Adventist dietitian launches cookbook

Food as medicine. It's a beautiful concept, and now it's a cookbook.

Sue Radd with her new cookbook, Food as Medicine.

A Seventh-day Adventist health professional with almost 30 years’ experience has launched a cookbook that emphasises the benefits of a plant-based dietary pattern. Food as Medicine, authored by Sydney-based dietitian Sue Radd, features 150 plant-based recipes alongside research on the scientific evidence for such a diet.

People from the community and various health industries filled the kitchen at Sydney gourmet shop The Essential Ingredient for yesterday’s launch.

Two of Ms Radd’s clients gave testimonials at the book launch, championing the power of the plant-based plate from personal experience.

“Literally, the plant-based diet has given me my life back,” said 48-year-old Marguerite. Suffering from fatigue and lack of vitality, she was at the stage where she didn’t even have the energy to shower. Just 48 hours after adopting a plant-based diet, she felt as vigorous as she had in her twenties.

"Literally, the plant-based diet has given me my life back."

Ruth, on the other hand, first came to Ms Radd seeking advice about her high cholesterol. “I believed I had a very healthy diet—low carbohydrates and high in (animal) protein,” she said. But Ms Radd advised her to try the portfolio diet – a largely vegetarian diet that involved plenty of plant-based proteins. In a matter of 4-5 months, her cholesterol had reduced by two points (6.1 to 4.1 mmol/L).

Guest nutritionist Rosemary Stanton was also present to lend her support to Food as Medicine. “I’m happy to see this book—it features yummy plant-based recipes and will help the cause greatly,” she said.

Sue Radd leads out a cooking demonstration as part of her book launch on Wednesday, November 16.
Sue Radd leads out a cooking demonstration as part of her book launch on Wednesday, November 16.

Ms Radd demonstrated three simple recipes from the cookbook and offered taster plates to launch attendees. She credited her initial appreciation for food as medicine to her Croatian grandmother, noting that her grandmother relied on an almost entirely plant-based diet in the latter part of her life and took no medication until the age of 91.

“She instilled so many good values that I have carried through life,” said Ms Radd.

Her early interest in food led Ms Radd to study nutrition and dietetics at university. Today she is an advanced accredited practising dietitian—a credential awarded to less than 2 per cent of dietitians in Australia—and doing a PhD at the University of Sydney. She is also founding director of the Nutrition and Wellbeing Clinic in Castle Hill.

“Diet is the cornerstone of lifestyle medicine,” said Ms Radd, pointing out that many of us eat three times a day but struggle to exercise even once. “I really want everyone to be empowered . . . I hope you will join me on this journey.”