A consultant cardiologist, Dr. Ramon Moronkola, has advised Nigerians to cut down their intake of seasonings to reduce the risk of having cardiovascular diseases.
Moronkola, who works with the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), gave the advice on Friday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said the major component of most seasonings was salt, stressing that it had a very high risk factor for cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, stroke, heart attack and liver failure amongst others.
Referencing the World Health Organization (WHO), Moronkola said cardiovascular diseases still remained the number one cause of death globally.
He decried the rate of sudden deaths among Nigerian adults, attributing the development to accumulation of excessive cholesterol and salt.
He said that the consumption of seasonings composed of much salt, built up from young age.
The cardiologist stressed the reduction of salt as a preventive and treatment measure to cardiovascular diseases, particularly hypertension and stroke.
“Unfortunately, when doctors advise people to cut down on salt intake; they end up reducing salt but consuming more of seasonings.
“This is not advisable because seasonings and salt are the same; if you are asked to avoid salt it means you are invariably advised to cut down on seasonings intake as well.
“The intake of highly salted food, saturated fat, high consumption of alcohol, smoking, hard drugs and lack of exercise are various lifestyles which could lead to cardiovascular/heart-related diseases,’’ he said.
Moronkola called on everyone to reduce intake of fried foods, hydrogenated oil, sweets and highly processed carbohydrate.
The cardiologist added that consumption of fried meat and saturated fat could easily increase cholesterol level that could result in blood clot.
According to him, clotted particles in the blood can block a blood vessel in the brain or heart, the organs with the smallest blood vessels, hence leading to a stroke or heart attack.
He said that some of such attacks could be irredeemable and fatal, warning against eating food with high cholesterol content.
Moronkola said that a survey had indicated high rate of distress calls on stroke related issues and advised people to always consume meals that would not put their health at risk.
He called on event planners and organizers to prioritize health of the attendees when making provision for delicacies and drinkables at parties/events.
“People should not expose food items that increase cholesterol level and blood pressure during parties and festivities,’’ he said.
The cardiologist also called on the Federal Government to enact a policy that would regulate quantity of seasonings in processed and canned foods produced by companies and eateries. (NAN)