In the West, foods are described in terms of how much protein, fat, calories, vitamins & minerals it contains. The emphasis is placed on the chemical composition of a food to determine whether it is beneficial & nutritious.
In the East, foods are described by qualities such as temperature, flavor, & action. TCM determines the unique energy & characteristic properties of each food such as hot/cold, salty/sweet/bitter flavors, & how foods act on & move throughout our body. All foods have a distinct energy & characteristic properties that either help to balance our bodies & make us healthy, or to create imbalances which ultimately result in sickness.