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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Latino Nutrition Month

Latino Nutrition Month goes from September 15-October 15. Oldways and the Latino Nutrition Coalition are working to build awareness of how food and lifestyle choices can reduce the rise of chronic disease that the Latino community faces.

  • Latino Americans are the second-largest and the fastest-growing minority group in the US. There are over 30 million Hispanics in the US, making up more than 12% of the population (US Census Bureau). By the year 2050, an estimated 97 million Hispanics will constitute 25 percent of the US population.
  • Latinos have the fastest-growing waistlines of any group in the US. Obesity rates for Hispanics in the US doubled between 1991 and 2001, rising from 11.6% to 23.7% (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion).
  • In 2000, of the 30 million Latinos in the US, about 2 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, about 10.2 percent of all Latinos in America. On average, Latino Americans are almost twice as likely to have diabetes than whites of similar age.
  • 10.4% of Hispanics aged 20 years and older have been diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic disease that increases risk of overall death by twice that of people without the disease.
  • Another study found that first generation Hispanics are much more likely to develop cancer than people in their home countries. This is thought to be from the unhealthy habits adopted in America such as poor food choices and overeating.
The Latin American Diet Pyramid has been updated and stresses the importance of plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and spices as the base of one's diet.

Latin American Diet Recipe Contest! Look for contest rules here.
You can submit a recipe that uses at least two Latin American Diet products (see list on website). Winners will be drawn at the end of the October, and announced on the websit. Prizes include wonderful Latino products and autographed copies of the widely-praised book, The Oldways Table, chock-full of wonderful recipes and short essays about food and wine experiences.

Check out these resources:

Healthy Pantry, Latin Style
Reading Food Labels
Latin Foods A-Z
Shopping Tips and a Grocery List
Free downloadable shopping guide and meal planner called Camino Magico

For more information, check out www.latinonutrition.org

Image of Latin Diet Pyramid posted with permission from Oldways. © 2009 Oldways Preservation & Exchange Trust. www.oldwayspt.org
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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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