• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Many brands of vegetable oil, but not all are heart-friendly

vegetable oil

There are varieties of vegetable oil products in a typical Nigerian market. Be it small or big market.  But all are not of standard quality. Some of the products have no official health certification on their certain standard claims including low cholesterol or heart-friendly claims. Some are simply adulterated and packaged nicely which made the President of Nigerian Heart Foundation, NHF, Oladipupo Akinkugbe, to recently caution consumers against cooking with adulterated vegetable oil.

The adulterated, substandard or uncertified vegetable oil products are simply dangerous to health in the mid to long run, according to experts but unfortunately, they are consumed often by many Nigerians who are  ignorant of their side effects such as heart disease, obesity and cancer.

Even when a consumer tries to differentiate the products, there is possibility of still being a victim of substandard vegetable product through their consumption from different restaurants, fried foods sold on or by road sides.

Why are all the sorts of the products thriving even when they don’t advertise or engage in market promotions? They are simply leveraging the gullibility of most Nigerians and sometimes the absence of pocking eyes of the health authorities.

According to a report, it is estimated that over 60 per cent of Nigerians are at risk of heart related diseases, which is the leading cause of deaths worldwide. The report acknowledged that majority of Nigerians are unaware of the risk associated with heart related diseases.

Awarding heart-friendly certificate to Mamador product recently in Lagos, Akinkugbe who was represented by the Executive director of NHF, Kingsley Akinroye warned that regular consumption of contaminated or uncertified cooking oil can cause heart disease. He therefore advised consumers to purchase vegetable oil products that are cholesterol free and have received certification for heart friendly standard.

“Globally, high cholesterol in various sources of oil has been a major risk factor for heart diseases among people of all ages. You must ensure that you are not at risk for such diseases through your diet. We advise Nigerians to only cook with oil that have undergone rigorous test by scientists. They can check for a sign of the heart when buying them”, he advised in a report.

This milestone achievement by Mamador vegetable oil produced by PZ and perhaps other products has become significant at a time awareness about healthy eating has heightened, but more importantly when consumers are not sure of what to consume to avoid health issues such as heart diseases, cholesterols and obesity.

NHF said for Mamador to approach NHF that it wanted a label, it put the NHF to task and “we have to prove ourselves, because whatever we are doing is global and we have to be accepted globally to be given recognition. We have to take every needed step systematically and ethically”

It takes courage to get certification but this is necessary as there is a concern that the rates of heart diseases such as hypertension are increasing. Nigeria needs healthy workforce for productivity and economic growth and this can only be achieved if there are genuine and healthy products especially heart friendly vegetable oil in the market. It is the responsibility of the health officials such as NAFDAC and SON to move in to the market to identify the unhealthy vegetable oil without appropriate certification and name and shame of the producers.

Daniel Obi