Eating well is a lifestyle everyone has to embrace in order to stay healthy. Everyone wants to eat healthy but when things such as work intervene, we are forced to eat out since there is limited time to cook. Due to busy schedules, people opt for snacks and fast food.
Claire Uwase, a student with Kigali Institute of Education (KIE), said that what is considered to be delicious varies with people.
“Just like the common saying goes ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’ my most delicious food is ‘Isombe’ (mashed cassava leaves prepared with ground nuts ) and its healthy food since it’s considered a vegetable. But I know that food with lots of fat are unhealthy to eat but most of my friends enjoy it,” Uwase said.
The 20-year-old talks about junk food she considers unhealthy and also highly addictive.
“I have a friend who craves for burgers every day of the week despite her claims of adding on weight each passing day,” says Uwase.
According to Dr. Michael Rich, the Country Director of Partners In Health, at Rwinkwavu Hospital, there are different theories attributed to why people consider the unhealthiest foods to be the most delicious.
“The body has a natural craving for sugars but there are other factors to why people enjoy eating foods with lots of calories and sugars. For instance the way such diets are advertised by the manufactures using nice colours or photos thus attracts people to consume them forgetting the health hazards involved,” Dr. Michael explains.
He further said that consuming unhealthy food is less in Rwanda compared to western countries.
“Eating unhealthy food is toxic for the body due to the high fat from animal products and high percentage of sugars which often cause chronic diseases, some cancers and obesity,” Dr. Rich said.
The free encyclopedia Wikipedia states that a study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny at the Scripps Research Institute (2008) suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a manner similar to addictive drugs like cocaine or heroin.
The report further indicates that mothers who eat junk food while pregnant or breast-feeding have children who are more prone to obesity. The children are also prone to diabetes, raised cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Benjamin Ishimwe, a businessman and resident of Kibiraro 2 village of Remera cell said that people eat the unhealthiest food because it is delicious.
“People eat unhealthy food more than necessary, but if eaten with moderation, there is no threat to health,” Ishimwe emphasizes.
He also said sweets are unhealthy and extremely bad for the teeth yet widely enjoyed by most people.
“In the past, our parents used to stop us from consuming a lot of sweets but today that has changed since both children and parents come to my shop daily to buy sweets. I can’t stop selling the sweets since I have to make money,” Ishimwe discloses.
There are many strategies and approaches to defining a healthy personal diet but the most efficient ones include: awareness – knowing what you eat and what it contains.