Vegan Health in African Americans

More African-Americans going Vegan to better their Health

According to the CDC, the top three killers among the black population are heart disease, cancer, and accidental (unintentional injuries).

As more African Americans try to combat the health problems that seem to plague this ethnicity group, many are changing over to a vegan lifestyle.

“Evidence based research has shown that when compared to a control group (i.e.: no change in diet), participants who ate a vegan diet improved health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol,” said Cristina Rivera, a dietician and president of Nutrition In Motion PC, located in Garden City, New York.

“By eliminating the junk food and fast foods which is poor quality meat filled, if it can even be called meat, a person’s health actually improves and they may even see some health issues reverse,” said Juliana Mazzeo, a nutritionist and director of the Nutrition Wellness Center, in Valley Stream, New York.

As part of my research, I conducted a poll in two vegan groups on Facebook, but only one really participated. My purpose for the poll was to find out how many African American people have seen a change in their health since going vegan.

The results from the poll, posted in the group “Vegan Soul Sistuhs,” ruled more in favor of their health getting better since going vegan.

Results from a poll I conducted in December of 2019 on black women who have gone vegan.

Group member Tionna Jenkins, said she’s “lost over 70 pounds and maintained wellness/weight loss for the last five years.”

Another group member, Patricia Markham said, her 73-year-old husband, who suffers from End Stage Renal Disease, saw an improvement in his health once he went vegan.

“His creatine level was getting too high which could cause further damage to his kidney,” said Markham. She went on to say, once he gave up meat and became a vegan, “his creatine level is now closer to normal.”

As research continues to show that health is the driving force behind African Americans going to a plant-based lifestyle, the nutritionist, Rivera suggests that anyone looking to go vegan needs to be properly educated and disciplined in nutrition and food science.

“It is advisable that anyone who is thinking of following a vegan diet meet with a Registered Dietitian so that they can get the guidance from an educated and reliable source on how to get what they need from the foods that they eat,” said Cristina Rivera.

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