Stop Diabetes

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

By: Ashmar Mandou

With diabetes affecting many families, the American Diabetes Association is hosting a diabetes expo on Saturday, April 9th to help equip families with the proper tools to live healthy lives. Families will be able to take advantage of health screenings, active living education, tasty cooking demonstrations, and have time to speak with health experts, including registered dietician, Sylvia Klinger, MS, RD, LDN. Klinger will be on site as part of the American Diabetes, Stop Diabetes movement and the Hass Avocado Board lending her expertise on healthy food options, recipes, and tips to manage diabetes. Prior to Saturday’s diabetes expo, Klinger spoke to Lawndale Bilingual Newpsaper about preventing diabetes and what to expect at the expo.

Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper: This Saturday you will be participating in the American Diabetes Expo, what will you be teaching families about healthy eating? What are you looking forward to the most?

Sylvia Klinger: Yes, I’m working with the Hass Avocado Board and the American Diabetes Association in its movement to Stop Diabetes®. In fact, Hass Avocado Board is the first whole food national sponsor of the American Diabetes Association. As a team, we are working together to help increase Latinos’ awareness about the benefits of good fats. I’m looking forward to teaching families about the importance of good fats. Sometimes the word “fat” is considered a bad word and is often avoided, but incorporating good fats like fresh avocados in your diet can prove beneficial.

As a registered dietician, what changes can Latino families make to lead healthier lives?

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Latinos are nearly twice as likely as non-Latinos to develop type 2 diabetes. It’s important for Latinos to incorporate a variety of fruits and veggies into their diets. Eating well to maintain a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk.

Can you talk about the benefits of good fats like avocados? How can families implement them in their daily meals? How can families consume avocados without becoming bored of them?

I love fresh avocados. They’re so versatile and delicious. Fresh avocados are a long traditional staple across many Latino kitchens, but aside from their irresistible taste many are unaware of the health benefits. The truth is there are two kinds of dietary fats and you need to know the difference. Not all fats should be avoided and in fact, your body needs fat. It is essential to eat some fats because fats give your body the energy that it needs to work properly. The trick is being smart when choosing between good fats and bad fats. Eating foods high in good fat – like avocados – in place of foods high in bad fat have been shown to play a beneficial role in reducing the risk of certain diseases and supporting overall health. Avocados are also cholesterol and sodium free, and its creamy taste make it a great compliment to any meal. With resources like, you can find plenty of easy and tasty avocado recipes to make for the family. Avocados can be used in meals, baking, smoothies, etc.

How can families work together to decrease health risks? What activities do you enjoy to do with your family?

I think it’s important for families to enjoy more home cooked meals together. Not only does it allow for quality family time, but in doing so, you have more control over the ingredients you use. Not to mention, you are able to implement portion control. My family and I enjoy doing many outdoor activities from biking to swimming. We like to go out and enjoy the day.

What are some of your favorite recipes that are simple for families on a busy schedule?

One of my favorite go-to recipes when I’m in time crunch is the Easy Avocado Cabbage Carrot Slaw. It takes only about 10 minutes to prepare and is a perfect topping on fish tacos or as a side dish! For this recipe and many more, visit

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