African Heritage Diet Pyramid debuts

Oldways launches the African Heritage Diet Pyramid, a healthy-eating tool designed for African Americans and the fifth pyramid created using cultural models, reports QSR.


The African Heritage Diet Pyramid is based on healthy activity, leafy greens, and varied amounts of vegetables grains and starches. To create the pyramid, Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition organization, gathered a panel of experts, including nutrition scientists, health experts, and culinary historians. Made possible through a grant from the Walmart Foundation, the new pyramid offers a cultural model for healthy eating, connecting African American communities with their early Diasporan roots and sharing these healthy foods with the world.


"We are introducing the African Heritage Diet Pyramid, because the traditional diets of the African Diaspora (Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and the American South) offer a powerful, affordable, healthy eating model and meet the guidelines promoted today by health professionals everywhere," says Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways. “Scientific studies show that many chronic conditions now prevalent in African American communities, appear in populations as traditional diets are left behind."


The African Heritage Diet Pyramid, which at a glance depicts an overall total diet, encompasses the foods from the four African Diasporan regions (Africa, the Caribbean, South America, and the American South). To accompany the pyramid, Oldways is also introducing 12 dishes and recipes to be used as expressions of the cuisines of specific cultures in these four regions. Plates show how to combine healthy foods on the pyramid into specific meals. To inspire and educate people about this healthy and affordable eating pattern, Oldways has also created a user-friendly African Heritage 101 brochure and an African Heritage & Health Portal on the Oldways website, which includes resources, grocery lists, recipes and other heritage information.


In addition to the African Heritage Diet Pyramid, Oldways has also created Mediterranean, Asian, Latin American and Vegetarian pyramids.