Experts Warn against Spicy Foods, Encourage Whole Grain Meals

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Rebecca Ejifoma

Following the alarming statistics of Nigerians dying early from hypertension, a group of medical experts have advised Nigerians to reduce their intake of spicy foods and salt.

This is in line with their commitment to rid the society of preventable deaths to the killer disease beginning with Lagos state, this formidable team tagged the programme ‘War against Chronic Disease’. They gave talk on health alongside free medical check up to residents of Isoko, Lagos.

According to one of the team doctors, Sofekan Babajide Ayodeji, from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), lifestyle has changed over the years. “There is something our mothers used call Iru and ogiri, it was substitute for Maggi. All those things are harmful to the health when they are used in high amount.”

Other foods listed that need drastic reduction included: vegetable oil, spice of all kinds and salt for taste.
To succeed in its fight against hypertension among adult Nigerians, Ayodeji further urged Nigerians to try eating all classes of food, which according to him, is affordable. “It is not until we go to buy expensive things.

“Hypertension is a thing that is common among black people. If you are a black man you have the tendency of having hypertension. Taking things that predisposes one to it will further increase the risk,” he said.

“We are copying the lifestyles of the whites. And we know that the white men have better health services,” he added.
The convener of ‘War against Chronic Disease’, Ijigbamigbegbemisola, said: “We want to help our people live and eat right. The idea is to create awareness on preventions.

“So, experts like mind coach, nutritionists, dieticians and medical doctors have all joined their wealth of knowledge to achieve this one goal,” she said.

A nutritionist with Fortune Career Limited, Femi Olaniyi, described hypertension as a chronic disease, blaming choice of diet as the major cause. “Take more of whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables which are good. We should limit our intake of carbohydrate.”

Whole-grain foods are: sorghum, millet, wheat, oat, corn, local rice or brown rice (ofada rice) among others. For hypertensives, the nutritionist charged them to reduce their intake of animal protein which triggers high blood pressure.