¡Hola! Healthy Eating gets a Mexican Twist for Diabetes Sufferers

Those suffering from diabetes received an informative and delicious lesson on healthy eating on Saturday as Molokai’s Rural Health Clinic ran it’s second of three cooking demonstrations at Mitchell Paoule Center. The demonstration focused on lunch foods, and was given a Mexican theme based on suggestions from participants.

Dishes being served included a mouthwatering ‘chicken fajitas with cowpoke BBQ sauce,’ straightforward and hearty ‘enchilada rice’, zesty ‘Mexican vegetables’, savory ‘nacho squares’, and a deftly sweet dessert ‘sweet potato custard.’ Recipes were given out to all participants so the same dishes can be replicated in the home. Also provided were tip sheets on how to recognize and choose healthy foods when eating out, shopping for groceries, and tips for avoiding hyper-glycemia.

All dishes were prepared with guidelines set out by the American Diabetes Association, and covers not only ingredient selection but cooking methods. Grilling and baking, for example, are better cooking methods than frying or stewing, because fats are not trapped in the process. While this is common knowledge for most casual chefs, it never hurts to have tangible examples to demonstrate that healthy cooking methods can produce delicious dishes.

“This is a very solid turnout for us,” says Jeanette Bince, “it doesn’t look like we’ll even have leftovers, which is a first for us!” Bince is a Diabetes Nurse Educator in charge of outpatients for Molokai General Hospital, and says a grant from UH Department of Native Hawaiian Health has made programs like Saturdays cooking demonstration and the Los Vegas Diabetes Challenge possible.

Native Hawaiians are twice as likely to develop diabetes as Caucasians, making diabetes demonstrations throughout Hawaii ever more important. The next free cooking demonstration, focusing on dinner foods, will take place in June.

For a wide selection of nutricious and tasty recipies to prepare for your self and family, go to http://www.diabetes.org/home.jsp and select either the ‘recipe of the day’ or the ‘nutrition & recipes’ tab at left.


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