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Faculty Mentor

Padmanaban G. Krishnan

Abstract

Food choices have changed among Native American populations. Healthy food choices are subject to lifestyles, cooking skills, nutrition knowledge and the availability of healthy foods. There is a paucity of nutritional information on traditional and cultural Native American foods. Sixteen traditional Dakota recipes were prepared by members of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, Sisseton, South Dakota. These foods were pureed, lyophilized and analyzed for moisture, ash, fat, protein, carbohydrate and individual mineral content using officially accepted methods. The following mineral elements were analyzed: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Methods of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) were employed in all cases. Native American traditional foods studied included: dried com soup, fish head soup, parched com, bean soup, hominy (Pasdaypi) soup, buffaloberry (Mastinpute) pudding, tripe soup, kabubu bread, buffalo (Tatanka) roast, chokecherry (Canpa) pudding, potato soup (Maka bdo), com balls (Wahuwapa Wasna), pemmican, plum (Kan'ta) pudding, turtle soup and wild rice (Psi) soup. Our study determined that traditional Native American recipes tested were generally healthier in relation to selected nutrients such as fat content, total calories, and sodium content when compared to contemporary recipes that use common ingredients. These foods may provide healthy choices in the Native American diet when prepared in traditional ways.

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