The Department of Health of the Alícia Foundation works to improve the eating habits of society, to respond to the culinary needs of people with special health requirements and to advise on and achieve the improvement of the culinary proposals of collective caterers (hospitals, schools, geriatric homes...) adapting them to all needs. 

The Department of Health and Eating Habits underlines the social vocation of Alícia and its desire to take on an active role in the improvement of the general diet of our society.

What are the main objectives of the Department of Health of Alícia?

  • Prevention. We contribute to the prevention of illnesses with appropriate culinary and eating habits.
  • Improving eating habits. We improve culinary habits to attain an improvement in the health of the population through educational activities and dissemination. We promote the use of cuisine as a strategy to improve eating habits and health. 
  • Creating awareness. We help to raise awareness of what we eat.
  • Providing models. We make models of dietary behaviour available to society.
  • Providing culinary answers. We develop specific culinary responses to health problems, thereby allowing people with dietary restrictions or limitations to continue to enjoy their food.
  • Promoting health. We promote cuisine as a tool for better health and the prevention of illnesses.

The lines of action of the Department of Health are concentrated on three areas:

   

 


 

THE PROMOTION OF GOOD HABITS

From within the field of promotion, we analyse the dietary behaviour of certain social groups from a cultural and social viewpoint, and seek solutions to redirect eating habits. The aim is to work for everyone to eat better and to have a better quality of life.

Dissemination is the priority of the department. We explain the necessity of good nutritional habits and share our knowledge with people of all ages, from children to adults.

Studies, workshops, conferences, the mass media, relationships with specialised institutions and centres are our main channels of study and dissemination.

 

 


CULINARY RESPONSES

From the kitchen, and in collaboration with all the departments of Alícia, this area works to find culinary solutions to the dietary needs of persons affected by health disorders and to give advice to health-care personnel and carers, and to collaborate in their tasks.

The aim is to improve the quality of life of people who require special diets, by adapting and creating specific dishes, and to provide them with tools that will facilitate their enjoyment of food, while maintaining their preferences, culture and traditions. 

We participate, with culinary contributions, in clinical studies oriented to improvement in diet and habits for certain pathologies, and we have developed tools such as cooking solutions, recipes, educational material and workshops for various health problems. 

 

DIABETES

Alícia participates in the “Science, Gastronomy and Diabetes” project - together with the Biomedical Research Clinic Foundation (FCRB) and the Centre for Biomedical Research in Network of Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Illnesses (CIBERDEM) –, in which we work on recipes, design materials and organise educational workshops directed towards diabetes sufferers, their families and health-care personnel.

Alícia also takes part in the clinical studies carried out by researchers from CIBERDEM, providing culinary contributions.

www.diabetesalacarta.org

 

PKU. PHENYLKETONURIA

We help people with phenylketonuria (PKU) and other metabolic disorders (OMD) and their families to improve their management of restricted diets. In collaboration with the Catalan PKU and OMD Association and the Sant Joan de Déu Hospital of Barcelona, we have developed specific recipes for people with these pathologies in which all the recipes are designed with a low protein intake.

Likewise, we have carried out a study with the Kennedy Centre of Copenhagen, creating low protein Nordic dishes.

We have also designed interactive games to help children and adolescents to learn to manage a low-protein diet, together with the Faculty of Education of the University of Granada.

www.pkuatm.org

www.fenilcetonuria.es

 

CANCER

Alícia collaborates with the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) in the creation of recipes and seasonal culinary preparations adapted to the various digestive disorders that persons undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy can suffer. Some of the secondary effects that may appear are: dryness of the mouth, nausea, vomiting, anorexia... the recipes can be obtained from the AECC portal.

www.aecc.es

 

FOOD ALLERGIES AND INTOLERANCIES  

We work so that people with allergies or intolerances can enjoy their food and do so with the utmost safety.

  • We collaborate on the web of the ACSA (Catalan Agency for Food Safety) providing recipes aimed at different allergies and intolerances.

www.gencat.cat

  • We hold workshops to explain and practise cooking solutions for any intolerance or allergy. The workshops are aimed at affected people, their families, cooks and restaurants.
  • In collaboration with the Association of Coeliac Patients of Catalonia and the ACSA we have prepared a manual of good practice so that caterers and restaurateurs can adapt their gastronomic proposals for coeliac sufferers.

  

DYSPHAGIA

We are in the planning phase of a project for the study and development of responses that will help to improve the proposals of culinary preparations intended for persons affected by dysphagia.

 

OTHERS

  • Anaemia. We have prepared recipes that are rich in iron and additional ingredients that facilitate its absorption.
  • Eye health. We have worked on dishes that are rich in vitamin A and carotene, especially designed for eye health. 
  • Cystic Fibrosis. We have designed audio-visual material that contains recipes aimed at persons affected by this pathology, in collaboration with the Spanish Cystic Fibrosis Association and prestigious Spanish chefs and cooks.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Dyslipidemia.


 

GROUP CATERING

Residences, hospitals, school dining rooms and catering firms are the main recipients of our proposals for collaboration.

We are working on the research and development of tools and solutions that will bring an improvement in culinary proposals with these centres, and others, that plan, prepare and serve meals for large numbers of people.

In this task we bear in mind nutritional supplements and the requirements laid down by possible diets, dietary preferences derived from culture and tradition as well as the final gastronomic characteristics: appearance, texture, aroma and taste. 

The aim is that the food offered should meet the highest expectations of the end user, the client. 

 

ADAPTION OF THE MASHED DIET

We are preparing studies to design proposals for mashed food according to the basal diet used in social health-care centres and hospitals. The use of the basal diet in mashed form offers consumers the possibility of rediscovering flavours that they have not been able to enjoy for some time, flavours that will remind them of their everyday or traditional diet. 

Principally, we carry out an appropriate nutritional assessment in order to guarantee protein intake, as well as other essential nutrients. We propose novel forms of serving to improve the visual appearance and presentation of the dishes.

We are studying and applying solutions for mashed diets for the Social Health-Care Consortium of Igualada (CSSI) and the Social Health-Care Foundation of Manresa (FSSM).