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Soul Food Solutions

Soul Food Solutions

Americans - all of us; the human race - tend to eat more and are less active than ourancestors, which, is contributing to the obesity epidemic in the US. Recent statistics show that up to 66% of the U.S. population is overweight or obese. These weight trends are even more pronounced among Black Americans.

Obesity Statistics

Sixty percent of African American men and 78 percent of African American women are identified as overweight. When it comes down to obesity, 28.8 percent of African American men and 50.8 percent of African American women are considered obese. Black women are leading the population in both categories. The statistics include persons of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin.

For some African Americans, a family tradition of soul food may pose a problem for today's less active lifestyle. Soul foods are traditionally laden with fat, sugar and sodium. By modifying recipes and decreasing portion sizes, African Americans and anyone else who enjoys soul food - which is pretty darned good - may reduce their weight and the chronic diseases that accompany it.

A cultural food issue

This is a cultural food issue, not a race issue. We simply have to understand we're all of that one race - the human race and we all have favorite foods derived from our cultural heritage. It's just that simple.

To show you what the great Doctor Lisa Andrews discussed, a quick soul food search shows us a list of the most consumed meals by African Americans in the U.S.A. No doubt that all of these are comforting and very tasty, but we need to question is it good for us, for our waist line and our overall health.

Out of the 36 items listed only 7 items would be considered not bad for you and 8 of the 36 are vegetables, but are combined with animal meat protein which is not considered healthy. Basically the best for you is covered up with pork.


  • Barbecued beef short ribs.
  • Barbecued pigs feet.
  • Chopped barbecue.
  • Fried catfish.
  • Fried chicken.
  • Fried pork chops.
  • Glazed smoked ham.
  • Smothered pork chops.
  • Ham salad.
  • Southern spareribs.
  • Spiced beef tongue.
  • Tender beef tongue.
  • Tongue espagnole.
  • Turkey wings and gravy.
  • Short ribs in gravy.


  • Black eyed peas.
  • Candied yams.
  • Cole slaw.
  • Corn pudding.
  • Fried okra.
  • Grits.
  • Potato salad.
  • Red beans and rice.
  • Skillet cornbread.
  • Steamed cabbage with butter.

Mixture of good and bad

  • Black eyed peas with ham.
  • Boiled string beans with ham.
  • Butter beans with ham bones and okra.
  • Chitlins and maw.
  • Collard greens with ham hocks.
  • Collard greens with meat.
  • Fried cabbage and bacon.
  • Mustard greens and ham hocks.

Remember from the statics above, 78 percent of African American women identified as overweight and 28.8 percent of men, 50.8 percent of African American women are considered obese. If you are eating one or more of any of the above items per week you are not eating correctly and this could be a major reason for weight and health problems.

How to Know What's Bad

Here is a good rule of thumb to follow: If it has meat fat, butter, processed sugar, processed flour, is a product that comes in a box or is instant, it's probably not good for you. Take another glance at that soul food diet, are you guilty of over indulgence?

It's your life. You and you alone make the choices as to what you eat every day. Is what you eat keeping your body healthy or is making you sick and/or overweight?

You'll soon be heading in the right direction to a happier, healthier life.

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