REGISTERED dietitian, Doctor Nana Kofi Owusu, has warned Ghanaians against the practice of excessively frying oil or using the same oil over and over to fry foods for consumption.
He has also warned against the high intake of trans and saturated fats.
Doctor Owusu made the appeal at a health forum organised on Friday, July 19, 2019, in Accra by the Holy Trinity Medical Centre.
The forum was held under the theme: ‘Fats That Kill; Understanding Dyslipidemia and Eating Right,’ and had Doctor Seth Yao Nani, a Physician Specialist at the Korle Bu Hospital as one of the resource persons.
According to Doctor Owusu, the practice of using the same oil over and over to fry foods such as yam, pork, chicken, among others, causes trans-fat.
He noted that the high intake of saturated fats increases a person’s risk of heart diseases and stroke.
“The thing about fat is that fats are not bad but the types of fats you take can increase your risk of getting some diseases,” he said, adding that the intake of saturated fats should be about 10 percent.
He further urged Ghanaians to reduce the level of oil in the foods they consume.
Trans fats usually come in two forms – natural and artificial trans fats.
Natural trans fats are believed to be formed by bacteria in the stomach of cattle, sheep and goats and they reportedly make up 3–7% of the total fat in dairy products, such as milk and cheese, 3–10% in beef and lamb and just 0–2% in chicken and pork.
Artificial trans fats on the other hand, are believed to be mainly formed during hydrogenation, a process in which hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to form a semi-solid product known as partially hydrogenated oil.
Studies have linked consumption of trans fats to heart disease, inflammation, among others.
Dyslipidemia is considered an elevated cholesterol or fats (lipids) in the blood which increases the chance of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis) and heart attacks, stroke or other circulatory concerns, especially in smokers.
Doctor Nani bemoaned that there was no official data on cases of lipids even though cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) were the number one causes of deaths globally.
He revealed that an estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31 percent of all global deaths.
“Of these deaths, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke,” he said, adding that “over three quarters of CVD deaths take place in low-middle income countries.”