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Ten Mistakes in the Diet of Hispanics

Por Ana Carolina Lopez, MyDiet Team -

In recent years, we have noticed a significant increase of overweight among Hispanics. What are we doing to cause this? Read on and discover ten common mistakes you can avoid. 

1. Eating at full speed.The pace of life we lead today often involves doing all things fast, including eating. It takes approximately 20 minutes for the brain to receive the “satiety” signal, so eating in a shorter time makes us more likely to eat much more than we actually require.

2. Skipping meals.A frequent concern found at nutrition clinics is: “I don’t understand why I gained weight, I only eat once a day!” Perhaps the answer is right there. Skipping meals can adversely affect your metabolism, making it slower. In addition, skipping a meal can make you excessively hungry and anxious before the next meal time, and this makes it difficult to be selective with what you eat. 

3. Frequent frying.In our Hispanic diet, fried foods are always around. High-fat dishes are also high in calories and can undermine your weight loss plan. Try to choose grilled, broiled, or steamed preparations and if you need to use oil, replace it with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Alcoholic beverages.Beer and other alcoholic drinks are also frequent in the Hispanic table. Moderation is the key. Also, pay attention to the mixer you use; choose sugar-free options, like diet sodas or sparkling water.

5. Diet saboteurs:Sometimes everything would be fine with our menu, until we get to the side dishes that sabotage the calories, sugar, and fat. Beware of excessive dressings, fatty sauces, cream, jam, and muffins. Always choose low-fat dressings and replace cream with low-fat yogurt. Look for sugar-free jellies, which contain less calories, and replace regular buns with whole wheat versions, which are higher in fiber.

6. Forgotten vegetables.A common weakness in Latin American tables is that we find plenty of meats, rice, bread, potatoes, but… what about vegetables? Emphasize this food group and make it a priority within your menu.

7. Fruit as a dessert.Fruits are an excellent alternative as a dessert instead of cakes, ice cream or other high-calorie choices. However, try to choose fresh fruit instead of canned or preserved, since the latter have added sugar and sodium as an additive.

8. Advice of friends and neighbors.Something common among Hispanics is having an active social life. This leads to sharing the many diet “tips” we find, which don’t always come from reliable sources. We try all the different diets and weight loss methods available and then we find ourselves experiencing the famous “rebound” effect. Remember the most effective and healthy way of losing weight is by following professional support, including a personalized weight loss plan and an exercise routine.

9. Physical inactivity.Nowadays, technology is certainly very beneficial and helps us fulfill our obligations more efficiently. However, it often leads us to being physically inactive, almost sedentary. Try implementing an exercise routine and take advantage of all the opportunities you have to get up, walk, use the stairs, and remain active.

10. Social events.Hispanics are known for being very cheerful and sociable people. But social events usually take place around a table full of food. A common mistake is to use these occasions to eat everything that is in front of us, but it is possible to continue participating in celebrations and events without breaking your diet. Plan what you’ll eat, choose the healthiest options and control your serving sizes.


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