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Experts Warn On Increasing Food-Related Illnesses In Nigeria.

The consensus of experts at this year's World Registered Dietitian-Nutrition Day was that Nigerians should choose foods rich in nutrients to keep healthy and checkmate increasing food-related illnesses in the nation.

Head, Dietetic Department, UCH, Mrs Rachel Fakunle, speaking at the celebration at the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, stated that many diseases and illnesses have their root in the food people eat, do not eat or eat in excess.

According to her, the adage 'you are what you eat' is true and as such people need to learn to derive optimum satisfaction in the food they eat to achieve healthy lives.

Mrs Ronke Oshilaja, a dietitian, stated that the different constitutes of food such as carbohydrate, protein and fat, when unlocked have different potential to keep the body functional and healthy.

According to her, 'intake of complex carbohydrates, especially fibre is associated with lower cholesterol levels. They are also associated with a lower risk of diabetes because they do not lead to blood sugar spikes. Foods rich in protein support immune system function and improve longevity as well as promote restful sleep and youthful skin'

Mrs Oshilaja, however, said protein requirements of children are higher than that for adults, adding that adults are better off taking plant-based protein rather than animal-based protein.

She declared: 'food can be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison. So when eating or drinking, you are either feeding disease or fighting it.'

Mrs Taibat Oduneye, also a dietitian, declared that Nigerians should tap into the expertise of dietitians to use the power of food for therapeutic purposes.

She declared that heart disease, cancer, diabetes, food intolerance and reflux as well as obesity are common medical problems that dietitians help to treat with foods.

Mrs Oduneye said therapeutic diet is individualised and based on age, medical condition, gender and level of activity of an individual, warning people to desist copying diet that was not prescribed for them.

She warned against intake of smoked foods that have been linked with cancer as well as excessive intake of salt and fried foods also linked with hypertension.

According to her, foods are better grilled than smoked because soot from smoked foods is carcinogenic.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Mar 21, 2019
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