For those in our part of the world, the burden of disease becomes double since people are hungry due to lack of economic empowerment and at the same time they will be sick due to the kind of foods they eat.
There is a way out of this if we are going to be able to help our people. Government should confront the issues well, this country cannot continue concentrating on curative health care alone and relegating preventive health care to the background.
Much more needs to be done in terms of teaching the Ghanaian populace how to prevent lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and several others.
It is hard to find a properly functioning dietetic unit in major hospitals in the regions of Ghana. It is about time the government takes a look at increasing the workforce in this aspect of healthcare so that more and more of our country men and women can be helped out of preventable diseases.
What can we do to help ourselves?
We can help ourselves by setting priorities right. If you have the opportunity to take care of yourself, do that and do not use time for your health-check on funerals, weddings and out-doorings. Give healthy eating a chance.
You do no one but yourself so much good by exercising daily. Some people have to follow certain exercise regimes daily in order to give life a chance. If you are not there yet, you can prevent getting there by starting some regular exercise programme now.
Plan well so you prepare your own healthy meals instead of eating out all the time. That can be done once in a long while. Get help so you have your meals prepared at home.
It is better to do this now than to keep relying on vendored food till you develop hypertension or stroke. At which time you will have to be on very strict diet regimes.
Include a plan to carry your meals along to work. This will help prevent problems associated with out of home meals.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast, take lunch and supper as well. Skipping of meals is a recipe for disaster so take all your meals. There are several metabolic disorders linked to skipping of meals. It is however advisable to eat all three meals at good times.
Breakfast should be eating before starting all of the day’s activities; best time is before 8am. Take lunch latest by 1pm and eat supper latest by 6.30pm. This will be of immense benefit to you.
Include loads of vegetables in your foods. Eat kontonmire, garden eggs, okro, salad leaves, among others. These vegetables contain lots of fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.
These nutrients work together to help prevent diabetes, reduce cholesterol levels, reduce weight or fatness level and also prevent cancers. They are good for us so include them in your meals.
Fry less, boil, grill or roast more. First of all it increases how much energy you stand to get from that piece of food. This leads to the overconsumption of food energy or calories, excess of which gets stored in the body.
You can become fat, develop high cholesterol, and develop diabetes, among others, if you store too much food as fat in the body.
Secondly, oils used for frying end up being over heated. Overheated oils tend to assume properties of oils or fats that come from animal foods; largely blamed for heart diseases. So do not fry excessively.
Stay blessed and keep doing your best to eat well for health and wellness.
The writer is a dietician at Trust Hospital and author of “Diet, Health & Wellness Book” and. “Answers for your diet”.