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World Heart Day: NHF warns against consumption of unwholesome vegetable oil
Vegetable oil

By Chioma Obinna

As Nigeria on Tuesday, joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s World Health Day with the theme: “Use Heart to Fight Cardiovascular Disease”, the Nigerian Heart Foundation has raised the alarm over the circulation of unwholesome vegetable oil in the markets, warning that consumption of such oil was injurious to the heart.

Addressing a press conference to mark the Day in Lagos, a Food Scientists & Nutritionist, Mrs Dolapo Coker who noted that the science of food was the science of survival, regretted that some vegetable oil manufacturers in Nigeria are yet to abide by the laws and directives guiding it productions thereby putting the lives of Nigerians at risk.

According to her, the Federal government should begin to clampdown on such manufacturers.

READ ALSO: Customs clears air on alleged attempt to ‘smuggle’ vegetable oil

“Today, in the markets, you see women selling these oil in bottles under the sun.  The moment it rains, three-quarters of the bottle is blocked and you can imagine the impact it will have when it goes into someone’s system. The government needs to do something about the manufacturers of these products.   We need a lot of help from the government and the media to let the masses realize that it is not good for their health,”

Speaking, a renowned Cardiologist and Executive Director of the Nigeria Heart Foundation, NHF, Dr Kingsley Akinroye said Nigerians should begin to be passionate about protecting their hearts and ensure that only heart-friendly oils are consumed.

Throwing light on good and bad cholesterol, he said when fats are broken it turns into good and bad Cholesterol. “The Low-density lipoprotein which is the cholesterol makes up most of the body’s cholesterol and high levels of LDL cholesterol raises the risk for heart disease and stroke while High-density lipoprotein which is the good cholesterol absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower one’s risk for heart disease and stroke.”

Addressing journalists, President of the Nigeria Heart Foundation, NHF, Mallam Ismaila Shuaibu said it has become necessary for Nigerians to watch the kind of foods they consume as Cardiovascular Disease, CVD has become a leading cause of death globally and Nigeria inclusive.

Shaibu said 2018 WHO country profiles revealed that NCDs accounted for 29 per cent of all deaths in Nigeria of which CVD, predominantly hypertension was responsible for 11 per cent of all the NCD’s deaths and most of the deaths occurred prematurely in persons below 70 years.

Shuaibu who noted that COVID-19 has changed the World and facts on heart conditions noted that people with the virus and heart disease are among those with the highest risk of death and of developing severe conditions.

He also disclosed that findings have shown that after COVID-19 attacks, the heart might be severely affected even in people without previous heart conditions potentially resulting in long-term damage.

He said the world  Heart Day is celebrated each year on the 29th of September to raise awareness on heart disease and their risk factors as well as mobilise international action against cardiovascular disease.

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