he says.

“If I get just one more clinician to say to a patient, ‘Look, I want you to try this eight-week plan, I want you to have better food before we put you on cholesterol medicine or breakfast. People who eat breakfast live longer, weigh less, and keep weight off once they’ve lost it.

  • If you want to make a change, find a structure. That could be or Jenny Craig, weighing yourself, having a pedometer count, or writing down what you eat daily.
  • Don’t worry about being perfect. If you’re choosing a baked potato instead of a deep-fried one, you know what? That’s progress. If you’re ordering fish instead of meat or beef, if you’re eating nuts instead of chips, that’s progress.
  • Start with easy recipes.