Culinary Medicine

Appointment New Patient Appointment or 214-645-8300

Culinary medicine is a developing field that aims to combine the joy of food and cooking with the science of medicine. More than just providing nutritional advice, the goal of this evidence-based medicine is to empower people to make beneficial decisions about what they eat – in some cases, focusing on treating existing conditions and, in others, preventing disease from happening in the first place.

The Culinary Medicine Program at UT Southwestern provides culinary medicine education and instruction to our community.

Promoting Wellness Through Delicious and Nutritious Food

UT Southwestern was the first medical center to license a curriculum from Health meets Food, which now includes a network of more than 50 medical centers that are leading the change in how health care professionals are trained to think about wellness and healthy eating.

Our program began in 2015 and quickly spread throughout UT Southwestern.

Following the “food is medicine” philosophy, we’re continuing to expand our efforts to achieve our vision of:

  • Making delicious, nutritious food accessible for everyone
  • Preventing and treating chronic disease
  • Promoting the wellness of our community

E-Consult Service

Supporting patients in meaningful lifestyle change is a long-term process that includes providing specific, achievable goals that fit the lifestyle and personal health needs of each patient. We offer support to UTSW patients through our Culinary Medicine e-consult service.

Questions might be about:

Evidence-based dietary approaches for prevention or disease mitigation

  • Is a particular dietary approach you want to try safe and effective?
  • How can a particular dietary pattern be more affordable?
  • How can a dietary pattern support normal bowel function?
  • How do you build a healthy pantry?
  • How can certain foods support anti-inflammation?
  • How can I pursue a vegan diet and get adequate protein, nutrients?
  • How can a diet support healing and recovery after surgery?

How patients can use food as a nutrient source instead of/in combination with supplements

  • Magnesium for constipation, muscle cramps/RLS, adjunct in fibromyalgia
  • Calcium for bone health
  • Iron for anemia
  • Spices in cooking for flavor building and maximum health benefits
  • Antioxidants/phytonutrients for immune, brain, and cardiovascular health
  • Fermented food sources for microbiome health
  • Fiber (soluble vs. insoluble) for dietary health

How to accommodate food allergy and sensitivity/intolerance in cooking, meal prep

  • Managing gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, etc.
  • Meeting nutrient needs when food elimination is necessary

Resources

  • What cookbooks or websites have evidence-based recipes?

Our Culinary Medicine e-consultation does not replace and is distinct from nutrition referral for formal medical nutrition therapy, which is supported by insurance for diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and obesity/weight loss. Our e-consult service provides brief, targeted, food-based input to patients’ questions and concerns, hopefully supporting management of their health in an innovative way. We encourage nutrition referrals for patients who might benefit from additional support.

Patients at UT Southwestern interested in how culinary medicine can help them with their health goals can ask their UT Southwestern doctor to consult the physician/registered dietitian team.

Cooking with Milette

Get cooking tips from Milette Siler, the lead culinary medicine instructor at UT Southwestern.

Watch Videos

About the Team

Jaclyn Albin, M.D., CCMS

Dr. Albin launched UT Southwestern’s Culinary Medicine Program and serves as its Director, working to teach nutrition through hands-on cooking classes to students, health care professionals, and the community. She is an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and practices primary care across the lifespan. She also serves as the founding Associate Program Director for the combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency Program.

Dr. Albin is trained in lifestyle medicine and is a certified culinary medicine specialist (CCMS). She serves on the national advisory board for the CCMS program and on the research and curriculum committees of the organization Health meets Food. Dr. Albin studies the impact of culinary medicine classes in medical education and patient care.

She is passionate about nutrition, lifestyle, and environmental influences on health, and she seeks to drive positive change at a population health level. Food as medicine delivers a unique opportunity to integrate the clinical, educational, and research aspects of this work through the training of future health care professionals, delivery of innovative patient support in lifestyle behavior change, and high-quality research.

Milette Siler, RD, LD, CCMS

Ms. Siler has been involved with culinary medicine since 2014, when a collaboration between Moncrief Cancer Institute and Texas Christian University first brought the program to North Texas.

Her career is focused on advancing culinary medicine in both a professional student and community setting. In the professional student arena, Ms. Siler serves as Lead Dietetic Instructor for UT Southwestern Medical School, bringing enhanced nutrition education to medical students, residents, and other health professionals.

In the community setting, she teaches hands-on cooking classes for cancer survivor patients at Moncrief. Additionally, she networks with local food pantries and other organizations to bring culinary medicine to underserved populations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Teaching Collaborative Kitchen Members

Dr. Albin and Millette are members of Teaching Collaborative Kitchen, a network of thought-leading organizations using teaching kitchen facilities as catalysts of enhanced personal and public health across medical, community, school, and corporate settings.

See their TCK profile.

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