Nearly Half Of Hispanics Misunderstand Dietary Fats
Confusion about Good Fats in Avocados Represents Missed Opportunity for Healthier Living
According to the most recent U.S. Census, Hispanics are the least likely racial or ethnic group to seek medical care. This contributes to less access to information about common health risks and how diet can help protect against preventable diseases. A recent survey by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) points to an important opportunity for more education specifically about the benefits of good dietary fats like those found in fresh avocados. Given Hispanics are the youngest ethnic group in America, nearly 15 years younger than whites, teaching vital nutrition lessons now will have a big impact on the growing community.
The survey of more than 2,000 adults revealed about 40% of Hispanics admit having low understanding about dietary fats, a confusion that consequently resulted in nearly half (47%) of Hispanic participants incorrectly lumping all fats as bad for you.
“Truth is that there are two kinds of fats: good and bad,” said Sylvia Meléndez Klinger, a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in communicating with the Hispanic community for the past 20 years. “They are very different. Understanding the benefits and how to make better-for-you choices can have a huge impact on the health of the whole family.”
Missed Opportunity: More than 1/3 of Hispanics are Not Connecting the Dots between Healthy Eating and Healthier Living
- 34% of Hispanics surveyed did not believe eating good fats can help lower bad cholesterol when the truth is… according to the Dietary Guidelines 2015, replacing saturated (bad) fats or trans fats with unsaturated (good) fats, like that in fresh avocados, can reduce bad blood cholesterol levels. Avocados are cholesterol free, and unique in that they are comprised of over 75% unsaturated (good) fat, making them a great substitute for foods high in saturated fats.
- 36% of Hispanics didn’t believe eating good fats in place of bad fats can help lessen the risk of heart attack… however the facts show diets rich in foods containing fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Avocados are a good source of fiber and are recommended as a replacement for foods high in bad fats to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
“Dietary fiber from fruits like avocados, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and can lower risk of heart disease,” says Nikki Ford, PhD, Director of Nutrition, Hass Avocado Board. “We are pleased to offer recipes and nutrition tips online in English and Spanish to help Hispanics learn more about how to enjoy avocados, a delicious source of good fats.”
New Hispanic-inspired fresh avocado recipes are added every year to HAB’s web sites in both Spanish and English. The quick and easy recipe for Vegan Avocado Ceviche offers zesty flavors and a meat-free twist on a traditional favorite.
For more information on the good fats in avocados including a new fact sheet and more recipes, visit www.LoveOneToday.com/Fat-Awareness or for Spanish-language, visit www.SaboreaUnoHoy.com/Grasas-Buenas.
About the Survey
The results are based on a survey conducted among a sample of 2,035 adults comprising 1,010 men and 1,025 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States, between March 7-13, 2016. More than 300 were Hispanic. A sample size of 2,035 carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The survey was conducted by CARAVAN®, an omnibus service of ORC International.
About the Hass Avocado Board
The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is an agriculture promotion group established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass Avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass Avocados directs HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Funding for HAB comes from Hass avocado producers and importers in the United States.
In 2010, HAB established a Nutrition Research program to increase awareness and improve understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. Fresh Hass avocados are a delicious, cholesterol-free, whole food source of naturally good fats. The Nutrition Research program is an integral part of Love One Today, HAB’s multiyear, science-based, food and wellness education program. Love One Today encourages Americans to include fresh Hass avocados in everyday healthy eating plans to increase fruit and vegetable intake.