Healthy Eating Includes Cultural Foods


It’s essential to be healthy. On the other hand, it’s an indication of restriction and self-denial rooted in Eurocentrism.

In the Caribbean, in my home country Many nutrition programs are inspired by the American food pyramid, which reveals what healthy eating is to local communities.

But, healthy and nutritious eating is not a universal diet plan. Traditional food and culture are also worthy of a place at the table.

What are foods that are considered to be cultural?

Cultural foods, also called traditional foods, reflect the customs, beliefs, and customs of a particular geographic area or ethnic group, religious organization, or community.

Cultural foods can be based on how certain food items are prepared or utilized. They could also be a symbol of the culture of a specific group.

The dishes and customs are handed through generations.

Cultural foods can represent regions, such as pizza pasta and tomato sauces from Italy or seaweed, kimchi, dim sum, and seaweed from Asia. In addition, they could represent a colonial past, like the mixing between West African and East Indian foods in the Caribbean.

Cultural food items can be a factor in the celebration of religious holidays, but are usually at the heart of our identity and family relationships.

Cultural foods should be fully integrated into the Western framework.

Healthy eating is about cultural food; however, the message isn’t widely known and often needs to be embraced.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans that are among the top nutritional recommendations for the West. It suggests meeting people wherever they live, including the food habits of their culture ( 1Trusted Source).

It also outlines the importance of food in Canada. Canadian Food Guide also emphasizes the importance of food and cultural practices to eating healthy ( 2).

However, the dietitians field requires much to accomplish to guarantee cultural competency, which means the appropriate and effective treatment of all people without prejudice or prejudice ( 3).

Traditional food preferences and cultural requirements were discussed when preparing to become a registered dietitian, but there was no attention or actual application. In certain instances, there were a few institutional sources for health professionals.

What exactly does healthy eating appear like?

Healthy eating can be defined loosely as the intake of a range of nutrients from protein and dairy products, grains, fruits, and vegetables. These are referred to as the five food groups in the United States.

The principal message is that every food group contains essential vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy living. The USDA’s MyPlate, a replacement for that food pyramid, showing the importance of a healthy plate, which includes half of non-starchy vegetables, One-quarter of protein, and one-quarter of grains ( 4).

But the Caribbean is an amalgamation comprised of 6 food categories staples (starchy carbohydrates, carb-rich food), animal items, legumes, fruits and vegetables,, and oils or fats ( 5).

Traditional one-pot meals can only sometimes be separated into portions on a platter. The different food groups are incorporated to make one dish.

For instance, the classic oil-down dish, which is cooked in a single pot, is made from breadfruit (the essential ingredient starchy fruit with the texture of bread when cooked) and non-starchy vegetables like spinach as well as carrots as well proteins like fish, chicken or pork.


Dietary guidelines show that the importance of cultural food goes with healthy eating habits. However, better cultural competence and resources from institutions, are required to make it easier to implement the practical implementation of these guidelines.

Dietary health is lighter than you can see on the internet.

Your desire to consume certain foods is usually due to well-targeted and effective food marketing. This type of marketing is generally conducted from a Eurocentric lens, devoid of cultural subtleties (

For example, Googling “healthy eating” will bring up many lists and pictures of asparagus, blueberries, and Atlantic salmon — usually in arms or on the tables of white families.


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