(NewsUSA) - According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Latinos in the U.S. have a longer life expectancy than the non-Latino white population.
Given lower average income and access to health care among Latinos, epidemiologists have proposed various theories to explain this puzzling statistic, dubbed the "Latino Paradox."
A 2011 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found the low mortality rates were partially attributable to fewer deaths from cigarette smoking -- Latinos are less likely to smoke, and if they do, they tend to smoke less.
Another popular theory points to healthy aspects of Latino culture, including the Latin Diet. In "The Hot Latin Diet," author Dr. Manny Alvarez says Latin cooking typically includes healthy "power" foods like tomatillos, cilantro and chili peppers.
The capsaicin in chili peppers reduces inflammation. Inflammation aggravates common ailments like headaches and arthritis and has been associated with the development of deadly cancers and heart disease.
"For fabulous flavors and good health, we recommend using the Latin American Diet Pyramid. Let traditional foods -- the old ways of your grandmother -- be your guide to well being," said Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways, a non-profit organization promoting healthy eating habits and creator of the Latin American Diet Pyramid.
There are many new products that make cooking healthy Latin food easier. Chef LaLa, a cookbook author and certified nutritionist, has just launched her new line of all-natural Mexican sauces and marinades.
"Chef LaLa Homemade products are all about easy meal solutions with the healthy natural flavors and ingredients of the traditional Latin Diet," says Chef LaLa.
Get a taste of the nutritional power of Latin cuisine -- and chili peppers -- with this recipe from www.cheflala.com:
ORANGE CHIPOTLE LAMB CHOPS
One bottle Chef LaLa Homemade Orange Chipotle Marinade (13.5 oz.)
2-3 pounds lamb rib chops
Marinate lamb chops in one bottle of Orange Chipotle Marinade for at least 20 minutes. Place chops on a hot grill, reserving excess marinade. Grill on high heat, about 3 minutes per side (for medium rare). While chops are grilling, pour reserved marinade into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Spoon marinade on top of each chop to serve. Serves 4-6.