New Mexico State University hosts diabetes classes


Adults with diabetes can learn how to make healthy, delicious meals at a Kitchen Creations cooking school. The next one will begin at 12:30-3:30 p.m.  Feb. 27, March 6,13 and 20 at St. James Episcopal Church.

It is a series of four classes taught by Nancy Leicht from Holy Cross Hospital. Participants will learn food safety, how to plan meals, read food labels, balance carbohydrates and other tips. They will also prepare and sample recipes.

According to the 2016 New Mexico Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 10.7 percent of adults in New Mexico had been diagnosed with diabetes. The national average for 2015 was 9.9 percent. Research has shown that lifestyle changes, including healthier eating, can help manage diabetes. In 2016, diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death in the state. Taos County had a slightly lower rate of deaths due to diabetes than the state as a whole, but not by much, according to a county-by-county report on health concerns.

“Many people with diabetes are not sure what to do to improve their health, especially when it comes to food,” said Cassandra Vanderpool, Registered dietitian and extension diabetes coordinator for New Mexico State University. “Kitchen Creations goes beyond giving nutrition information. It engages participants in hands-on cooking and other activities to help them apply what they learn.”

To enroll in the Kitchen Creations cooking school for free, contact Taos County Extension Office (575) 758-3982.This program is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health Diabetes Prevention and Control Program and offered by the NMSU Cooperative Extension Service as well as Holy Cross Hospital.