Health & Relationships

Nutritionist says adequate balanced diet can prevent cancer

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A nutritionist, Mrs Ngozi Nnam, has advised Nigerians to eat adequate balanced diet to live healthy, saying that adequate diet can prevent cancer.

Nnam, a Professor of Community and Public Health Nutrition at University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

She said it was not difficult to eat balanced diet, adding that all that was required was the knowledge of what to eat at a particular time.

She added that “lifestyle, including diet, could precipitate cancer. Women especially can prevent cancer by eating adequate diet.



“It is easy to eat adequate diet. All that is required is to pick at least a food item from the different food groups in adequate proportion in a meal.

“The food groups are roots, tubers and legumes, vegetables, fruits and meat, fish, poultry, milk, as well as fats and oil.

“We should include vegetables and fruits in our daily diets to increase our nutrients.’’

Nnam, also the immediate past President of Nutrition Society of Nigeria, said certain ailments could be managed through adequate diet.



She said people living with diabetes could manage it through adequate diet, noting that “they should also take foods rich in soluble and insoluble fibres.

“High fibre fruits, vegetables and legumes (leafy green vegetables, beans, cucumber, garden egg and apple, among others) are very important.

“Insoluble fibre helps blood sugar levels by bulking up foods without adding extra fat, sugar, protein or calories.

“This allows the body to feel full on foods that do not release too much glucose, thus keeping diabetes under control.

“Foods rich in soluble fibre help in controlling diabetes because insoluble fibre
turns into gel in the intestine and that slows the absorption of sugars in the blood.”

Nman further said that plant foods were good for people with diabetes because they contain a lot of dietary fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.

She said the foods would help to combat free radicals that could be dangerous for them.

“They should eat foods with complex carbohydrate like white oats, brown rice and whole wheat.

“The foods take time to be converted into glucose in the body, causing a steadier release than simpler refined carbohydrate, which spike blood sugar level.

“People that have diabetes should limit intake of fat because it causes insulin resistance,’’ the nutritionist advised. (NAN)

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