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Smooth Food – Eating Without Barriers: taking the stress out of eating

New self-help book published by MedUni Vienna in collaboration with MANZ Verlag
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(Vienna, 17 December 2018) Soft food is not just something for babies and toddlers or the elderly but there are also many diseases that are associated with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). Inappropriate or thoughtlessly prepared food makes eating enormously stressful for those affected. But there is an alternative: soft food. In their new self-help book "Soft Food – Eating Without Barriers" recently published by MANZ Verlag in collaboration with MedUni Vienna, Piero Lercher, an expert in sports medicine and preventive medicine from MedUni Vienna, ENT expert Boban Erovic from Vienna Evangelical Hospital and Claudia Braunstein, who herself suffers from dysphagia, describe how to prepare soft food properly, what ingredients and seasonings are appropriate and how to deal with dysphagia in general.

"Dysphagia is more common than you might think," says Piero Lercher. "For example, you think of sore throats or dental operations, which temporarily make swallowing difficult, but also of dementia or stroke patients. Another instance would be iatrogenic dysphagia, which occurs following therapeutic or surgical interventions." And Erovic adds: "The greatest challenge is posed by ENT cancer surgery. If patients then also have to put up with inappropriate or thoughtlessly prepared food, causing further stress, this represents a huge limitation to their quality of life."

The alternative is "Soft Food". The art of barrier-free food is about using the right ingredients, on the one hand; using suitable herbs and spices and appetising presentation on the other. "When these elements are present, soft food can taste delicious," emphasise the authors.

Soft food in its broadest sense has also become quite trendy – even in gourmet circles. The popularity of healthy soups to take away and fruit smoothies shows that soft food is also attractive to people who do not have any difficulty swallowing. "The food industry has responded to this trend – with new products such as so-called pouches, squeeze packs containing puréed fruit and vegetables as healthy snacks for between meals."

About smelling, tasting and swallowing
In addition to many recipes for soft food – including numerous tasty "surprises", which one might not have expected – the new self-help book also provides a comprehensive insight into the problems of dysphagia and how it develops, as well as the anatomical and physiological principles of swallowing, smelling and tasting in humans. The experts also offer helpful tips and tricks to deal with the symptoms – for sufferers and their families. 

MedUni Vienna at MANZ Verlag: Self-help guides and interesting books
Seven self-help books have now been published in the "Health. Science" series by MedUni Vienna in collaboration with MANZ Verlag: "Pollen and Allergy" (2015), "High blood pressure" (2015), "Diabetes" (2016), "Vaccination" (2016), "Health in Old Age" (2017) plus "Prostate Cancer" (2018) and “Smooth Food” (2018). There is also a book entitled "Climate Change and Health" in the "Aspects of Science" series, published in the summer of 2017, and "Bionic Reconstruction” (early 2018).

Link to all books and online ordering

Recommended reading: "Geschmeidige Kost – Essen ohne Barriere" [Smooth Food – Eating Without Barriers], Boban Erovic, Piero Lercher, Claudia Braunstein. MANZ Verlag Vienna in collaboration with MedUni Vienna, 180 pages, September 2018. 23.90 EUR. ISBN: 978-3-214-01487-2.  Order online