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NHCOA Joins Older Americans Month Celebration

This year’s theme, “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.”, focuses on injury prevention among seniors 

Washington, DC— Dr. Yanira Cruz, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)— the leading organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers— made the following comments regarding Older Americans Month. Celebrated each year during the month of May, Older Americans Month was created to recognize seniors for their valuable contributions to our society, and provide them with information to make their golden years more healthy and active. This year’s theme, “Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.”, focuses on the injury prevention. According to the Administration for Community Living, unintentional injuries among older Americans result in at least 6 million medically treated injuries and more than 30,000 injury-related deaths each year. 

“Each year, during the month of May we celebrate the legacy of our country’s most valuable treasure, older Americans. Their hard work, their example, their experiences, and their contributions are the foundations we build on today. Older Americans Month is an opportunity to recognize our seniors for their efforts as productive citizens in our society, as well as showcase information that can improve their quality of lives.

“At NHCOA, we center our public policy and programming efforts around four key indicators of well-being: health, economic security, housing, and leadership empowerment and development. We believe each area is equally important for all older Americans, especially Hispanic older adults. Latino seniors, like other diverse seniors, have a lot to celebrate despite many challenges, including a history of low wages, language barriers, and access to healthcare. While, these barriers are significant roadblocks to healthy aging, opportunities like Older Americans Month help draw awareness to the issues most impacting seniors.

“This year, Older Americans Month’s theme is ‘Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow.’ we join in raising awareness about different ways we can keep our seniors safe to ensure they age securely, and in the best health possible, including injury and fall prevention, elder abuse, and improper use of medicine. Together, we can help older Americans across the country lead longer and healthier lives.”

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Healthy Diet Tips for Diabetics

Food is a fundamental part of Latino culture. It serves as a reason to gather la familia for meals and friends for fiestas. It also helps keep the sabores of our rich cultures alive and thriving in the U.S.  From empanadas to arroz con frijoles, Latin cuisine is as diverse as its population.

However, Latinos are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanic whites to have diabetes – a chronic condition that can be influenced in part by one’s diet. Therefore, maintaining a healthy diet is critical in the prevention and management of diabetes. Contrary to popular belief, individuals who have diabetes do not have to feel deprived of delicious foods. There are still many options to choose from that are both flavorful and healthy. The American Diabetes Association recommends the following tips for diabetics to maintain a healthy diet:

  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. Try picking from the rainbow of colors available to maximize variety.
  • Eat non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, carrots, broccoli or green beans with meals.
  • Choose whole grain foods over processed grain products. Try brown rice with your stir fry or whole wheat spaghetti with your favorite pasta sauce.
  • Include dried beans (like kidney or pinto beans) and lentils into your meals.
  • Include fish in your meals 2-3 times a week.
  • Choose lean meats like cuts of beef and pork that end in “loin” such as pork loin and sirloin. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
  • Choose non-fat dairy such as skim milk, non-fat yogurt and non-fat cheese.
  • Choose water, unsweetened tea, coffee and calorie-free “diet” drinks instead of regular soda, fruit punch, sweet tea and other sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Choose liquid oils for cooking instead of solid fats that can be high in saturated and trans fats. Remember that fats are high in calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, watch your portion sizes of added fats.
  • Cut back on high calorie snack foods and desserts like chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream.
  • Eating too much of even healthful foods can lead to weight gain. Watch your portion sizes.

By following dietary guidlines you can enjoy healthy versions of your favorite dishes. However, diet is only part of the equation. Following a proven program, such as Salud y Bienestar, which is supported by the Walmart Foundation, can greatly help in the management of diabetes through a culturally appropriate diet and physical activity, as well as collaboration with medical professionals.

NHCOA wants to know, what are your favorite healthy recipes? Feel free to share them in the comments section!