Exploring food as medicine


Health professionals at the University of New Mexico are exploring the concept of food as medicine.

Inside UNM’s Food Lab, medical school students work alongside nutritionists-in-training as part of the Intro to Culinary Medicine Class.

The class is still in its early stages; currently, only six students have signed up this year. Next year there will be more than 20 students.

“The course is actually based on the Mediterranean diet, which is a diet that’s based on lots of fruits and vegetables, lots of whole grains, olive oil, nuts and seeds,” said Nutrition Program Associate Director Deborah Cohen. “Protein or meat is a small portion of our plate, of our meals.”

Cohen said many medical schools don’t teach future doctors about the medicinal properties of food when it can very well solve many of the ailments Americans face.

“The diet can help prevent a wide range of chronic diseases, including hypertension, certain types of cancers, overweight. Obesity in itself is associated with lots and lots of chronic diseases,” she said.

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