The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Dear Mr. President: "Soul Food Is Not Good For The Soul"

President Obama Eating Soul Food

President Obama is not the only who likes soul food.

In fact, millions of Americans (especially African Americans) are guilty of eating soul food on a weekly or even daily basis. But, according to a new study by the University of Alabama, people whose diets are heavy on deep-fried foods and sugary drinks (like sweet tea and soda) are more likely to suffer from a stroke. And this, according to researchers, is why African Americans in southeastern states like Georgia and South Carolina - often referred to as the country's "stroke belt" - suffer from more strokes.

The study which lasted 5 years, surveyed more than 20,000 people (10,000 African Americans), age 45 or older, from 48 different states. These people all had five different main "diet styles". Five years later, researchers checked in with those same people and found that nearly 500 strokes occurred. And guess who had the most strokes? You got it - those whose diet styles consisted of mostly soul food! There were 138 strokes among the 4,977 who ate the most "southern food", and nearly 75% of those people were African American.

From this, researchers were able to determine that: "Blacks were five times more likely than whites to have the southern dietary pattern linked with the highest stroke risk... and that it might explain as much as two-thirds of the excess stroke risk seen in blacks versus whites."

The study also found that people who ate about six meals a week featuring these sorts of foods had a 41 percent higher stroke risk than people who ate that way about once a month. On the contrary, people whose diets were high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish had a 29 percent lower stroke risk.

So the next time you get the cravings for soul food (or even fast food), eat some baked fish and a fruit salad instead!
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