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Processed foods contain bad cholesterol, expert warns

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Dr Oluwabunmi Ogungbemi, General Physician at the Department of Family Medicine, Garki Hospital, Abuja, has warned that processed foods could contain harmful cholesterol, capable of raising the risk of stroke and heart attack or other possible health problem.

Ogungbemi who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, in Abuja, said some processed foods contain fats which when eaten over time could lead to overweight, hypertension, diabetes among others.

She said that Nigerians were prone to non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and high sugar level due to high cholesterol.

She attributed such conditions to poor diets, and explained that processed foods, when stored in the body could lead to obesity.

“To live a healthier life, Nigerians should try to avoid processed foods.

“Because some of these foods contain high level of cholesterol and substances that are harmful to the body.

“Foods like burger, pizza, ice cream, among others are everywhere in Nigeria, but people should take caution, because the oils in which these foods are being fried contained harmful fat.

“And these fat are actually harmful cholesterol that are not good for the body, and when store in the body they could cause obesity and eventually lead to diabetes, hypertension among others,’’ she said.

She therefore advised adequate daily intake of vegetables and fruits in a regular meal, in order to increase healthy living.

She added that regular intake of carbohydrates should be reduced.

“There is a saying that you are what you eat, so diet is a major way individuals can achieve a healthier lifestyle; you are made of what you put into your body.

“So your diets as an individual should promote your healthier living.

“It should include adequate vegetables and fruits daily; and also feed more on protein and cut down on carbohydrates,’’ she said.

Ogungbemi advised Nigerians to feed on natural foods they grow in Nigeria.

She advised that natural foods were healthier, and also contain fresh nutrients to enhance an individual wellbeing if eaten regularly.

“There used to be a time in Nigeria, when we used to plug mangoes, bananas and others fruits from the tree and eat it.

“Eating natural and fresh foods build us health wise, all of these things go a long way in ensuring that you live healthier life,’’ she said.

NAN reports that medical experts said Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance found in all cells of the body.

It is essential to many life-sustaining functions.

Produced by the liver, the body needs it to make hormones, like estrogen and progesterone and Vitamin D.

It is also found in compounds, such as bile that the body creates to help digest food.

Experts have stressed that cholesterol is both good and bad.

It is good when the level is normal, but bad when the concentrations in the blood get too high and can eventually raise the risk of stroke and heart attack or other possible health problem.


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