Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed – from MasterChef winner to NHS campaigner

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36 min listen

Dr Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed’s career has taken her in all sorts of different directions.

She is a junior doctor working in the NHS, an author, and of course she won MasterChef in 2017.

But her passion for good food doesn’t stop there, Saliha co-founded the No Hungry NHS Staff campaign.

It’s about making sure NHS staff have access to hot, affordable, nutritious food – whatever time of the day or night they are working.

In this episode of the Food Matters Live Podcast, Saliha says she sees the impact bad diet has on people’s health every day in her NHS work.

That’s mainly in patients (she specialises in digestive disorders), but also the short-term impact of staff going hungry or being forced to eat poorly.

She’s also keen that, when it comes to diet-related health outcomes, prevention should be given more prominence.

Saliha believes as much attention should be paid to what people eat in the years before they become ill, as the medicine they are given once a problem emerges.

Listen to the full episode to hear her views on nutrition as medicine, why she’s celebrating what she calls a “new age of curry”, and how winning MasterCher in 2017 changed her life – it involves pyjamas and slippers!

Dr Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, chef, author, campaigner

Saliha is a junior doctor working in the NHS. She graduated from Kings College London in 2012. Starting her career at St Mary’s Hospital, she has subsequently worked in Hillingdon Hospital and Watford General Hospital.

She is training to specialise in Gastroenterology, focussing her energies on the treatment of Digestive disorders. She is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, having completed her postgraduate exams.

Saliha won MasterChef in 2017, facing off competition from 63 other determined contestants, through seven gruelling weeks of culinary challenges and an exhilarating final cook-off.

Saliha has published two books. Khazana: An Indo-Persian cookbook with recipes inspired by the Mughals and Foodology: A food-lover’s guide to digestive health and happiness.

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