TULSA, Oklahoma - What would you think about replacing your medicine with a healthy meal? Some students in the medical field at OU Tulsa are learning new ways to use food to fight chronic diseases.
 
Second-year PA students at OU Tulsa are in their third week of a unique culinary medicine course where they use food instead of actual medicine. Thursday, they focused on diabetes and heart disease.
 
“We have decades of research, both observational studies and medical trials that have shown that food can be therapeutic in both the prevention, management, and often reversal of a lot of chronic conditions," said OU Tulsa Registered Dietitian Marianna Wetherill. 

PA students spent the morning split into teams, cooking up 8 different recipes as a class.
 
A professional chef was on hand to help.
 
Each team got two recipes and a set of healthy ingredients that work best to prevent diabetes and heart disease.
 
“Dark green leafy vegetables can help reverse heart disease, but we know they can also have protective benefits for cognitive decline and the way we think,” said Wetherill. 
 
The cooking portion of the class took about an hour. They then came together to share the meal and talk about how the food can be therapeutic for future patients.
 
"I think patients are so much more likely to listen to someone who's said 'I've done this before, it's affordable, it's easy and you can do this too'," said PA student Kate Raun. 
 
Raun also said she feels there is real lack of national education in medicine so this course teaches them valuable information.
 
Next week is the fourth and final week of this session and they hope the program is continued moving forward.