Soul Food is Health-Friendly

soul food

 

The old way of cooking soul food resulted in health problems for many African Americans, like high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Dishes are being prepared very differently these days because of all the negative health consequences of the old methods. Advanced cooking methods and healthier ingredients are being used now to make dishes that are lighter and leaner.

This is not the same as your grandmothers soul food, which was full of unhealthy animal fat. This newer approach attempts to maintain the hearty flavors and satisfying textures produced by the older methods. What you want is to make the great classic dishes without harming your health.
For one thing, modern soul food meals don’t include the classic, artery-clogging fatback. Fatback is the name for the fatty layer along a pig’s back.The old style of cooking called for fatback to be added when making black-eyed peas, greens, and other vegetables.

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Another difference in soul food recipes nowadays is the notable decrease in sodium. Instead of using salt as a main flavoring agent, which contributes to blood pressure problems, other spices are used. You can add plenty of flavor by using hot or savory spices like gumbo file, cayenne, onion powder and garlic.
A big revision in the way soul food is prepared today is the total absence of lard, the animal fat that was formerly used. Oils that are less heavy are more in demand among cooks these days. Like oil made from olives, peanuts, rapeseed or other vegetables.

An increasingly common difference in soul food dishes has come about due to their altered preparation techniques. Healthier techniques and methods of cooking are replacing the old tradition of deep frying food in lots of fat. People who are concerned about their health are now opting to braise, oven roast, bake, and broil rather than deep fry. Deep-frying is known to be more harmful to your health than these approaches.

Pork products are gradually decreasing in popularity as soul food staples as time goes by. Pork products have long been considered a significant causative factor for the higher rate of high blood pressure among African-Americans. Increasingly, dishes are based on chicken, fish and vegetables which are better for everyone’s health.
Given all the changes in soul food for the better, even Grandma would approve. Grandma’s tradition of just plain good food being served at family celebrations is kept going. But people who shift to this modern brand of Southern cooking will be healthier, and will be around to enjoy it longer.

Go Vegan!!

Click on photo to go to the Alive Website for more information.

Click on photo to go to the Alive Website for more information.

 

Vegetarianism is the act of eliminating meat from the diet. This includes chicken, fish, beef, pork, or any other form of meat. Some people choose this diet out of respect for animals, while others enjoy these eating habits for their health benefits. Below are some of the main benefits of eating healthy vegetarian food recipes.

Benefit 1: You will have lower levels of cholesterol, which is commonly caused by eating a lot of red meats.

Benefit 2: Vegetarianism helps to decrease the amount of toxins in the body. Fresh fruits and vegetables do not introduce nearly as many toxins as meat.

Benefit 3: You will have lower blood pressure, which is wonderful especially if you currently have high blood pressure.

Benefit 4: You will have a lower risk of heart attack or stroke.

Benefit 5: The food is delicious and will give you the energy your body needs.

Benefit 6: Vegetarian recipes are very nutritious! You will be eating a variety of vegetables, which are rich in nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy.
As you can see, eating a vegetarian diet does not come without its own list of great benefits.

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Vegetarian food recipes are incredibly healthy for you and can be a lot of fun too. If you have any favorite meat recipes, you can alter them to become vegetarian by substituting meat for something else.

Get creative with your diet and have fun with your cooking. Your body will thank you, and so will your family.

Food Safety Tips

Food-Safety

To avoid microbial food-borne illness: Clean hands, food contact surfaces, and fruits and vegetables. Meat and poultry should not be washed or rinsed. Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing foods. Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms. Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly. Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, unpasteurized juices, and raw sprouts.

Fruits, Veggies, and Other Goodies

 

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It seems like these days, healthy eating has become such a multi-billion-dollar industry that everyone knows what it’s like to get bombarded by ‘The New Health Food!’ ads for Acai whatnot and Goji Berry thingamajig. It’s an unfortunate aspect of our pharmaceutical culture that we’ve learned to look for cures for specific ills, and we treat food the same way. Cranberries for UTIs, carrots for vision problems, prunes for constipation…we’re treating food like it’s medicine, and it’s failing us. We need a new health food regimen.

It’s true that Hippocrates said “Make food your medicine and medicine your food”, but that’s not what he meant. By eating right in general — every day — we prevent far more illnesses than we could ever hope to treat. The point is not to respond to conditions by seeking a super food, it’s to prevent conditions by getting proper nutrition.

Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level.

Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week.

Consume 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains should come from whole grains.

Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.