Dietician warns against over consumption of fried foods

A dietician, Mrs Alice Johnson, has warned against consumption of high quantity of fried foods, saying that it leads to high calorie intake and accumulation of trans fats.

Johnson, who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Monday, said that too much intake of calories and trans fats was bad.

According to her, too much calories and trans fats predisposes people to heart diseases, diabetes and other health complications.

She said that many people liked fried foods but were oblivious of their high calories and trans fats with the accompanying negative effects on people’s health and general wellbeing.

“Fried foods contain more calories than their non-fried counterparts. Eating a lot of them can significantly increase your calorie intake.

“When foods are fried in oil, they lose water and absorb fats, which further increases their calorie content and accumulates high trans fats.

“Fried foods are often cooked in processed vegetable or seed oils.

“When heated, these oils can form trans fats, which are associated with a number of health problems such as cancer, diabetes and obesity,” she said.

The dietician explained that food manufacturers often hydrogenated fats, using high pressure and hydrogen gas to increase their shelf life and stability.

She added that hydrogenation also occurred when oil was heated to a very high temperature during cooking.

“This process changes the chemical structure of fats, making it difficult for our bodies to break them down. This can ultimately lead to negative health effects.

“I, therefore, advised people to avoid foods with trans fats because of their association with many health risk including heart disease.

“Alternatively, people should consume food rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals such as fruits and vegetables as well as those that are low in sodium, to maintain a healthy living,” she said. (NAN)