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Heart disease prevention with changes in food culture

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David Spurlock, MD

In an interview with WESH Channel 2, Dr. David Spurlock, a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon at AdventHealth, explained that an abundance of tasty soul food dishes, for example, may contribute to higher incidences of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer in African American communities. Dr. Spurlock told WESH that small changes to your diet, such as eating plant-based foods, however, can make a big difference.

“If we really stress in the community, prevention, prevention, prevention, yeah, it [the foods] might taste different until you get it down right. I’d rather have not-as-good of tasting something, or something different, than having a stroke,” said Spurlock.

That’s something all members of the community can agree on. In fact, many community members have taken steps to change food culture by creating greater access to healthier foods and developing new recipes for favorite dishes that are prepared in healthier ways. Community members Zak and Robyn Wallace recently opened a plant-based food truck on the West Side of Disney Springs, as one example. Their mission is to educate the Black community on ways to eat healthier. Others are helping neighbors learn to grow their own organic produce and show them better ways to eat the foods they love.

Black business owners, farmers creating changes in food culture

When it comes to making small changes for yourself, Dr. Spurlock offered some easy advice – go green. He said, “Let’s say you take the macaroni and cheese out and double up on spinach. Well, you’re already talking about positive effects in terms of weight loss and decrease in obesity.”

To learn more about eating well and reducing your risk for heart disease, watch the full interview on here.

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