Chefs Cook up Delicious, Diabetes-Friendly Dishes

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Celebrity chef and cookbook author, Chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, is partnering with Merck on Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon (Taking Diabetes to Heart) to educate Hispanics living with type 2 diabetes about including small, but important changes in their lifestyle. Chef Leticia will visit select cities to show the Hispanic community how to make traditional dishes healthy, without compromising taste, and help educate people with type 2 diabetes about how they can live a diabetes-friendly lifestyle.

"My grandfather died from complications from his type 2 diabetes so I know how important it is for people living with type 2 diabetes to manage their disease to help reduce their risk of serious complications, such as heart disease and stroke," said Chef Leticia. "In the Hispanic community, we all take to heart our families, our food, our culture, and our community activities, and diabetes impacts all of these aspects of our lives. I'm thrilled to be partnering with Merck on Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon to provide Hispanics living with type 2 diabetes and their families and caregivers with culturally-relevant resources to help them learn how to live a healthier lifestyle."

One of the more difficult aspects of diabetes management can be adjusting your diet, especially when food is an important aspect of the culture, as it is in the Hispanic community. As part of the program, Chef Leticia will be serving up some of her favorite dishes through cooking demonstrations at the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) Feria de Salud at Calle Ocho event in Miami on March 10. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample Chef Leticia's favorite diabetes-friendly dishes that will be served by a participating local food truck.

"We are excited to feature Merck's Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon as part of this year's Feria de Salud at Calle Ocho event," said Flavia Llizo, Executive Director of the American Diabetes Association in Miami, Florida. "The American Diabetes Association is committed to raising awareness of type 2 diabetes and providing relevant resources for those at an increased risk for the disease, including Hispanics. This program is providing important information for people living with type 2 diabetes."

Type 2 diabetes affects the Hispanic community living in the United States more than other ethnic groups, and this community has a 66 percent higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes than non-Hispanic white adults. Of the Hispanic adults living in the United States, nearly 12 percent are diagnosed with diabetes, which is among the highest prevalence of ethnic groups in the United States.

"I am pleased to work with Merck on Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon to educate Hispanics in Miami about managing this complex disease," said Frank Lavernia , MD, Internal Medicine, Coconut Creek, Florida. "Whether they are already diagnosed, at risk for, or caring for someone with type 2 diabetes, everyone attending the event can benefit from learning about the disease and the importance of working with a health care provider to set personalized goals.

If diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is important to work with your health care provider to develop a comprehensive diabetes-management plan that includes diet, exercise and, if appropriate, medication, and stick to that plan. There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach, so talk to your health care provider about developing an individualized treatment plan that is right for you.

Visit CuidaTuDiabetesCuidaTuCorazon.com for more information about Chef Leticia's story, Cuida tu Diabetes, Cuida tu Corazon, and bilingual resources for people with type 2 diabetes, including delicious, diabetes-friendly recipes that the whole family can enjoy, as well as tips for living a healthier lifestyle.