What is Culinary Medicine?

Polenta with Berries

Culinary Medicine combines the joy and art of cooking and eating with the science of food, nutrition, and medicine, so you can eat delicious food to help prevent and control common health conditions. It is taught by John La Puma, ChefMD®—an award-winning doctor who graduated from culinary school and worked in a four-star kitchen.

70% of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, memory loss, premature wrinkling and impotence are preventable. 80% of cancers and much of asthma and lung disease are preventable, and from environmental causes, like toxin exposure or diet. ChefMD can help you talk with your physician—and your waiter—about how to do that now.

This is a food lover's guide to culinary medicine—food that prevents and controls common health conditions with restaurant-quality flavor. It is chock-full of the good stuff, from red wine to dark chocolate, plus cooking secrets and shortcuts. You'll get the most nutrition from the best foods, avoid the wrong foods and learn how to eat so you will feel full and fully satisfied, and stay that way without snacking, munching or mindless eating.

Reading ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine is like getting the Cliff Notes for culinary medical school. You already have a doctor inside—it's the part of you that knows how to make healthy choices. And what your doctor inside needs to know tastes better than you thought. For example:

  • Use a full fat salad dressing, not a low-fat/no-fat dressing. A bit of healthy fat (avocado, walnuts, almonds, olives) in your salad lets you absorb 7 times more lutein than with a no or low-fat dressing. Lutein helps to prevent macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over age 65.
  • Buy organic when it really matters: when the skin is thin. Over 80% of apples, pears, peaches, potatoes and berries sampled contain artificial chemical pesticides. On the thick side, less than 8 percent of avocados, mangos, pineapples and frozen sweet corn contain them—and onions contain none! Exposure to pesticides worsens asthma and damages the immune system.
  • Drink coffee and be happy, as long as you're drinking filtered coffee. Two cups of filtered coffee daily can reduce colon cancer by 25%, diabetes risk by 30%, gallstone risk by 40%, and liver cirrhosis risk by 80%. But espresso and French Press can raise your LDL cholesterol by 8% in a month, because the coffee's chemical cafestol stays inside.

Find out more about ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine here.