You are what you eat, good nutrition key to good health

FRESNO, Calif (KFSN) -- The medical community has said for years that you are what you eat and good nutrition is the key to good health.

Now, some are doing more than talking about it and some doctors' offices and pharmacies may start to look a little more like kitchens.

Michael Carr is a new man these days, down from 370 pounds!

"I wore a size 52 trousers. I'm wearing a size 34 now," said Carr.

He used to take handfuls of different medications for cholesterol and diabetes, but Michael says his doctor made all the difference when she prescribed a brand new lifestyle.

"The combination of cooking, what I ate, and certainly the exercise, had a drastic impact on his weight-loss journey," said Carr.

Salima Ruffin also saw remarkable changes once her doctor intervened.

"She put me on a special diet, she taught me how to eat healthy, that inspired me so much that I decided to open up a vegan restaurant," said Ruffin.

It is not uncommon for a doctor to say eat better or lose weight but Salima and Michael's cardiologist showed them how in an actual class.

"We have a cooking school. We have a large emphasis on teaching people that food is medicine," said Dr. Mimi Guarneri, the director and founder of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.

More doctors and medical groups are building classes and teaching kitchens into their practices or creating preventative food pantries as part of a pharmacy of sorts. Medical experts say these steps have been the missing link in medicine for years.

"I was taught to tell patients, go home and lose weight. Go home and lower your blood sugar, and, you know, patients would say, 'How do I do that doctor?', and most physicians don't get that in medical school," said Dr. Guarneri.

Some medical schools are now adding culinary curriculums. While other practices are adding programs for kids, low-income families, and people with specific health concerns.

In some cases, the classes are free. But often patients pay out-of-pocket for cooking classes, with the price varying based on a variety of factors, from how long the class lasts, to who is teaching the session.
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