Eat more vegetables and fiber rich foods to avoid heart diseases – Dietician

Madam Lawrencia Dela Dzidzienyo, a Dietician at the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital (ENRH), has admonished Ghanaians to eat more vegetables and foods that are rich in fiber to prevent diabetes and major heart related diseases.

She also advised that fruits should be eaten in moderation and in a healthy manner to limit the intake of fructose which turns into sugar and could lead to diabetes.

Madam Dela gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in recognition of World Heart Day, which was on the theme, “Use Heart To Beat Cardiovascular Disease”.

She mentioned wheat, corn dough porridge, oats and tom brown among others as fiber rich foods and further encouraged the intake of home grown vegetables and fruits devoid of chemicals.

The dietician observed that people eat for a purpose such as satisfying their hunger, satisfying their pleasure and having excess food to eat, but the purpose should be beneficial to their health.

She in this regard, cautioned that foods with a lot of energy like ‘kelewele’, fried plantain, pastries and soft drinks etc. should not be eaten in large quantities so that it does not generate more sugar into their system.

The Dietician defined refined foods as foods without fiber like polished/perfumed rice, sugar, honey among others and said, “refined foods were not advisable to be eaten by people with cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

According to her, “even though our diets may be rich in nutrients, when we are not able to burn the energy before going to bed or sitting in the office throughout the day, they turn into fats which can block our blood vessels and eventually lead to heart diseases”.

Dr. Conrad Deckor, Cardiologist at the ENRH hinted that cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year, while four out of five CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes, with one-third of these deaths occurring prematurely in people under 70 years of age.

He explained that Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions and added that individuals at risk of CVD may demonstrate raised blood pressure, glucose, and lipids as well as overweight and obesity.

He advised Ghanaians to maintain a healthy diet, do exercise regularly, take proper sleep, stop smoking which could lead to a lot of heart diseases, limit working for extra hours and always take the necessary precautions while following a proper diet plan to prevent the risk of heart diseases.

According to Dr. Deckor who is also the representative of the Alpha and Omega Heart Foundation in New York, USA, diabetes could trigger cardiovascular diseases coupled with wrong medication, which can severely affect the heart and cautioned against wrong medication.

He noted that many people in the Region were on hypertensive drugs and urged them to go to cardiologists or regularly visit the hospital for checks to be run on them.

For her part, Madam Esther Nketsia, another Dietician at the ENRH, explained that carbohydrate was the main source of energy to the body which was good for the body, but that the challenge lied in the amount of intake and how they were burnt to discharge it.

Source: Ghana News Agency