PCRM Native American Diabetes Program a Success
PCRM’s Native American Cooking to Beat Diabetes program completed a new round of classes in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M. The program is a response to the toll of diabetes that is higher among Native Americans than any other demographic group in the United States. One in five Native American adults has diabetes, and in older adults, the prevalence can be well over 50 percent.
During a recent broadcast on Native America Calling, a radio show reaching half a million listeners in the United States and Canada, PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., and instructor and chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D., emphasized that a plant-based diet is not just powerful for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes; it is similar to the diet enjoyed by the ancestors of many Native Americans.
“The foods that many Native communities ate in the past emphasized corn, beans, and squash, known as The Three Sisters,” says Frank, who is Kiowa. “Wild-harvested roots, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, beans, and herbs were also enjoyed. These provided a healthy diet, low in fat and high in nutrients.”
PCRM’s program was designed by PCRM’s Caroline Trapp, a nurse practitioner specializing in diabetes, along with Dr. Barnard and Dr. Frank, working with physicians, diabetes educators, registered dietitians, and local professional chefs. While enjoying delicious plant-based foods, participants explore a modern approach to ancestral foods that may put them in control of diabetes.
Special thanks to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and the Institute for American Indian Arts, which have played an important role in the success of this program.
ONLINE> To learn more about preventing diabetes with a plant-based diet, visit PCRM.org/Diabetes