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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.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.

In general, the older generation is more conservative, may have a more traditional view of gender roles, and may shun interracial dating and marriage.

Elders are respected and often provide care for their grandchildren.

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.

Each person is an individual, as well as a community member.

The term African American generally refers to people descended from Africans who did not come to the US voluntarily—descendants of the four million slaves brought to the US between 16.

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.

Body and Soul: A Celebration of Health Eating and Living for African Americans offers information targeted to African Americans on eating a health diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

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