More and more Hispanics are suffering from diseases resulting from poor diet. This is demonstrated by studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which indicate that Hispanics have higher mortality rates from diabetes and liver disease and cirrhosis than non-Hispanic whites.
Dr. Luis Vazquez explains it to us:
“Our community lives with a pattern of eating that is not the best, we please the taste and not the needs of our body.”
The patterns that Dr. Vazquez says are based on food products like rice, potatoes, pasta and sugar… and when we eat them in excess, our blood sugar levels change. This contributes to us eliminating the development of chronic diseases.
“Sugar, salt and carbohydrates, flour. If we try to eat as healthy as possible by moving away from those three parameters…, now with the trend of organic foods, we are going towards nutrition adapted to our body, going away from him.” The toxins that these substances contain and the addiction they cause”, says Dr. Vazquez.
An addiction that becomes a challenge for many Latinos. Such is the case of Ana Pineda who has been battling type 2 diabetes for over a decade and found her condition very difficult to accept.
Ana Pineda, one of his type 2 diabetes patients:
“When the doctor told me: ‘You are close to diabetes’ … I was already suffering and I didn’t believe him and I didn’t want to accept it.”
A decision he regrets today for not taking it seriously as he has to inject insulin several times a day to be able to control his condition.
“The biggest challenge I face is that I have to inject myself, my stomach is like a cow with so many injections every day,” says Pineda.
“I can give the best medicine for diabetes, but if the patient does not follow the diet and exercise regimen, progress is slow,” says Luis Vazquez about Ana Pineda.
According to the American Heart Society, Latinos in the United States are more susceptible to chronic diseases due to lifestyle, diet and environmental factors.
This also includes the role of poverty, with about 2.7 million people living below the poverty line in New York State and the boroughs of the city with the highest rates being the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
Lack of access to organic produce and fair prices is a headache for the community.
“For example, I have diabetes, so sometimes it’s hard for me to buy healthy fish,” Pineda admits.