ETHNIC PROMOTIONS/HEALTH & WELLNESS: Oldways Launches Latino Nutrition Month, Spices Up the Med Diet

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ETHNIC PROMOTIONS/HEALTH & WELLNESS: Oldways Launches Latino Nutrition Month, Spices Up the Med Diet

As a way to increase awareness that healthier food and lifestyle choices can reduce the rise of chronic health conditions such as obesity and diabetes among Hispanics, Boston-based Oldways nonprofit food issues think tank and the Latino Nutrition Coalition (LNC) will roll out Latino Nutrition Month from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, to coincide with National Hispanic Heritage Month.

The aim of the initiative is to introduce consumers to a variety of ways to cook and eat within Latino diet pattern. This includes the debut of an updated Latin American Diet Pyramid that promotes the importance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and spices.

Retailers can take advantage of the Latino Nutrition Month consumer and health care professional programs featured on the Oldways and LNC web sites to reach out to Latino customers, which include:

• A Latino Month Calendar, featuring a tip a day for following the healthy Latin American Diet
• A 7-Day Healthy Latino Menu: Seven days of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, accompanied by calorie counts
• Affordable Latino meals, including recipes and price information for families, seniors, college students and others on a budget
• A revised “Camino Mágico,” a downloadable, bilingual supermarket shopping guide to help Hispanic make healthy choices at the supermarket
• The Latin American Diet Recipe Contest on the LNC site and The Oldways Table Blog
• A poster with an illustration of the latest Latin American Diet Pyramid
• A Latino Health Professionals Tool Kit containing meal planning tips, recipes, handouts and more is available free to health professionals and supermarket dietitians by contacting Erika Ross at [email protected] or 617- 896-4850.

For more information, visit

In other Oldways news, the think tank has joined forces with Hunt Valley, Md.-based spice manufacturer McCormick & Co. to spotlight herbs and spices’ new prominence in the updated Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.

“Updating the pyramid to emphasize herbs and spices was an easy choice, considering the role they play in the flavor profile of Mediterranean cuisines,” noted Oldways president K. Dun Gifford. “There is also a growing body of research linking herbs and spices, and their high levels of antioxidants, with an array of promising health benefits.”

The latest pyramid encourages the use of herbs and spices such as Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme and Red Pepper/Paprika. They’re also part of McCormick’s group of “Super Spices,” which the company is touting for their high levels of antioxidants, which compare favorably with “superfoods” like colorful berries and leafy green vegetables.

McCormick has come up with a range of recipes featuring the super spices, among them Mediterranean-Spiced Artichoke Bake, Rosemary-Baked Chicken with Potatoes, and Thyme and Cinnamon Poached Pears.

The Mediterranean Diet, which encompasses the cultures and cuisines of the nations surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, encourages eating a variety of fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, healthier fats such as those found in olive oil, almonds and walnuts, and seafood, and red wine in moderation. To help Americans incorporate Mediterranean foods into daily meals, Oldways created the first Mediterranean Diet Pyramid in 1993. For more information, visit