For Optimal Health, Get Cooking!

Ditch the takeout menu and develop a healthy cooking style, which includes more plant-based dishes.

If you want to reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, turn to home-cooked, plant-based cuisines from such places around the world as India, the Mediterranean, and Latin America. That was the grand message at Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives, a conference presented by Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America on March 13, 2014 in St. Helena, California.

In order to become better agents for health, conference attendees rolled up their sleeves, entered the kitchen, and learned how to cook globally inspired dishes based on whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil, spices, fruits, and vegetables.

“We say we cannot cook because we do not have time, cooking skills, or the right equipment, and we can’t fit it into our busy schedules,” reported David Eisenberg, MD, Harvard professor and con-ference organizer. But this lifestyle has contributed to the rising rate of chronic diseases, he explained. Studies show that as the amount of time spent cooking decreases, body mass index goes up. “Now there is evi-dence that our children and grandchildren will live shorter lives.”

The lesson to be learned: Ditch the takeout menu and develop a healthy cooking style, which includes more plant-based dishes. Look to the pages of EN to provide you with delicious, nutritious recipes each month to help get you cooking.

—Sharon Palmer, RD, Editor, EN

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