Monday, November 03, 2008

Chef LaLa "Dishes" On Diabetes And Healthy Latino Recipes

(NAPSI)-Chef, nutritionist and cookbook author Chef LaLa is encouraging people with type 2 diabetes to recognize that small changes, including food choices, can have a positive effect on managing diabetes. Chef LaLa is passionate about healthy cooking, and a family history of type 2 diabetes motivated her to become involved in the Journey for Control campaign, supported by Merck & Co., Inc., to help people with diabetes to better manage their condition.

"Diabetes is a subject that is very close to my heart. Having seen three of my grandparents and my father struggle with type 2 diabetes, I am personally dedicated to sharing my recipes and cooking tips," said Chef LaLa. "As a chef and a nutritionist, I have dedicated a big part of my life to showing people that it is possible to enjoy healthy Latino food without sacrificing traditional family flavor. That's what this campaign is all about: small changes having a big effect."

Diabetes is a rapidly growing health problem in the United States; in fact, nearly 21 million people (7 percent of the population) have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a condition diagnosed by elevated blood sugar or glucose. With type 2 diabetes, the body may not make enough insulin, the insulin that the body produces may not work as well as it should and/or the liver may release too much glucose. When insulin is not used appropriately, the body cannot convert sugar, starches and other food into energy for daily life.

Living with diabetes can be a challenge. A healthy diet is a key component of diabetes management. The Journey for Control campaign encourages people with type 2 diabetes to recognize that small changes can add up to a big difference. Visit for nutritional advice, exercise tips and flavorful recipes, like the spiced tropical fruit salad recipe provided below.

Food is an important part of our culture and everyday life, and there is a widely held misconception that if you try to make Latino food healthy, it lacks flavor. That's not true, according to Chef LaLa.

"Living with diabetes can be a challenge, but I want people to know that it is within their control to enjoy eating while still following a healthy diet," said Chef LaLa.



Yields 4 servings

⅛ teaspoon allspice*

⅛ teaspoon ground ginger

2 whole star anise

¼ teaspoon real vanilla extract

1 medium orange, juiced

2 tablespoon orange marmalade†

1 mango, peeled, thinly sliced (4 oz.)

½ papaya, peeled, thinly sliced (4 oz.)

2 kiwis, peeled, thinly sliced (4 oz.)

¼ pineapple, peeled, thinly sliced (4 oz.)

In a small pot combine allspice, ground ginger, star anise, vanilla, orange, and marmalade. Warm for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to bowl, then to refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes. In the meantime, cut chilled fruit as instructed above. Arrange chilled fruit on chilled plate. Drizzle with spiced orange sauce and enjoy.

*Usually used in ground form, allspice has a flavor like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

†Select a marmalade that has all natural ingredients: 100 percent fruit; no cane sugar added; and no artificial sweeteners.

Making the right food choices can have a positive effect on managing diabetes.

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