When considering the rich culture of Nigeria, one thing is never omitted – food! When a guy tells his grandmom that he has found a wife, what holds most important to the good news is usually the question “can she cook?”
However, with the recent food scares buzzing in the news everyday, there is need to reevaluate our foods. Are they healthy or would these Nigerian meals harm you? Do they contribute to the varying health conditions our people struggle with? Is there anything we can do differently?
Many say Palm oil, for example, is unhealthy because of the high cholesterol content, some even say the popular Afang soup causes heart issues. It is possible that these food may or may not instigate health issues. But what is also possible as suggested by the Ismaili Nutrition Centre is that the way food is prepared can make them less healthy and more dangerous to its consumers.
- Cooking the typical Nigerian palm oil rice or yam porridge with lots of palm oil makes the meal to become highly saturated with fat, making it unhealthy easy to harm you. Find ways to cook with less oil if living to your ripe old age is your desire. Cultivate an attitude of measurement. Decide how many cooking spoon full of oil you need. You and I know it’s definitely not the oil that makes the food tasty.
- Fried foods: Studies suggest that fried food increases the risk of heart failure (WebMed). If staying healthy is important to you, then reduce your intake of fried meals or find alternative ways to eat that egg or yam or p!antain. How about cooking/boiling it instead?
- Eba/ fufu/ pounded yam are meals rich in carbohydrates. If eating this day in day out is your norm, then you are doing yourself more harm than good. Not only does it increase your blood glucose level which is far from good but it also triggers a host of other disorders including type 2 diabetes.
- White bread just screams carbs, carbs, carbs…highly unhealthy. If bread is your thing, then go for more healthy loafs like brown bread or wheat bread.
- Some non-natural spices have been found to contain such components that are likely to pose health risks. For example, studies show that the popular maggi cube has a rich content of sodium which increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. If you must use cubes in your meal, then use in small proportions.
Stay healthy, eat healthy!
Disclaimer: The featured image of Omotola and her daughter for Knorr Campaign is not associated with harmful foods but was used to show the passion Nigerians share for good meals.
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