Can you be healthy and still eat African/Caribbean foods?
There are a lot of misconceptions from African and Caribbean’s about our traditional foods not being healthy or whether if we can still be healthy and eat these foods.
I’m here to debunk this myth!
First of all, you can still be healthy eating traditional African/Caribbean foods; just as long as is it not everyday. Anything in too much consumption is never good for you!
As an African myself I can vouch for Nigerian foods being healthy. A lot of Nigerian dishes use a lot of fresh ingredients. It’s also all about how you make these foods and how often you eat them.
For example lets take Jollof rice; jollof rice is typically seen as high in carbohydrates and salt. How to make it healthy would be to use less salt and instead of white rice use bulgur wheat. Bulgur wheat is more nutritious than white rice!
Another example is Okra soup, this is a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. This typically eaten with a “swallow” (it’s not everyday pounded yam), which I think, isn’t always necessary when eating okra soup! It's low carb, delicious and extremely filling.
Yams are a great carbohydrate! It is a great source of fibre, potassium and antioxidants. Yams are linked to various health benefits and may reduce inflammation, and improve blood sugar control.
These are just a few traditional Nigerian dishes discussed to show you can still be healthy and eat African/Caribbean foods. Whether you indulge in them in there full form or their healthier alternatives just remember as long as you’re not eating these foods everyday and your diet is 80% clean, you are still healthy whether you still eat African/Caribbean foods or not.
Long story short: Everything in moderate, make room for healthier alternatives and reduce excess oil, salt and sugar in your foods when cooking!
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It was quite helpful when you told us that African and Caribbean foods can be eaten healthily as long as you do it in moderate consumption. I had lunch at my friend’s place, and I had an enjoyable meal when she served me African dishes. I’ll keep this in mind when I shop for African food products later once I find a store nearby that sells them. https://makolainternational.com/gallery/