"Diabetes is not part of your heritage. Neither is heart disease." So reads the front of a brochure about the African Heritage Diet, a new program from Oldways Preservation Trust.
The American Diabetes Association reports that nearly 15% of African Americans over the age of 20 have diabetes, nearly double the rate among non-Hispanic whites. Nearly one-third of all Americans is obese, but African Americans once again top the charts, at 44%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In an effort to take on these statistics, Oldways unveiled the African Heritage Diet (and accompanying pyramid) in November.
The Pyramid encourages a plant-heavy diet based on the traditional foodways of Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the American South.
The idea: Welcome back the greens, tubers, beans, legumes and whole grains enjoyed by your grandparents and lessen the grip on today's sugary drinks, hydrogenated oils and fast food.