The following guides emphasize information that can be used to stimulate thinking about cultural differences and prompt questions that will help providers understand how their patients identify with and express their cultural backgrounds.
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.
* African American men have higher rates of getting and dying from prostate cancer than other men.
Institutionalization of elders has historically been avoided, with sons and daughters taking on the family caretaker role.
Many African Americans like hearty meals that may include meat, fish, greens, rice, grits, white and sweet potatoes, corn, turnips, eggplant, peanuts, and homemade desserts.
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.
And fast foot companies have specifically targeted African American communities as a growing market for their products.
Although many African Americans eat foods such as greens, beans, and rice, which are rich in nutrients, economic issues and deep-rooted dietary habits create challenges for changing behaviors and lowering disease risk in this population.
Okra is the principal ingredient in gumbo, a Creole stew, and is believed to have spiritual and healthful properties.
Many of these foods found their way from the south to the north via the Mississippi River.
Leafy greens may include spinach, collards, mustard, kale, and cabbage.