People to Know 2014: Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
With the continued rise of diabetes in the Latino community, there is a voice that is providing healthy information and positive lifestyle changes to educate and empower. That voice is chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz.
Chef Leticia knows firsthand how diabetes affects families: Her grandfather lived for many years with type 2 diabetes and passed away from a stroke, one of the many complications associated with the disease. This prompted her family members to evaluate their lifestyles and learn how to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A native of Brazil, chef Leticia is the voice of Merk’s Desafiando La Diabetes: Logra Tus Metas program, which reaches out to Hispanic communities and provides authentic Hispanic dishes with a healthy twist. From Cuban-style eggs and spinach enchiladas to Latin rice pudding, all of the recipes were created with attention to lowering sodium, carbohydrate, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. Smaller portion sizes and increased fiber from fruits and veggies make chef Leticia’s cuisine a realistic part of a healthy eating plan.
As part of the program, chef Leticia travels to different cities throughout the United States, raising awareness of type 2 diabetes and providing live cooking demonstrations. She proves that authentic Hispanic foods taste great and shows us healthful alternatives to traditionally prepared recipes.
Chris Smith, aka The Diabetic Chef, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 24. He’s a certified executive chef and author of The Diabetic Chef’s Year-Round Cookbook: A Fresh Approach to Using Seasonal Ingredients. Through his workshops and cooking classes, Smith often works with the Latino population on ways to eat healthy without sacrificing flavor. Find him at thediabeticchef.com.