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Cultural Diversity-African American Diet Essay Sample

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Cultural Diversity-African American Diet Essay Sample

In the present time the African American culture changed quite a bit in being removed from where they as a people originated or should I say their homeland from whence they came. African American people are a people who are influenced tremendously from their fore fathers and mothers who lived in the southern part of the United States. The nomenclature for this group is to include African American, Black Americans or people of color. I prefer to use African American at this time since I am preferably writing about my own cultural background.

The food habits of African Americans originated and resolved around food. They are a society who are based around religious ceremonies and celebrations to include feasting and cooking. As so often called “Soul Food” is drenched in rich nutrients which are found in a lot of leafy vegetables. There are parts of the diet that are low in fiber but high in fact which our bodies to not take to. This leads us to diabetes hypertension and heart disease which we are currently known to have one of the highest rates for. We as African Americans tend to pay dearly for this type of lifestyle but to no avail some of us can’t escape this lifestyle because of disadvantages . such as being poor. We have to eat what we can afford. The better quality foods of diet are not available at low cost such as fresh fruits, lean meats and seafood.

Many of the African American practices have an impact on their health because there are no restrictions on food. Holidays are one of the times when health is of no concern to some African American groups. However, there are some religious groups of African American groups that adhere to restrictions and dietary practices such as the Muslims and Seventh-Day Adventists.

Contrary to the ways that African Americans have adapted in their lifestyle of eating habits it can be changed by larger grocery stores instead of expensive corner stores in the area. Also, if we would start growing small gardens so as to get quality vegetables that would aide in our having a more healthy diet which in turn would help to ward off some of the diseases that we as people of color are known to have such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The traditional ways of preparing foods by African American include Barbecuing and frying. Another deep tradition is to serve most of the foods with rich gravies and sauces. If some of these practices could be omitted or streamlined we would encounter a much healthier diet and this would take care of another problem among African Americans that I have not addressed which is obesity. I am going to steer clear of this issue at this time and concentrate on the other issues that I have already discussed. Education:

We need to teach preparation of foods and encouragement to those on provision of low cost but nutritious ways. For instance we can start by modifying salt and sodium intake by making changes in our diets to substitute herbs for seasonings, increasing amounts of vegetable and decreasing amounts of meats. Straying away from fats as in removing the skin from meats would also help. Maybe even learning to reduce the amount of food eaten at one given time. If it is found that it is hard to change then at least modify the recipe of favorite foods. At all cost you need to be void of trying to stereotype African Americans because not all African Americans have the poor quality of eating lifestyle. Not all have poor diets or no concern for their health. A lot of African Americans have no understanding of nutritional values or nutritional education but not all.

In my own experience with life I have found that a lot of African Americans use food as a comfort as well as a healing practice whether it be to the soul or the heart. Unfortunately this tends to lead to a lot of obesity among them. A lot of the problem is contributed to the many celebrations that we celebrate with foods that just throw caution to the wind so to speak.

How ever, people are not all alike and everyone, believe it or not is different especially when it come to culture. Each culture is bought up different. How they socialize depends entirely on their cultural upbringing which includes religion, education and even sexual orientation. With the nature of variations in each cultural group we should never be generalized or taken for granted that the characteristics apply to all individuals of one cultural group. The diversity of cultural eating is a main issue in America.


Jones, Paul. The Blackhealth Library Guide to Heart Disease and Hypertension, Henry Holt and Company, Inc, New York, NY

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