The Balance Guru now in Puerto Rico

Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico!

The Balance Guru has moved to Puerto Rico. My family and I have chosen to have an adventure in the Carribean and we moved to Puerto Rico site unseen. We have left the door open as to how long we will live here, but so far we are absolutely in love with the island.

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As far as The Balance Blog is concerned, I have seen many interesting health habits here that are common with most Latin American countries. The way they eat is the most obvious.

This is a plate of common Puerto Rican specialties; twice-fried empanadas and the standard rice and beans. Yes, you read it correctly, TWICE-FRIED! I have to say that the red beans and rice most always taste delicious. But most foods with high fat content do!

Our eating experience the first week we were here was that everything can come with rice and beans if you want it to. If not, then it comes with bread. I can’t tell you how overloaded each plate is with carbohydrates and fat. And it is very rare to see ANY vegetables. For Puerto Rico, a vegetable is the onion and corn they cook with the stew, or sancocho (again very tasty dish, but loaded with fat and carbs). It surprises me how difficult it is to get fresh green vegetables here.

All of our experiences in every type of restaurant we came across (local, breakfast, deli, lunch, dinner) were very telling as to why there is such a problem here with Diabetes.

Statistics from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) show that Puerto Rican residents are 1.8 times as likely as whites to get diabetes.

For those with diabetes, it must be so difficult to make changes in their nutritional habits with all the access to unhealthy foods. But there is also a cultural componant in that there is such connection with the heart and soul that goes into the food. And it is the food that is the centerpiece of most family and neighborhood gatherings.
There needs to be a family and community support for those with diabetes and those at high risk for diabetes to make a change. There has got to be a way to keep the soul and loose the fat in the food.

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