Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15–Oct. 15. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the more than 60 million people of Hispanic heritage living in the U.S.
Dr. Juan Carlos Leoni Moreno, a Mayo Clinic transplant cardiologist, says soaring obesity rates contribute to high rates of diabetes and heart disease in the Hispanic population. And healthcare disparities, including cultural differences, language barriers and lack of information, add to the challenges many Hispanic residents face.
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"Obesity has been a major health issue in the Hispanic population in the United States, resulting in health complications like diabetes and heart disease" says Dr. Leoni Moreno. He says there are many factors.
"This population has difficult access to healthcare, difficult access to guidance on prevention and management," he says.
That's where lifestyle changes can help.
Dietary choices, like fresh fruit and vegetables, can replace processed foods high in fat and sugar.
"Staying active can help lower complications too. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of regular exercise a week," says Dr. Leoni Moreno.
“It’s better to prevent disease than to have to treat the disease. We want to see these patients at the right time," he says.
A regular diet that's high in salt, fat and sugar can increase your risk for heart disease. Following a healthy diet can help the heart, control blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Here are strategies everyone can follow for heart health: