The Potential for Plant-Based Diets to Promote Health Among Blacks Living in the United States

Year Published: 2019




Samara R. Sterling and Shelly-Ann Bowen


This study was a review of the current evidence of plant-based diets to promote health among US Blacks. Specifically, the objectives were to: "(1) review the general evidence of plant-based diets and health outcomes; (2) discuss how this evidence translates to Blacks following a plant-based diet; and (3) provide recommendations and considerations for future studies in this area."

Key Findings

Key Findings: The authors discuss that the current evidence points to plant-based diets being associated with better overall health. They highlight that the traditional diets of Blacks in Africa were predominantly plant-based, emphasizing peanuts, coconuts, beans, roots, and grains. Therefore, these foods are culturally palatable and could improve overall health for Blacks in the US. The available evidence suggests that shifting towards a plant-based diet may help to reduce the major health disparities seen in Black communities, especially heart disease and possibly cancer. Interventions should emphasize culturally relevant yet nutritious plant-based foods in order to be effective, including peanuts, green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, and whole grains.