Tanisha Gordon doesn’t assure what white people love so much about cottage cheese. Or salads, especially when they’re topped with fussy ingredients like candied almonds, pickled carrots or Brussels slaw.
Gordon is a 37 -year-old employee at an IT company in the Washington , D.C ., area, and until recently, her diet was deep saturated with fast food — McDonald’s, Taco Bell, you name it. When her doctor diagnosed her last year with pre-diabetes and prescribed her a CPAP machine to help her sleep through the night, she began working with a nutritionist to clean up her diet. But the lifestyle change she attempted would require more than cutting out Chicken McNuggets.
As a black girl, Gordon combated the perception that most of today’s healthy food is “white people food.”
“A lot of the time, when you go to restaurants now, they have these extravagant salads with all these different ingredients in it, like little walnuts and pickled onions — like the stuff Panera sells, ” Gordon told HuffPost. “For me personally, that’s like a white person’s food. A plenty of the mainstream stuff that’s advertised comes across as being for white people.”
Today’s Goop-lacquered definition of healthy eating has stimulated it de rigueur to guzzle$ 9 bottles of cold-pressed kale juice or chug hydrogen-infused water. In this micro-bubble of fastidiousness, a healthy diet entails more than eating your daily dose of fruits and veggies. It entails eating pudding made use of chia seeds( yes, the same ones been applied to attain Chia Pets) and sprinkling your acai bowl with goji berries, even if you have no idea what either of those things are.
There’s nothing wrong with being nutritionally ambitious, but we’ve cultivated a health food culture that’s unattainable for the multitudes that we are able to neither afford nor identify with it.
“You’ve got the dominant culture in the USA being white culture, ” black restaurateur Dr. Baruch Ben-Yehudah told HuffPost. “And that white culture has taken the power to define all things good as white, and all things white as good. So that definition of healthy feeing is not an accurate depiction of eating healthy.”
Over the course of a year, Gordon shed 60 pounds and outgrew the need for a CPAP machine simply by making some changes to her diet. But food isn’t always the biggest obstacle to a healthy lifestyle. Cultural roadblocks can be just as powerful.
White culture has taken the power to define all things good as white, and all things white as good. So that definition of healthy eating is not an accurate depiction of eating healthy. Restaurateur Dr. Baruch Ben-Yehudah
“For a person who needs to re-train their intellect and think differently about healthy eating, that’s always gonna be their struggle; get past,’ This plate of food is for a white person, ’” Gordon said.
Healthy food has historically been less available to black Americans in a number of ways. So, does eating healthy have to be equated with feeing like white people? According to a new generation of chefs, nutritionists, academics and patients, the answer is no.
Charmaine Jones, a Washington , D.C.-based dietician who is black, penned a short paper earlier this year called “Do I Have To Eat Like White People? ” that shared the dietary fights of her clients, whom she describes as chiefly low-income African-Americans on D.C. Medicaid.
The majority of her clients seek nutrition strategies to treat obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol, a set of challenges that are particularly prevalent in the black community. Gordon was one of her clients.
Jones describes “white people food” as salads, fruits, yogurts, cottage cheese and lean meat — the standard low-fat, heart-healthy foods promoted by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.
Every five years, a 14 -member advisory board writes those guidelines, which dictate what the average American should feed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The current committee has only two black members. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services didn’t respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.