Irvine, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 2, 2004–Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the Hispanic community, according to the Office of Minority Health. However, individuals can combat diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, active lifestyle and nutritious eating habits (1). California avocados are a nutrient-dense food source and a cultural favorite that can be part of a healthy diet for managing diabetes.
Over 10 percent of the Hispanic population suffers from diabetes (2). Further findings from the October 2003 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) project that Hispanics born in 2000 have a nearly 1 in 2 risk of developing diabetes during their lifetime, which translates into a 1.5 times higher risk than non-Latino whites.
“It is important for Hispanic men and women, regardless of age, to be aware of their heightened risk of diabetes,” says Dr. Aliza Lifshitz, M.D. of Cedars Sinai Medical Center. “By implementing healthy lifestyle changes in regards to proper nutrition and daily exercise, individuals can protect their body from the damage diabetes causes in order to live longer, healthier lives.”
California avocados contribute to a healthy diet for controlling diabetes because they offer monounsaturated fats that have been shown to raise good cholesterol levels, fight heart disease and promote glucose regulation. According to the American Diabetes Association, a diet high in monounsaturated fat can improve glucose tolerance and may reduce insulin resistance, allowing for better control of the disease.
Avocados also offer vitamin E that helps neutralize free radicals, folate that may lower homocysteine levels in the blood, and fiber that helps regulate blood sugar levels. All of these functions offer important benefits for people with diabetes.
Ounce-per-ounce, avocados rank highest in monounsaturated fat, vitamin E, folate, potassium, magnesium, lutein, beta-sitosterol and glutathione, compared to other commonly eaten fruits. According to the Food and Drug Administration, diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases. California avocados are included in the National cancer Institiute’s 5 A Day program. For more nutrition information, please visit http://www.avocado.org.
California Avocado Zucchini Soup
4 Cups fat free chicken broth, divide in half
1 med. onion, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp salt or to taste
1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Cups zucchini, thinly sliced
2 large ripe California avocados, seeded, peeled and chopped
In large pot with lid, heat 1 cup broth, onion, green onions, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. When boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add remaining broth and zucchini and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid and allow to cool slightly. In food processor, puree zucchini, broth and avocado in batches. Return to pan and warm gently. Serve in soup bowls and garnish to taste.
Nutrients Per Serving: 200 calories, 13g fat (2g saturated fat, 8g monounsaturated fat, 3g polyunsaturated fat), 10g protein, 15g carbohydrate, 13g fat, 10g fiber, 470mg sodium.
(1) – The Diabetes Prevention Program, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), New England Journal of Medicine, February 2002.
(2) – CDC’s Office of Minority Health, “Closing the Health Gap: Hispanics/Latinos.” http://www.omhrc.gov/inetpub/http://wwwroot/healthgap2003/diabetes.htm. 2002.
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