The average Nigerian lifestyle has changed dramatically in the last few decades. Whereas before we worked hard physically on the farm, these days we sit around in cars , offices and in front of the TV or computer. The food we eat however hasn’t changed to suit our new lifestyle. Below are some foods Nigerians love but are bad for your health.
1. Eba/ Pounded yam/ Fufu – This is basically just instant carbohydrates (carbs) and calories with no real nutrition. Eat plenty of this and see your waste line rise, your risk of diabetes increase and you life expectancy decrease!
2. White rice – The new staple. For many it’s had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Similar to the eba, it’s basically carbs that promote weight gain without much nutritional benefit.
3. White bread – This is another carb load. Eat it sparingly and consider substituting it for brown or wheat bread.
4. Fried plantain – It’s sweet i know but you know what is sweeter? Life! Instead enjoy boiled or roasted plantain to avoid raising your cholesterol levels and your risk of dying from a heart attack.
5. Stew – Look at all that oil! The tastier the stew, the more unhealthy it likely is for you. In addition to cholesterol problems like above, it can also promote stomach ulcers and heart burn. Avoid it to have a good night’s sleep free of heartburn.
6. Soft drinks – Hot day, what do you reach for? A soft drink? How about reaching for water instead. All that sugar is unnecessary. You’re getting useless carbs from the starchy foods you’re eating anyway. Water hydrates you, helps with weight loss and reduces your risk of diseases such as kidney stones. It’s also cheaper than soft drinks, at least ‘pure water’ is.
7. Salt and Pepper – Yes they were a cool 90’s group but when it comes to your health you want to ‘push it’ away. Salt increases your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease while pepper can increase stomach ulcer and cancer risk.
Remember the following general rules for a healthy diet.
- Variety is good
- The more color the better
- Moderation in all
- Fish instead of meat where possible
- Limit portion size – ‘no be farm you dey go work’
- Include fiber daily to not have a child birthing experience every time you go to the toilet.
Please share widely and tell us in the comments section what you substitute the above foods for. Follow our blog to find out about our exciting upcoming resources for healthy eating.