• Life - Health & Wellness
  • Updated: January 03, 2023

Harmful Products: Nutritionist Urges Nigerians To Always Read Food Labels

Uju Onuorah, a nutritionist, has advised Nigerians to always read the nutrition label of food products to identify and avoid foods that are harmful to the heart.

Onuorah gave the advice on Tuesday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Onuorah said reading the nutrition label of food products always helps in identifying foods that are high in sodium and trans fat which are bad for the heart.

“The percentage Daily Value (DV) tells you the percentage of each nutrient in a single serving in terms of the daily recommended amount.

“A key rule is to check the DV close to the nutrient/ingredient of interest.

“To consume less of a nutrient such as saturated fat or sodium, choose foods with a lower percentage DV, like five per cent or less.

“To consume more of a nutrient such as fibre, choose foods with a higher percentage DV,’’ she said.

Speaking on other dietary recommendations for a healthy heart, she said it is also important to avoid and reduce the intake of certain foods which can increase one’s risk of heart disease.

She listed such foods as Ultra-Processed Foods (UPF) which include biscuits, bacon, sausages, soft drinks, instant noodles, chips, sweetened cereals, margarines and spreads, packaged snacks, ice cream, canned foods, and flavoured yoghurt, among others.

According to her, these foods go through multiple processes and contain many added ingredients which are unhealthy for the heart.

“It is also important to limit the amount of salt one consumes in a day.

“A general recommendation for healthy adults is to limit their sodium intake to 2300 milligrams per day which is equal to about one teaspoon of table salt.

“To boost the taste and flavour of foods while still lowering salt intake, a healthier alternative is to focus on adding more natural spices and seasonings.

“These natural spices and seasonings include ginger, garlic, thyme, pepper, onions, crayfish, nutmeg, cinnamon and turmeric," she said.

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Felicia Abisola  Olamiji
Felicia Abisola Olamiji

  A graduate of English Language from Olabisi Onabanjo University, passionate about learning new...

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