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Black Americans Seek Change in Health, Use Plant-Based Diets

Because of the uptick of Type-2 diabetes and other health reasons, many Black Americans are eliminating meat from their diets, instead replacing it with vegan food, which is a completely plant-based plan of eating.

Many Black Americans are more likely to live with Type-2 Diabetes. But that can be managed through diet changes, along with exercise.

Founder and executive director of the Black Veg Society, Naijaha Wright-Brown, addressed the issue.

“I know that a lot of the uptick and movement towards eating this way is because people are dying,” Wright-Brown said to the Black Wall Street Times. "It’s a public health crisis at this point.”

Wright-Brown is doing her part to stop this crisis. The Black Veg Society is a nonprofit that educates folks of color on the pros and benefits of veganism and plant-based eating. The website imparts recipes, links to health coaches and promotes campaigns through partnering vegan organizations.

While making the diet switch could be popular now, this change isn’t anything new.

Black Vegans Rock was started by Apho Ko, who is a writer that uses the organization to raise awareness of Black veganism. One point the organization tries to emphasize is that Black veganism isn’t a new trend.

“I think the media is not aware that this is a very nuanced, incredibly diverse movement of people who don’t do the work the same, don’t always agree the same, and, there’s theorists, there’s artists, there’s food justice activists, and so I think oftentimes Black vegans are seen as just these diversity tokens to diversify the white (vegan) movement, whereas we’re just leading our own (movement).”

Wright-Brown said this trend has been around for decades, too.

"If you think of the Black Hebrew Israelites, if you think of the Seventh-day Adventists, if you think of the Rastafarians — who coined the term 'Ital lifestyle' for eating plant-based — this is not new."

Folks back in the day knew something about health. Today, there is a surge in health issues in Black Americans, including heart disease — the leading cause of death for Black men and women — which is why the switch to veganism is getting more attention.

Research has proved that consuming a plant-based diet could lower the risk of cardiovascular incidents, concluding that foods such as fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains — many of which are the staple of a healthy vegan diet — are necessities for folks at risk for heart disease.

“I want to encourage people that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” Toni Okamoto, the founder of Plant-Based on a Budget, said to the Black Wall Street Times."If you make a mistake on purpose or by accident, you can continue on, you can continue changing these generational habits that may be bad for your health and really reclaim health.”

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