Cajun and Creole cooking, which originated from the French and Spanish in Louisiana, was changed in character and composition by the influence of African cooks.
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However, through health education and increased awareness of healthy eating practices, African Americans are replacing traditional pork products with turkey, fried foods with baked foods, and starchy vegetables with tomatoes and green vegetables.
National programs to improve diet quality and the overall health of African Americans and other minority groups have been initiated.
Body and Soul: A Celebration of Health Eating and Living for African Americans offers information targeted to African Americans on eating a health diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
African Americans often have strong religious affiliations.
Older African Americans may be suspicious of clinicians, believing their health is personal and up to God’s will.
Because they may be reluctant to share personal or family issues, building a trusting relationship is key.Soul food may refer to meals made with fried chicken, pork chops, chitterlings, grits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and hushpuppies.Dishes such as hoppin’ John (rice, black-eyed peas, and salt pork), gumbos, jambalyas, fried porgies, and potlikker may all be considered soul food.Leafy greens may include spinach, collards, mustard, kale, and cabbage.Traditionally, many elders eat a large noon meal on Sunday after church.An apt analogy to keep in mind is that learning about a specific model of car is helped by referencing the operator’s manual, but reading and even memorizing that manual doesn’t replace learning how to drive a car.