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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

Did you know that Hispanics are at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes? U.S. Hispanics are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites, and diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death within the Hispanic community, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, a time to highlight Hispanic culture, including family, food, music, art and traditions. This month-long celebration also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of important health topics affecting the Hispanic community.

Celebrity chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz is working with Merck on “Desafiando La Diabetes: Logra Tus Metas,” a program urging Hispanics with type 2 diabetes to know their A1C – average blood sugar level over the past two to three months – and to work with their doctor to develop a plan to set and attain their personal A1C goal.

“After struggling with type 2 diabetes for many years, my grandfather passed away from a stroke, one of the serious complications of diabetes,” says Moreinos Schwartz. “That’s why I’m passionate about empowering Hispanics to learn how to reach their blood sugar goals.”

The American Diabetes Association recommends many people with diabetes have an A1C of less than 7 percent to help reduce the risk of complications, such as heart disease and stroke. A higher or lower A1C goal may be appropriate for some people. Nearly half of people with diabetes are not at an A1C of less than 7 percent. So it is important that Hispanics learn more about what they can do to reach their A1C goal.

Here are some important tips if you have type 2 diabetes:

  • Ask your doctor what your A1C is and what the right A1C goal is for you

  • Work with your doctor to come up with a personalized treatment plan, which may include diet, exercise and medication (if prescribed by your doctor)

  • Talk about how often you should check your blood sugar

Diabetes is a progressive disease, and sometimes your treatment plan may need to change. If your doctor decides it is time to change your medication, it doesn’t mean you haven’t tried hard enough – many people need to adjust their treatment plans over time to reach their A1C goal.

If you have type 2 diabetes, be sure to work with your doctor to come up with a personalized treatment plan that is right for you to help you reach your A1C goal, or encourage a loved one with type 2 diabetes to do the same. Visit for more information about Moreinos Schwartz’s story, the “Desafiando La Diabetes” program, bilingual resources and diabetes-friendly recipes.

Diet is an important part of an individualized diabetes management plan to help people with type 2 diabetes reach their A1C goal. Chef Moreinos Schwartz is sharing her favorite diabetes-friendly recipes that the whole family can enjoy at In general, diabetes-friendly recipes are lower in sodium, carbohydrates, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. They are also higher in fiber compared with other dishes and include appropriate portion sizes. Delicious and good for you! ¡Buen provecho!

Arroz con Pollo 1

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