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Friday, 14 August 2015

Maintaining a Good Body Weight by Checking Excessive Use of Food additives

It is very important for everyone to keep and maintain a healthy body weight by making sure you are within the required BMI for your height. There is no gain saying that overweight or obesity seriously predisposes you to equally serious health issues such as hypertension and heart attacks, etc.

Experts say that apart from doing your exercises, avoiding sedentary lifestyle, minimizing your consumption of fatty foods, etc, it has also become very important you are alarmed about the negative effects food additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), can have on your health. MSG is an excitotoxin. It makes you fat! This might be news to you; but yes, MSG can actually cause all kinds of medical problems for you. It can also affect your mood; it can make you depressed.
 
Watch your weight!
Unknowing to many in Nigeria, MSG is the basic raw material at the base of most of what we call food seasonings. The white seasonings for all you know, is really the very raw MSG itself! MSG can also be physically addicting, like aspartame; nutritional health experts say it can actually make you hungrier. This means it can make you eat all you do not really intend to eat – and there goes your weight problem if you do not watch it.


But what do we have? Unluckily, the food industry has left you on your own; yes, completely abandoned you to be preyed upon by business people. The regulatory agencies of government concerned such as – the consumer protection agency - if they still exist, NAFDAC, SON, and so on, have allowed just anything to pass. The authorities have allowed for instance, monosodium glutamate to be put in the foods, and they are also sold to you without the right precautionary measures: the barbecue (suya) makers, producers of food seasonings as well as fast food shops and restaurants are not being checked by anybody.
 
You could do better
The contents of the various additives should be listed properly on the food labels and packaging, and the populace ought to be fully enlightened on this danger posed by food sweeteners. But nobody is doing this yet! There are dozens of words that can be on the labels such as - spices, artificial flavouring, hydrolysed vegetable protein, etc. These are actually in fact MSG in disguise, experts say. Apart from the unnecessary fattening effects these foods can have on you, they are equally bad for your heart because of the amount of sodium embedded in the foods. And according to a heart specialist, Jude Duru Onweni,  “The number of young Nigerians we see with high blood pressure during screening is alarming, and it is because of western diets; young people eat junk”, she said.

For this reason expert health nutritionists recommend that you consume more of fresh, natural and organic foods – be they in the forms of fruits, vegetables, fish or meat, etc, if you can afford to. Another way out is to ensure that when you are out to buy packaged foods, you take time to check what is obtained in the ingredient list; make sure they are things you recognise and can pronounce – I mean natural ingredients.

Watch how much you take of  MSG
The truth is that MSG is in almost all fast foods that you get to purchase, including things you would never imagine, such as pizza. These are all western-style dietary behaviours that we embark on that will not do you any good. The west is rather trying hard to adjust towards natural foods while our people are battling hard to adopt what they are running away from – what an irony. The truth of this matter is evident in the fact that people in our rural/villages eat all kinds of foods and never get fat. It is not so much the food, but the ingredients used in (urban centre) fast food processing. Many people in the villages who eat straight from the farms are usually better of – develop the habit of eating organic; have your own little farm/garden at your backyard, every little space you can find.

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