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Tuesday,August 11,2020 18:34 PM

Why you should avoid take-aways

By Vision Reporter

Added 23rd August 2005 03:00 AM

By Grace Canada
With the proliferation of television sets, fast food restaurants, relatively higher incomes and street food vendors, many Ugandans are turning to junk foods and spending too many hours in front of TVs.

By Grace Canada
With the proliferation of television sets, fast food restaurants, relatively higher incomes and street food vendors, many Ugandans are turning to junk foods and spending too many hours in front of TVs.

By Grace Canada
With the proliferation of television sets, fast food restaurants, relatively higher incomes and street food vendors, many Ugandans are turning to junk foods and spending too many hours in front of TVs.
Foods like chips, mandazi, chapati, samosas, doughnuts, sauces prepared with a lot of oil, cookies, white bread, sweets and soft drinks are fast replacing traditional cooking such as luwombo (sauce steamed in banana leaves) or meat that is first slightly roasted before it is prepared. Steamed foods, vegetables and snacks such as simsim seeds, groundnut, soyabeans and fruits have also been replaced. How is the change in eating habits affecting our youths and the general population?
According to research, not good at all! Such foods contain higher amounts of fat, highly refined flour and high amounts of sugar. And the problems connected to their consumption include:
  • Fact one; Carbohydrates provide fuel for the body in form of glucose, which is used to produce energy for the cells. Carbohydrates also assist in the use of other nutrients. There are two types of carbohydrates — simple and complex.
    Complex carbohydrates are starch foods that contain fibre. They are found in legumes, nuts, vegetables and whole grains.
    Simple carbohydrates are sugars. They are found in refined flour and products prepared with refined white flour or sugar like cakes, white bread, chocolate, sweets and soft drinks. Such carbohydrates are referred to as “bad” carbohydrates. This is because highly refined grains are the equivalent of water and sugar.
    When digested all carbohydrates yield glucose. When grain is highly refined, it is quickly turned into glucose and absorbed in the blood stream. After a short while, it is used up and the glucose level drops, leaving the brain and other tissues starved for energy. Concentration gets affected, muscles get shaky, and the body perceives an emergency.
    In search of a quick fix, the brain sends out hunger signals, which are usually answered by eating more junk food. The cycle repeats itself resulting in over weight.
    Further more, the body tissues of people who are over weight or physically inactive resist insulin’s signals to pull in glucose from the blood into the tissues, a condition known as insulin resistant. This keeps blood sugar at high levels for prolonged periods. It also forces the pancreas to produce extra insulin, which leads to diabetes.
    However, complex carbohydrates are referred to as “good” carbohydrates because they are digested more slowly and provide a steady source of energy. They also do not give a fast high rise to the blood sugar and therefore, are more desirable than simple ones.

  • Fact two:
    Fibre comes from cell walls of plants and is classified as carbohydrate. Fibre helps to slow digestion and absorption of glucose into the body — a very desirable effect, without increasing your caloric intake. It also provides bulk needed for proper bowl movement.

  • Fact three:
    Fats help to transport fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K so that they can be absorbed and utilised.
    Fats also slow down the passage of food from the stomach to the intestines, hence providing a steady flow of energy from the foods. This keeps blood sugar at desirable levels.
    However, there are two types of fats; the bad and the good ones. The good fats known as unsaturated fats contain what is known as “essential fatty acids”. They are called essential because the body can not manufacture them. They must be obtained through diet.
    Essential fatty acids are necessary for healthy growth, brain development, nerve-impulse conduction, hormone production, break down and use of food, immune function, reproductive function, skin and hair health.
    Essential fatty acids are obtained from olive, sunflower seeds, soya beans and groundnut oils, nuts and avocados.
    However, saturated fats known as “bad fats” are associated with health problems like heart and blood vessel disease and high blood pressure.
    They are found in meat, dairy products and oils such as coconut oil, palm oil and cotton seed oil. These fats should be avoided.
    Also all visible fat should be trimmed from meat and skin removed from chicken before cooking. With junk and commercially prepared foods, you do not know the type of fat used in your food, so avoid them.
    Non-fat or low fat milk, yorghurt and cheese are well-recommended.

  • Fact four:
    Vitamins and minerals can not be manufactured in the body. They must be obtained from the foods we eat or supplements. There is no food that contains all the necessary vitamins or minerals. Therefore, we must eat a variety of them.
    The problem is most of the junk food contains little fibre and too much sugar and fat. Bearing these facts in mind, what should you do?
    Bring home plenty of fruits, snacks such as groundnuts, sim sim seeds, roasted soya beans, whole wheat bread and a variety of vegetables. Also eat plenty of complex carbohydrates such as dried beans and peas.
    Make sure you eat at least one meal a day with your family. That way you are sure of what the maid prepares. And you have the opportunity to make the right choices.
    Also discourage your children from spending too much time watching TV and indulging in junk food. Encourage them to participate in group activities such as swimming, ball games and cycling or hobbies such as singing, dancing, sewing, gardening or debates.
    Encourage them to perform humanitarian services like adopting an elder or sick person and perform essential chores for them.
    Humble as such hobbies may seem, they are important for character development.
    Ends

    Why you should avoid take-aways

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