These facts have motivated the interest on focusing on this ethnic group’s health habits.
When African slaves were brought into the United States, they carried along their food practices and styles of cooking. Some of the staple foods they brought along include okra, peanuts, sesame seeds, rice and black-eyed peas. The slaves also learned to prepare the food provided by their masters such as pork, vegetables and cornmeal. They also used molasses as a sweetener in food dishes and drinks such as iced tea. These are still being applied to date. African-Americans also celebrate their cultural holidays through the promotion of unique cooking, characterized by ethnic styles which are sometimes referred to as soul food.2 For instance, fish has always been considered a staple food among the African-Americans. One item, such as fried catfish, is normally served with side dishes such as greens (collard or turnip), hush puppies and macaroni and cheese. Sweet potatoes are an integral component in the African-American diet and serve as a reminder of their history under slavery. It is also important to note that those originating from hunter communities have a considerable appetite for meat.
Many African-Americans prepare food using a frying or barbecuing method and serve the prepared dishes with heavy sauces and gravy. They also prefer making baked goods from scratch, as opposed to using commercial mixes, which come pre-packaged in a box.
It is customary for African Americans to consume a lot of food for breakfast. In the morning, they prefer eating grits, sausage, ham and freshly baked biscuits with syrup and butter. Lunch usually consists of bologna, which is eaten in sandwiches. The dinner is normally baked chicken with corn bread, baked ham, green vegetables, rice, candied yams and baked macaroni and cheese. Dessert is comprised of fruit cake and/or apple pie.
Most of the