The rate of diabetes in Latinos is almost double compared to that of the non-Latino American.

Did you know that in November, in addition to celebrating Thanksgiving, we also celebrate National Diabetes Month? Although both dates may sound a bit contradictory, since in one we consume large amounts of food and the other is a date to think about our health, the truth is that it is a month where we have to talk about the important relationship between food and health.

By itself, diabetes is a growing health problem in the United States, but it is especially important to the Latino community. The rate of diabetes in Latinos is almost double compared to that of the non-Latino American. Furthermore, almost half of Hispanic children born in 2000 likely develop diabetes during their lifetime.

Considering all these factors, the registered dietitian and nutritionist Mascha Davis in association with Panda express They have produced an article to tell us how we can make better nutritional choices to avoid diabetes.

Here I share his advice to balance our diet and become aware of the relationship that exists between food and health.

Nutrition Tips for National Diabetes Month

By Mascha Davis, registered dietitian and nutritionist, in association with Panda Express.

Mascha Davis

In November we not only celebrate Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving, but we also celebrate an important health date: National Diabetes Month.

Over the course of their lives, 40% of American adults are expected to develop type 2 diabetes. While diabetes is a growing health problem in the United States, it is particularly urgent for the Latino community, as its rate diabetes is almost double compared to that of the non-Latino American. This number is alarmingly for Hispanic men and women: more than 50%. Almost half of Hispanic children born in 2000 probably develop diabetes during their lives.

Risk factors for diabetes include: being overweight; have a father, brother, or sister with diabetes; be older than 45 years; having diabetes during pregnancy; and be Hispanic / Latino, Alaska Native, American Indian, African American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander.

The good news is that it is never too late to start making changes, improve eating habits, and achieve better health. Fortunately, many cases of diabetes can be prevented by making good eating decisions. For those living with diabetes, nutrition is an essential part of controlling blood sugar levels and staying healthy. Here are some tips you can start incorporating right away to keep you and your family healthy and vibrant:

Balance your plate:

You can make your meals nutritionally balanced, whether you eat at home or on the go, including the following items:

    1. At least a cup of vegetables – trying to make some green.
    2. A small handful (about ½ cup) of whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.
    3. A lean protein the size of your palm: tofu, fish, and chicken are great options.

With the busy schedule of going back to school, cooking all your meals at home is not a very realistic option. Looking for a balanced meal on the go is getting easier with casual restaurants offering good options. Here is one of the examples of one of my favorite foods at Panda Express: a serving of vegetables, a small serving of brown rice, and chicken Kung pao. This dish has lots of vegetables, some complex carbohydrates thanks to brown rice and chicken protein. Also, it is delicious.

2. Change sweet drinks by water:

Soft drinks and even natural juices add a large amount of unnecessary sugar to your day without leaving you satisfied. This implies an increase in your blood sugar levels, leaving you hungry soon after. Diabetics and people who are prediabetic should take special care with sweetened beverages. Choose water with all your meals and be sure to drink it throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.

3. Choose smart options:

When you eat out, choose options marked as low in salt, calories, or fat. Panda Express, for example, has a menu Wok Smart with a tasty selection of healthy dishes that will leave you satisfied. Living a healthy lifestyle is about balance and choice: consider your diet, without depriving yourself completely.

4. Incorporate snacks to your diet:

Bring them to school, work and social outings to curb hunger. Don’t wait until you’re hungry to eat, this can lead to bad decisions: eating too fast or overeating. Eat snacks between your meals and you will discover that you can make better choices at mealtime. These snacks can be as simple as a handful of walnuts, a mix of dried fruit, a piece of fruit or carrot with sauce. A good option is Power Up, Mega Omega Trail Mix.

5. Don’t neglect your dream:

Children need 9 to 13 hours (depending on their age) of sleep at night. Adults need 7 to 8 hours. When you can’t get enough sleep, your blood sugar levels can rise, as can your hunger, causing you to overeat. Give your sleep the highest priority possible, both for your sugar levels and for optimal health.