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By 1996, 28 percent of this population was reported to have a poor-quality diet, compared to 16 percent of whites.A poor quality diet often can be attributed to greater access to packaged, processed, and fast foods; the common practice of using fats in cooking; and the high cost of fresh produce and lean meat.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.

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Elders are respected and often provide care for their grandchildren.

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.

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