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African Heritage Diet Pyramid

Sun 18 Jun, 2017

 African Heritage Diet Pyramid

Questions remain about what the ideal food selection should look like for African Americans. We continue to contract high rates of the same shit we have been complaining about for years such as diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately if we don’t make moves, we will be adding cancer to that pile. Why? How you ask?

Easy. Lack of proper nutrition in our community. Now don’t blame yourself, these waters run deep. Back in the motherland years ago our diet was on point, it was high in vegetables and fiber and very low in meat and fat.

Then they brought us over to this muthafuka, enslaved us and started throwing us the lowest cuts of meat, and salt. We empowered ourselves by deeming this “soul food” and it became a part of our African AMERICAN culture. But since we had been moved out of our natural eating habits into habits that our bodies could not process, then came disease — and mental illness — to add insult to injury.

Don’t trip, reversing these conditions is one weekly journey to the produce section away, but we have to realize it’s a lifestyle to be adopted, not a trend or a diet. With consistency will come amazing results.

Oldways – A food and nutrition education nonprofit, created the African Heritage Diet Pyramid, a food model that promotes a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, beans, herbs, spices, and traditional sauces. This model also stresses the importance of physical activity and enjoying meals with others.

Many of the foods we consume don’t make the cut, especially all these white, sugary ass carbs we eat. We ate plantains in the motherland, not russet potatoes. Time to go back to OUR roots literally and get with it. Here are some tips and specific foods that can begin to change your life from the inside out today!

Eat Real Breakfast – do your best to stay away from processed foods. Now I know we are on a budget sometimes and this makes it difficult, but we have to get more creative than just dry cereal. Fruits, vegetables, smoothies, and whole grain bread if we must. And don’t skip this meal, you want to start regulating your metabolism and blood sugar early in the day to stay balanced.

More Fish Less Red Meat – Red meats can be consumed sparingly; however, the densely packed cholesterol and fat content in red meat contribute to high blood pressure, diabetes and strokes, all of which are prevalent among African-Americans. There are other means for finding protein. Vegetables themselves such as broccoli are very high in protein, and fish and chicken contain much less cholesterol.

Boost Flavor With Spice Versus Salt – Curries, peppers, coconut, fresh herbs, garlic, onions, fresh lemon, and all spices that are low-sodium add incredible flavor to grains, beans, vegetables, and seafood. Try a different herb every week for a touch of African heritage.

Make alkaline fruits and vegetables the star of your plate – This is huge! Lack of alkaline balance in the body can cause cancer.

Eating a balanced diet, high in alkaline foods, will change your life. Some of these foods are best prepared steamed, sautéed, roasted, grilled or raw. Enjoy alkaline vegetables like okra, cabbage, green beans, or eggplant in larger portions than the other parts of your meal. If you’re grabbing seconds, go for the vegetables! Vegetables should make up most of your plate, not protein from meat. Less ribs and more red peppers Fam. Organic is even better, it’s less processed and contains more nutrients.

Also try:
Green lettuce (not iceberg)
Brazil Nuts
Cashew Nuts

Finally, enlist your family and friends in your journey! Share your heart and passion to get and stay healthy.

There is strength and accountability in numbers. Having support and sharing meals with friends and family will help you find joy and peace in your lifestyle change. Sharing your victories and results is inspiring. You will get stronger and healthier together and be able pay your choices forward to help others get healthy as well.

Now that’s how change catches fire! Be well and stay woke Team Griffin!



Add Comment

  • Blue Smith

    This is incredible, I have never head of the nutrition plan and baffled at why I haven’t. I stumbled across it by searching for diets that would help me with inflammation and to lower my cholesterol. I am excited to get started. Thanks for sharing

  • Ariele

    Could i get more info on alkaline foods as well as african recipes? Thank you!!

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