Cajun and Creole cooking, which originated from the French and Spanish in Louisiana, was changed in character and composition by the influence of African cooks.In 1965, African Americans were more than twice as likely as whites to eat a recommended diet of fruit, vegetables, fat, fiber, and calcium.

However, through health education and increased awareness of healthy eating practices, African Americans are replacing traditional pork products with turkey, fried foods with baked foods, and starchy vegetables with tomatoes and green vegetables.

National programs to improve diet quality and the overall health of African Americans and other minority groups have been initiated.

Before the advent of health ministries, African American churches had mission volunteers who attended services and administered to parishioners.

African Americans are becoming increasingly health conscious, seeking health screenings and treatments, although health literacy in this population tends to vary by generation.

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.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.These are not fact lists to apply indiscriminately.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.Soul food may refer to meals made with fried chicken, pork chops, chitterlings, grits, cornbread, macaroni and cheese, and hushpuppies.