To help African Americans improve their health and eating habits, Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization along with an advisory team of experts, recently unveiled The African Heritage Diet Pyramid.
The pyramid draws from the culinary traditions of the American South, the Caribbean, South America and Africa, and shows familiar vegetables like okra and eggplant and fruits like papaya, as well as beans and meats. And unlike other food pyramids, it has a prominent layer devoted entirely to greens: collards, chard, kale and spinach — all foods of Africa and the diaspora regions of the Americas.
As high fat and sugar-loaded foods have come to dominate the modern diet, health and nutrition have deteriorated in communities around the world. But “African-Americans are disproportionately affected by several major chronic diseases, like hypertension, diabetes and obesity,” Oldways President Sara Baer-Sinnott tells The Salt.