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Each person is an individual, as well as a community member.The term African American generally refers to people descended from Africans who did not come to the US voluntarily—descendants of the four million slaves brought to the US between 16.African Americans are affected disproportionately by the leading causes of death in the US, with more morbidity and mortality from premature births, cancer, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and diseases related to obesity, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

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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.

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.

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.

In 1965, African Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to eat a recommended diet of fruit, vegetables, fat, fiber, and calcium.Many are affiliated with Christian denominations—notably Baptist and Church of God in Christ. Maintaining good health is associated with good religious practice.Many churches maintain a health ministry, through which congregations and parish nurses support good health with flu shots, blood pressure checks, and health education.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.

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