CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One dietitian in Charlotte is trying to meet the nutritional needs of the Hispanic community, while still packing in all the flavor and cultural elements that make dishes unique and delicious.


   What You Need To Know 

  • Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month
  • According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanic or Latino adults have a 10% higher chance of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to other U.S. Adults
  • A bilingual registered dietitian with Camino Health Center offers educational classes in Spanish to teach people how to eat healthy with cultural recipes 


Registered Dietitian Reatna Taylor is from the country of Panama. She is a bilingual speaker and teaches nutrition classes in Spanish twice a month at Camino Health Center in Charlotte. Her goal is to teach people how to cook foods that are native to their culture, but with an emphasis on health and nutrition.

“We are doing a Salvadorian guacamole today. We are doing Salvador because she is from Salvador,” Taylor said of her client. 

Dina Hernandez is her client, and she mostly speaks Spanish. She has Type 2 diabetes and wanted to take the class to help control her disease. Hernandez says the illness runs in her family.

“She said because of diabetes and catching it too late there is not much you can do,” Taylor said. “Her mom passed away because of diabetes.”

This is why the nutrition classes are so important to Hernandez. She wants to understand how to take control of her health.

“People who have diabetes are focusing on their carb intake,” Taylor said. “So the first things I always tell them is to not have naked carbs or not just eat carbs by themselves.”

Taylor showed her how to make a guacamole filled with several fresh vegetables. It also included eggs since that is native to Salvadorian culture. Then, it’s served with saltine crackers or chips. 

“A lot of my patients eat a lot of rice or beans, and that takes up about half their plate,” Taylor said. “So instead of focusing on the carb or the starch being half the plate, we focus on the vegetable side and being more plant forward.”

Hernandez says she has learned a lot of valuable lessons from the cooking classes. She has two children ages 10 and 9. She now feels equipped to help them live healthy, long lives.

“Usually there is a sigh of relief and calm come over them when I tell them we are not going to eliminate things,” Taylor said.

Cooking classes take place at Camino Health Center twice a month. They are offered in Spanish and cost $5 per person. Below is a schedule of upcoming sessions. Visit their website to learn more.

Saturday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. 

Saturday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. 

Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. 

Saturday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m.