Traditional diet of the Saalish, Kootenai, and Pend D'Oreille Indians in North West Montana and contemporary diet recommendations, a comparison

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Native Americans in Montana have a higher prevalence of diabetes that the national average. Some health authorities believe this may be due to their current dietary practices. However, to understand the impact of current dietary practices it is important to compare traditional diets with current dietary recommendations. Historical review was used to collect data on the Traditional Native American diet. These data were analyzed and calculated as part of a 2000 calorie meal plan. Untied States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and American Diabetes Association (ADA) diet recommendations were analyzed accordingly and compared to the analysis obtained from the Traditional Native American diet. It became apparent using Chi-Square analysis that the Traditional Native American diet was significantly higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate contents that the ADA and USDA diets. USDA and ADA recommendations have apparently not been tested on Native Americans and are considered the standard for healthy diets. It seems therefore crucial that these diets are tested for outcomes on Native American populations.




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