One of the biggest problems when going on a diet is the necessity to chuck a lot of things we like to eat. The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center has found a solution to this. Their website offers healthy and delicious recipes that can make dieting easier. The recipes are searchable by the ingredients one likes.
This website known as 'Cancer Center Recipes Just for You', is developed by Ed Saunders, deputy director of the Center for Health Communications at the U-M Cancer Center, and is can be accessed at mcancer.org/recipes.
"We hope the site helps people find more appealing ways to prepare healthy foods that they already know they like," said Saunders.
The website is designed to serve individuals specifically and features delicious recipes developed by Graham Kerr, TV's "Galloping Gourmet" and leading advocate for healthy eating. It also contains hundreds of video and audio clips of Kerr preparing the dishes.
"My life's work is now entirely focused upon finding effective culinary solutions for those caught up in the chaos of our times," said Kerr.
The site requires the users to rate fruits and vegetables on a scale from "will not eat" to "like a lot." Then taking into account these preferences, the database generates recipes for dishes including only those preferred choices and not others.
There are additional search options also addressing dietary needs such as dairy-free, low-fat and vegan providing the users with users menu choices that truly fit their needs.
"Whether you're looking for options packed with protein to help ward off the side effects of cancer treatment or just hoping to introduce more fruits and vegetables into your diet, the Web site will help you find what you're looking for," said Cancer Center dietitian Joan Daniels.
Originally, this recipe program was developed as part of a research study called "MENU Choices" that examined that how an interactive Web site with recipes tailored to individual food preferences motivated people to eat more healthfully.
With the availability of such a valuable tool, Cancer Center staff did not want to waste it. So it was decided to make the site public with a little re-organization.
New features are aimed at making the site easier to use and include a free registration option, which provides users with a log-in that will recall menu preferences, and a recipe box to save preferred recipes. No information will be collected for research purposes, Saunders says.
This site is entirely free and might see continuing improvements in the future. Cancer Center dieticians also hope to add additional recipes for people with eating issues that are not already addressed on the site, like nausea, various dietary restrictions and food allergies.
"We hope the Web site will help to pique curiosity about new fruits and vegetables, or at least help you find ways to eat more of what you like," said Saunders.