Eating healthy Ghanaian foods keeps one from frequenting health facilities thereby dissipating productive time seeking medical attention, Dr Rosemary Anderson Akolaa, a Lecturer at the University of Environment and Sustainable Development, has stated.
“If you have a family that is healthy, it means you have lots of money. Everybody can work and there would be no sick person in the family to cater for which eventually helps to boost the economy,” she said.
Dr Akolaa was speaking at the launch of a national food-based public dietary guidelines in Kumasi.
The guidelines were launched by the Ghana Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (GAND) alongside the opening ceremony of the Conference of Nutrition and Dietetics (COND) on the theme, “Promoting Sustainable Food Systems for Nutrition and Development; Challenges and Opportunities for Capacity Strengthening.”
Several stakeholders including associations and identifiable bodies were engaged on how to serve healthy foods at homes and public events.
Dr Akolaa implored Ghanaians to stay away from junk foods and sugar-filled beverages which were inimical to their health, but rather consume more fruits and organic foods while engaging in regular body exercises.
She admonished parents to always add local spices such as ‘dawadawa’ in their foods especially for children.
She said consuming foods such as spinach, kontomire and other local green foods was the way to go as Ghanaians.
Mrs Efua Owusu Ansah, the GAND Middle Zone Coordinator and Principal Dietitian at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, said the event sought to guide people on how to eat well.
Stakeholders were educated on how to avoid foods that may cause sicknesses including heart attacks, strokes and kidney failures.
“It is very important because sicknesses that are brought into the human body as a result of food intake are becoming rampant,” she said.
Mrs Owusu Ansah said it was unfortunate that children currently were also being diagnosed with heart diseases, hypertension and stroke, which hitherto were not common among children.
“We see the guidelines as the safest way to salvage people from such complications since money alone cannot save people from its consequences,” Mrs Owusu Ansah argued.
She reiterated the need for Ghanaians to learn how to consume their local foods, saying they were the best.