Culinary Medicine Continuing Medical Education Modules

Health meets Food offers culinary medicine continuing medical education classes that provide practicing physicians with the knowledge they were not able to get in medical school about diet, lifestyle, nutrition and how those factors relate to disease. We teach from a food-first perspective, with an eye toward the practical aspects of what patients face day-to-day when trying to make substantive change in their lives.

Each module is certified for 3 to 4 hours AMA CME credit and focuses on translating the basic science into practical clinical skills in a way that helps physicians change the conversation they have with patients about food and health.

Health meets Food offers continuing medical education modules at various times throughout the year, and they are usually grouped in a way that allows a broad range of physicians to participate. View Upcoming Classes and Sign Up Now!
This activity is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit

We’ve created the following modules, with more being developed all the time. Check upcoming classes to see which ones are currently being offered, when, and where.

Foundational Continuing Medical Education Topics

  1. Introduction to Culinary Medicine: We present an outline of both the Mediterranean and DASH diets and examine recent sources and studies examining the effectiveness of both in terms of treating diet-related illnesses. We also review methods of communicating these principles to patients along with an introduction to basic kitchen safety and knife handling skills.
  1. Weight, Management & Portion Control: In this module we look at obesity indicators, caloric density, and portion control, and review the literature behind weight loss and weight maintenance. This course will help you, the clinician, understand practical and realistic approaches to weight management.
  1. Fats: In this lesson we look at the physiological effects of different types of dietary fats in the body and common dietary sources of these fats. In the kitchen we focus on the purpose of fats in cooking, explore viable replacements and substitutions for culinary fats, and prepare meals utilizing fat replacers. We also cover nutrient and energy density, meal planning and healthy shopping habits, and how you can utilize this information to inspire positive change in your patients.
  1. Food Allergy and Intolerance: This overview focuses on techniques to diagnose, treat, and cook for food allergies or intolerances. In this class we will explore the roles of local and organic foods, common plant phytochemicals, genetically modified foods, and common preservatives in immune and metabolic health, environmental impressions, and economic impact. We will also cover hidden and little-known sources of allergens, and in the kitchen we will prepare lactose- and gluten-free recipes.
  1. Protein & Vegetarian Diet: We focus on the biological need for dietary proteins, focusing on essential amino acids and their dietary sources. We outline the dietary needs and sources of protein and focus on vegetarian diets, possible nutritional deficiencies and the ways vegetarians and vegans can ensure adequate protein intake. In the kitchen we prepare vegetarian meals, focusing on satiety and complementary proteins.
  1. Sodium, Potassium and Renal Homeostasis: Attendees examine the physiological effects of high-sodium diets and their prevalence in American culture and take a more in-depth look at the DASH diet, including studies examining its efficacy in reducing the need for medication in hypertensive subjects. In the kitchen we discuss the principles of flavor building and balancing in cooking while exploring salt’s role in flavor. We cook reduced-sodium dinner options while discussing ways to reduce and replace sodium in meals.
  1. Carbohydrates and Diabetes Mellitus: This module focuses on the physiological impact of digesting different types of carbohydrates and assesses the role of certain carbohydrates in promoting satiety, regulating blood glucose and sustaining energy, with a further look into whole grains. In the kitchen we focus on strategies for reducing sugar consumption, especially in snacking, and discuss guidelines for healthier snacking and desserts.

Specialized CME Topics

  1. The Pediatric Diet: A Family Approach to Healthy Children: We discuss pediatric nutrition and examine childhood obesity statistics and consequences. We also examine common pediatric diets,their shortcomings, and provide guidelines for healthy alternatives, with a brief look at infant feeding. In the kitchen we look at the idea of “kid-friendly” meals and prepare different kid-friendly recipes.
  1. Sports Nutrition: In this module, we discuss the dietetic requirements of athletes including hydration and increased protein needs based on lean body mass. We consider the different types of athletes and consider their unique nutritional requirements, while also touching on the macronutrient content of meals before, during, and after exercise. In the kitchen we make homemade sports drinks as well as pre- and post-event meals.
  1. Cancer Nutrition: Prevention and Diet After Diagnosis: This module focuses on the effect that diet can have, both preventatively and post-diagnosis, on cancer patients. We will examine certain foods and antioxidants linked to cancer risk reduction, with a focus on phytochemicals and their common sources; also discussed is the role of obesity and alcohol consumption in certain types of cancer. We outline dietary support and counseling strategies during cancer treatment and prepare plant-based, antioxidant-rich recipes in the kitchen.
  1. Pregnancy and Nutrition: In this module we explore the guidelines for changes in diet during pregnancy, including BMI-based weight gain recommendations as well as changes in metabolism, caloric, and exercise needs. We include recent research into maternal nutritional outcomes. We also discuss which foods should be avoided in pregnancy, their sources, which micronutrients are important and their common sources, and the importance of portion sizes. Wew prepare foods high in these important nutrients while being mindful of nutrient density and portion sizes.
  1. Diabetes and Pregnancy: In this module we discuss diabetes during pregnancy, especially with respect to differentiating between diabetes mellitus as a pre-existing condition and gestational-type diabetes. We discuss the associated risks to both mother and child and outline low-glycemic regimens pre-, intra-, and post-partum. In the kitchen we focus on identifying and choosing slow-digesting, high-fiber carbohydrates while avoiding highly-processed sweeteners and prepare satiating recipes with reduced sugar content.
  1. Celiac Disease: This module is a detailed overview of Celiac Disease, including diagnosis and treatment. The course includes a review of the evidence on non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. We also review the key points behind the pathophysiology and clinical workup for celiac disease as well as the co-morbidities associated with celiac disease. Attendees will learn about the psychosocial aspects of gluten sensitivity and cook gluten-free recipes in the kitchen.
  1. Food Allergy: We review the major food allergens with a focus on the four most prevalent including egg, legume, shellfish, and tree nut. Additionally, milk allergy is very common in young children and may not be outgrown as frequently as previously thought. The need to be aware of hidden allergens is key and providers need to be able to discuss food allergy with patients including the ability to instruct them properly on food sources, hidden allergens and ingredient substitutions.
  1. Food and Neurocognition: This module is a detailed overview of the evidence showing that glucose dysregulation causes impaired brain functioning. We will review how modern diets contribute to increasing rates of dementia, understand the role of diet in ADHD, and review foods shown to be neuroprotective and likely to promote optimal brain functioning. Attendees will be able to discuss the negative impact of the standard American diet on neurocognition and the role healthcare practitioners can have in promoting improved cognitive functioning through dietary interventions.
  1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet: In this module attendees will learn about the relationship between foods, advanced glycation end products, and free radicals. We will review the evidence about the role of diet in heart disease, stroke, COPD, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and kidney failure, as well as the inflammatory pathways and where food fits in it. We will also present the evidence showing a relationship between advanced glycation end products, free radicals, and degenerative disorders.
  1. IBS/IBD/GERD: We will examine the prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastroesophageal reflux disease in the United States as well their symptoms and how to differentiate between these diseases of the digestive tract. We will discuss the FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols) diet and recognize which foods contain high FODMAP content and which foods contain a low FODMAP content.
  1. Congestive Heart Failure: In this module our objective is to understand the incidence, prevalence, risk factors, pathophysiology, mortality and clinical workup for CHF. We will review the relationship between obesity and CHF and learn about the impact health care practitioners can have on controlling and managing symptoms through diet intervention. We will discuss salt and fluid restriction guidelines for patients in various stages of heart failure and explain strategies to reduce salt intake, while also identifying the role and sources of micronutrients, fats, and whole grains for patients at various stages of heart failure.
  1. HIV/AIDS Nutrition: Attendees will review the stages of HIV infection and corresponding symptoms specifically in the context of diet and nutrition. We will discuss the medical interventions that can be taken to treat patients with HIV and identify the role healthcare professionals can have in controlling symptoms of HIV through diet. Learn which factors contribute to the nutritional challenges for patients with HIV.
  1. The Geriatric Diet: The Geriatric Nutrition IDS is designed to introduce medical students to elderly patients’ physiological changes, nutritional needs, risks for malnutrition, and adaptive approaches to food preparation and consumption. Students will learn about how to screen for malnutrition, develop dietary interventions, and counsel elderly patients and their family members about how to eat healthfully in their later years.
  1. Mindfulness and Motivational Interviewing: This module is an in-depth look at the techniques and usefulness of mindfulness and motivational interviewing on lifestyle, diet, and health for our patients. We explore the way the principles of mindfulness affected development of therapeutic approaches through basic principles and practices such as the OARS method.
  1. Eating Disorders: Participants will learn to distinguish between eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia syndromes as well as to understand binge eating disorders. We will present information on other eating disorders, including rumination and pica, as well as strategies for treating eating disorders through medication, psychotherapy, and culinary interventions. This module has no kitchen component.
  1. Myths, Fad Diets, Supplements and Controversies: In this module we explore nutrition-related fads, myths, and misconceptions. Instead, we discuss optimal conditions for weight loss and management and explore the literature on proven methods of supplementation and nutrition. In the kitchen we prepare nourishing recipes and discuss ingredient quality, while introducing sensory evaluation of food.
  1. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Attendees will explore the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, and diagnostic criteria of PCOS. The module also details the the role of weight loss in PCOS, particularly as it relates to insulin resistance. In the kitchen, our objectives include the roles of complex carbohydrates and fiber in PCOS management.
  1. Bariatric Diet: The goal of this module is for attendees to understand bariatric surgery as a treatment for obesity. The module reviews types, risks, and expected weight loss of surgical options as well as pre- and post-operative expectations. We will discuss the role of nutrition pre- and post- surgery.
  1. Food Safety and Sanitation: This is a comprehensive module that covers identification of unsafe cooking situations and cooking safety, including details about the temperature danger zone, cross contamination, and cooking temperatures. We will take a thorough look at the most common causes of food borne illness and explore the steps that can be taken to prevent food borne illnesses when it comes to storage and reheating foods.
  1. Billing and Coding for Lifestyle Medicine: Attendees will develop an understanding of how lifestyle counseling and preventative care can be better incorporated in their practice through Z-codes and specific CPT and HCPCS codes for nutrition counseling. We will deliver a thorough overview of the essential components of obesity counseling and help you develop your own approach based on the USPSTF 5-A Approach in scheduled visits recommended by CMS guidelines.
  1. PKU Nutrition: In this module we review the current guidelines in management of PKU (Phenylketonuria) and work to develop an increased understanding of the required dietary modifications in PKU. Attendees will learn the optimal treatment range for plasma PHE and will be able to describe how a patient with classical PKU and one with a milder mutation vary in treatment needs. This module also reviews current therapies such as long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and large neutral amino acids as well as the medical necessity for medical food supplements (metabolic formula) in patient care.
  1. Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition: We will examine the research based findings of the impact of enteral and parenteral nutrition on patients and develop an increased understanding of enteral and parenteral nutritions’ advantages and disadvantages.
  1. Systemic Approaches to Obesity: This module describes obesity as a multifactorial disease process and reviews the complications of obesity. This module also helps learners understand a multifaceted approach to the management of obesity. Topics range from dietary counseling, meal replacement, and pharmaceutical approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy.

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