30 December 2012

Nigeria: Doctors Caution Against Eating of Fried Foods, Meat

Some health experts on Saturday in Lagos cautioned people against eating fried meat and delicacies, describing them as dangerous to the heart.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the fat from fried food items was capable of increasing the cholesterol level in humans, noting that the fat was dangerous to the heart.

Dr John Egbuta, a nutritionist with the UNICEF, told NAN that fried meat and delicacies had little or no value to the body. "By frying the foods, you will have destroyed many of the nutrients in the foods.

"That is why we insist that some of these foods should not be over-cooked or fried, but should be consumed in their fresh state. With the frying comes excess absorption of oil in the foods which then increases the fat content and results in complications, including high cholesterol which is hazardous to the body, " he said.

Egbuta expressed worry about the increasing rate of heart attack in the country, saying unhealthy eating is a contributory factor.

He, however, advised people to consume food items that contain essential vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, and folic acid. "They are needed in the body to maintain a healthy living."

A public health expert, Dr Gbenga Adekoya, urged people not to consume vegetable oil that contained saturated fat.

"Saturated fat clogs the blood vessels that cause hypertension, coronary insufficiency and cardiac arrest. The traumatic effect is usually on the heart vessels, " he also told NAN.

Dr Folashade Davies, a consultant cardiologist with Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, advised people to eat foods such as beans, nuts and locally-produced rice to be healthy.

Davies said a lot of foods being eaten had lost their naturalness as a result of processing. "These processed foods will require salt to preserve them and eating such foods will mean eating too much salt which can lead to high blood pressure and hypertension, "Davies said.

She said boiled and grilled foods were better and healthier than fried foods. (NAN)

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