Food Bullying Podcast

Cooking, culinary medicine, & comfort in nutrition: Episode 53


Did you know there is a science dedicated to teaching cooking skills?  How and what we serve at our table makes a big difference in our health.  Our guest shares why she teaches medical students about nutrition.

Dr. Jacque Nyenhuis is a chef, dietitian, professor of medicine, and farms on the side. She started working in restaurant kitchens when she was 16 and moved up from dishwasher through just about every position in culinary. She has spent several decades teaching and mentoring medical doctors, chefs, medical students and families how to move towards better health through simple cooking and sharing of meals. Jacque co-authored a nutrition textbook used in Universities across the country and several cookbooks. She had her own television cooking show, radio show, syndicated nutrition column that ran in newspapers throughout the US and Canada, a monthly food and nutrition column for Saturday Evening Post and currently teaches nutrition and is director of the Culinary Medicine Lab at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando, Florida.

Key points:

What is culinary medicine?

  • It’s about how food can move us toward better health
  • Evidence-based science of teaching cooking skills
  • Help people to develop skills for better health
  • Teach medical students so they have tools to use with patients

There are significant barriers to putting a healthy meal on the table:

  • It is stressful when you are busy
  • Talked with women around the US and internationally about what makes it hard:
    • Time
    • Financial pressures
    • Pickiness (don’t eat some foods)
  • People choose nutrition interventions along political party lines:
    • Should government be involved in the solutions or not
    • Is fast food to blame
  • Lots of noise about what we should choose
    • Being bullied is embarrassing
    • Questions can feel like bullying
    • Two of top 3 items that people have a belief not supported by science are food items.

How to give medical students better tools:

  • Medical students and physicians love the class
  • They have to put aside personal ideology and talk to the patient about health
  • It can be hard for younger professionals to give advice when they may not be cooking for themselves
  • Need to find simple ways to eat at home
  • 76% of doctors felt they didn’t get enough information about nutrition in med school
  • More than half were not comfortable talking about fad diets and nutrition
  • Doctors want more information
  • Doctors are overwhelmed with information

Helping families develop good eating habits to improve health is important:

  • Don’t have to change every habit
  • Creating a meal-time habit including:
    • Plates
    • Serving multiple food groups
    • Sitting down
    • Cutting out constant snacking all day long

Culinary MedicineThree tips to overcome Food Bullying:

  • Show grace for the person who is bullying me
  • Show grace to myself in my response to food bullying
  • Kindly and gently set the record straight


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