Dr. Abimbola Ajayi is the Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Health on Nutrition. She is our guest on this edition of Celebrity Tummy Talk. She speaks on her eating habit ,while emphasizing on the need for people to nutritious food for healthy living.
What kind of food do you enjoy?
I eat a lot of fruits; fur mangoes, pineapple name them.. I also try to be moderate in my eating heart. But I eat fish a lot. I like to take ice cream in the morning, and later in the day, I settle for vegetable and continue till the next day. Eating food is both getting the right nourishment as well as the pleasure it deserves. Ultimately, people need knowledge to eat right.
So, what’s the health risk involved, if one is not eating right?
Then, one is preparing for sickness, illness and ailments of different kinds. Your system is bound to break down as you begin to experience serious aching, pains, and discomfort which might lead to death. Inadequate nutrition will lead to death.
While growing up, what was your attitude to food?
I didn’t know nutrition at my tender age. But, I was fortunate that my mother breast-fed me for three years. This necessitated my ability to reach the peak in terms of education. I didn’t struggle to read.
That means there was a disposition in my brain that was always willing to study. After I picked up nutrition and started understanding what it means, I’ve always tried to eat right. At 52, I think, I’m looking healthy.
What is the major food of Lagosians?
It used to be fish, crab, crayfish and stew. Now, we are adding vegetables. Although, Lagosians weren’t used to eating too much vegetable. It used to be ewedu but now, people are taking to vegetable.
What kind of exercise do you do?
I do lots of walking. I can walk for hours and will not be weary or tired. Walking burns lots of fat. The best exercise is either swimming or walking. Although, I’ve not been doing that for a while. There are lots of gymnasiums to engage in.
What’s your drinking habit like?
I drink lots of juice, water and occasionally, take wine.
Nutritional value of a mango
Mangoes make an excel-lent addition to a meal, or are tasty when eaten alone. There are different varieties of mangoes, but all have a soft, sweet taste. Mangoes may be considered an exotic fruit, and therefore are not as popular as traditional apples, oranges and bananas. However, mangoes provide a nutritious snack option.
Mangoes are also a good source of vitamins A C and E, which are powerful antioxidants right along with vitamin A. The vitamin C content of mangoes is very high.
Vitamin A keeps the skin and mucous membranes strong, as well as the linings of the intestinal and respiratory tracts.
Food Tummy Talk
Eating right is a key step to preventing and controlling diabetes. Fortunately, whether you’re trying to reduce your risk of diabetes or manage a pre-existing problem, you can still enjoy your favourite foods and take pleasure from your meals. Your nutritional needs are the same as everyone else, no special foods or complicated diets are necessary. The key to a diabetes diet is eating in moderation, sticking to regular mealtimes, and eating a variety of fruits, bread, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains brown rice, millet at regular intervals.
Vegetables that have high fiber or roughage content are usually preferred. These include leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, and broccoli, besides green beans, avocados, cucumber, onion, carrots and tomatoes. Vegetables are also a good source of vitamins and minerals which help in maintaining a good balance in diet. Some of the fruits which can be consumed in reasonable amounts are apples, oranges, mangoes and bananas. Milk is also an essential source of energy for diabetics.
However, care must be taken to make sure that your diet has only low fat milk and yoghurt products. Lean cut meat, such as pork, beef lamb and veal, and free range chicken can be eaten by diabetics in limited quantities.
However diabetics should avoid food with high salt content and alcohol, since they easily interfere with the normal functioning of heart and liver. High fat content or refined carbohydrates are also known to be risky for them.
As your eating habits become healthier, and you eat fewer sweets, your taste buds may shift. Foods that you used to love may seem too sweet. Instead healthier foods may become what you crave.
A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in fat, and moderate in calories. It is a healthy diet for anyone.