Skip to main content
  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Aug 6, 2021

Vegan Diets Featuring Traditional Soul Food Increasing in Popularity

vegan barbecue with fries and coleslaw
Vegan jackfruit barbecue with yuca fries and coleslaw
Photo: Getty Images

Vegan diets linked to culturally relevant foodways are increasing in popularity among African Americans in the United States, according to a news report published in Circulation. New research, supported by community connections through local restaurants and churches, is investigating the health benefits of plant-based diets rooted in traditions from the African diaspora among Black Americans. The NEW Soul Study (Nutritious Eating With Soul Study) paired plant-based nutrition education with cooking instruction classes and food from a local soul food restaurant for participants. While the results are expected later this year, previous research shows plant-based diets improve cholesterol levels and weight and reduce the risk for hypertension and diabetes.


  1. Kuehn BM. Vegan diets that are culturally aligned with traditional soul food gain popularity among Black individuals. Circulation. 2021;144(5):393-394. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.056354
  2. Turner-McGrievy G, Wilcox S, Frongillo EA, et al. The Nutritious Eating with Soul (NEW Soul) Study: Study design and methods of a two-year randomized trial comparing culturally adapted soul food vegan vs. omnivorous diets among African American adults at risk for heart disease. Contemp Clin Trials. 2020;88:105897. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2019.105897

More on Black Health

Interested in this topic?

Learn more and earn free CME credits on!