For Latinos, family gatherings and celebrations always mean sharing a great meal. It is part of our culture to indulge and share with others the endless dishes and combinations that Latin cuisine has to offer. However, more often than not, we are indulging in unhealthy foods that take a toll in our bodies. One of the main culprits in our deteriorating health is the excess of sodium in our diets.
In the Hispanic community, statistics show that women are developing heart disease 10 years earlier than non-Hispanic women. Moreover, only 1 in 3 Latinas is aware heart disease is the number 1 killer among us. I have experienced the fatal consequences of abusing salt within my own family. That’s why I’m on a mission to change our eating habits for the better.
Many times we are hesitant in changing the old patterns because we think that reducing sodium will affect the overall flavor of our meals. Can a comida latina (Latin meal) be any good if the sabor is not there? Fear not. The reality is, once you reduce and/or eliminate sodium from your cooking and your overall diet, you’ll learn to appreciate the real flavor of the foods.
Not only that, if you pay attention to the labels when you go grocery shopping, you’ll end up buying more wholesome products, with fewer chemicals and sugars and more whole grain. Less process = Better foods.
Don’t be afraid; we are not reinventing the wheel. Cooking a la latina with all of the natural spices, vegetables and sofrito gives you all the flavor you need, and then some. Trust your abuelita and go back to basics, and reeducate your palates for good.
Here are tips to get you going…