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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — University researchers are figuring out whether soul food laden featuring fat and salt can be made healthy and delicious by using plants-only recipes.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports that University of South Carolina researchers are launching a two-year study on what happens then ingredients are changed in ways that cut calories and can prevent heart disease.

Scientists are recruiting African-Americans to test vegan versions of the food that sprang from Sunday church gatherings after slavery was abolished.

Subjects will be assigned into two groups. One will eat a healthy take on soul food that includes animal products like meat and dairy. Another group will be assigned a plant-based diet.

Studies rank South Carolina residents as suffering some of the country’s highest levels of obesity, diabetes and hypertension.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com