Arroz y Gandules vs. Quinoa & Kale – (Latinos opting for a healthier lifestyle)

Posted on 9. 9. 13 | By Pamela Yepez | 12:05 am | Updated 1:59 am

Arroz picAmongst other things, Latinos are known for their delicious and hearty food. Filled with intense spices and flavors it’s difficult to break away from the traditional Latino dishes.  Growing up in a typical Latino household you can be sure to indulge in a plate of rice and beans several nights a week.  Other traditional meals can include “Chicharron, pernil, mondongo, maduro”, etc.  Latino women take pride in their cooking and often are found using food as a way of expressing their love.

Over the years, however, indulging in delicious meals has resulted in unhealthy consequences for the Latino community.  Latino’s are at high risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lung and breast cancer.

Let’s see the numbers:

  • The American Cancer Society reports that there are more than 100,000 new cancer diagnoses annually among Latinos.
  • According to the American Heart Association the death rate caused by stroke for Hispanic males was 30.9 and for females it was 28.0. 2.8 percent of Hispanic adults have had a stroke.
  • The Office of Minority Health indicates that in 2010, Hispanic Americans were 1.2 times as likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic whites. Among Hispanics in 50 states and DC, the prevalence of obesity ranged from 21.0 percent to 36.7 percent.
  • The office of Minority Health and American Heart Association report that Hispanic adults are 1.7 times more likely than Non-Hispanic white adults to be diagnosed with Diabetes by a physician. In 2008, Hispanics were 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to die from Diabetes. In the total adult Latino population, 38.2 percent have pre-diabetes.

Looking at these numbers gives Hispanics some food for thought. Are the delicious traditions of our culture worth the health risk?  New generation Latinos seem to be following the trend of vegan, organic and gluten free diets to raise their families.  Not necessarily abandoning abuela’s old recipe, yet replacing it with healthier ingredients.

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