Symposium Session: All Are Not the Same: Dietary Variations Among Hispanics and Latinos with Diabetes

Suggested CDR Learning Codes: 1040, 2020, 5190, 8015; Level 2
Performance Indicators: 1.3.6, 1.3.9, 8.2.1, 8.2.3

Health care providers are facing challenges with providing diabetes care to improve diabetes outcomes while being sensitive to cultural differences in a rapidly growing incidence of diabetes among Hispanics and Latinos in the United States.  

The contemporary diet of Hispanics and Latinos is influenced by the traditional dietary patterns of their countries of origin, such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Central America, and South America, as well as by the dietary practices of the adopted communities in which they live. There are many regional differences between Hispanic subgroups, both in terms of the composition of the diet, traditional cooking styles, eating habits, meal patterns, and availability of food.

RDs can improve patients’ adherence to dietary recommendations by developing a basic understanding of patients’ health beliefs, food choices, and culturally appropriate nutrition interventions. Many of the traditional dishes, such as tacos, paellas, empanadas, and tortillas, are different in nutrient composition, which impacts postprandial blood glucose level.

This session will include Diabetes Medical Nutrition Therapy that incorporates preferred foods from different countries, individualized meal plans, names of meals, times of meals, and serving portions. Sources of carbohydrate, protein, and fats and ethnic foods nutrition fact labels will also be discussed, together with strategies for healthful eating on special occasions and while dining out. In addition, case studies will be presented to encourage audience participation.

Learning Objectives

After attending this session, nutrition professionals should be able to:

  1. Select culturally appropriate foods for Hispanics and Latinos with diabetes.
  2. Identify the nutrient composition of traditional foods and the impact on postprandial blood sugar levels.
  3. Learn how to individualize a diabetic meal plan that includes patient’s preferred foods from country of origin.
  4. Apply diabetic dietary guidelines and carbohydrate counting to meal planning.
  5. Assess individual patients’ needs and beliefs to improve adherence to dietary recommendations to achieve optimal glycemic control.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 CDR
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Nilda Benmaor, MS, RDN, CDE

Available Credit

  • 1.50 CDR


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