Latin American Food: Health, History, And Culture

South America, and Latin America in general, is known for having some great tasting food. In the United States, Mexican food, which is really just a mixture of a bunch of Latin American food and American food, is all the rage. Beans, rice, tortillas, empanadas, and that delicious chorripollo. I’ve always heard that it’s healthy, however with Mexico’s recent capturing of the fattest country in the world title, I have started to second guess myself.

Latin America

Latin America is comprised of Mexico, Central America, and South America. Food is a way of life. It’s a passion. You don’t just eat food, you savor it. You feel it. You talk about it, decide what is wrong with it, and continue to devour and enjoy it. Each area has it’s own traditions and history when it comes to food which I will explore below.

The History Behind Latin American Food

Latin American food is a mixture of the indigenous tribes food, Spanish food, and traditional African foods; introduced when slaves were brought over from Africa. Along the northeastern part of South America, as well as in the Caribbean Islands, the African influence is quite a bit stronger than in other Latin American cultures for obvious reasons. In Mexico, the Mayans and Aztecs played a large role in current Mexican cuisine as it fused itself with the traditional Spanish food brought by the Spanish conquerors when they arrived on the scene.

Latin American food tends to be heavy on carbohydrates. This makes it higher in calories than some other countries foods;especially like the countries in the Mediterranean. This may be one of the reasons Mexico was recently pronounced the fattest country in the world.

Why Is Latin American Food So Carbohydrate Rich?

One reason Latin American food is so carbohydrate rich is the widespread poverty in Latin America. From Mexico to Ecuador, people are struggling to eat, and survive, all throughout Latin America. Less focus is given to weight and healthy eating simply because there isn’t enough food to go around. This is part of what has driven the carbohydrate to be king in Latin America. Check meticore reviews if you want to enhance your metabolism.

Carbohydrates are the cheapest way to fuel your body and people with little to no money need to be efficient. Think rice, potatoes, beans, and bread. All of those are among the cheapest cost per calorie you can purchase. This forced the people of Latin America to get creative and do things like roll meat up in a big tortilla to make a taco or burrito instead of just eat a steak. These now staples of American food had their humble origins in poverty-stricken Latin America with people just trying to get by.

Latinos are very proud of their food, and they should be. It does have many health benefits. It’s a good combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat and is, overall, a well-balanced diet. Additionally, all of the fiber found in Latin American food helps with digestion and has many other great benefits.

Food is one of the elements of culture that Latin America is most proud of.

Jeffrey Nelson writes many things, including Latin American elements of culture, bilingualism, and language learning.

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