WHAT IS THE AFRICAN HERITAGE DIET?
The ancestors of African Americans brought many wonderful food traditions to parts of the Caribbean, South America, and the southern states of the U.S. Over the generations, many of these food traditions have been lost with the inﬂuences of modern American eating habits. Whether we look to Virginia or Jamaica, Nigeria or Brazil, we ﬁnd this overall healthy eating pattern shared by all of their culinary histories, with distinct foods featured by each region. It is this “big picture” framework of the African Heritage Diet Pyramid that all people can use to claim their best health. Starting at the base of the pyramid, you’ll ﬁnd:
- Foods to enjoy every day: colorful fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens; tubers like yams and sweet potatoes; beans of all kinds; nuts and peanuts; rice, ﬂatbreads and other grain foods, especially whole grains.
- Foods to eat a few times each week, or in moderation: healthy oils; homemade sauces and marinades of herbs and spices; ﬁsh, eggs, poultry and yogurt.
- Foods to save for special occastions: meats and sweets.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Oldways also oﬀers a wealth of online health information and recipes. Continue reading below to get started on the African Heritage Diet. Don’t forget to check out Oldways’ A Taste of African Heritage program, which brings these principles to life through hands-on cooking classes and events!