A great deal of us these days pay very little attention to what actually goes into the dishes we consume daily, especially people who definitely have no time do the cooking themselves. In Ghana, many working professionals - among others - usually opt for the quick take-out or "Take away" from the local eatery, but hardly ever pay any mind to what ingredients go into their meal.
We YEN decided to compile a list of common foods and drinks people consume everyday and the (almost always) little known side effects.
Flavor enhancers and MSG
Widely used in the preparation of many publicly sold dishes in Ghana, these flavor enhancers add absolutely no nutritive advantage to our meals. Adversely, it's been related to health complications like liver inflammation and dysplasia. As an Excitotoxin, this ingredient works on the brain, fooling it to think that the food tastes better than it actually does and causing an addiction and weight gain.
Just like MSG, sugar is one product that we come into to contact with and consume multiple times on a daily manner, from the spoon you put in your tea, to fruit juices, to candy, ice cream, and even ketchup. Linked to complications like liver failure and such, the effects of fructose can be likened to that of alcohol. By turning off the body's appetite control system, sugar tricks your body into eating more and gaining more weight.
Made to have longer than usual shelve lives, instant noodles tend to contain ingredients such as such as MSG (another dietary culprit) and tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), chemical preservatives derived from the oil industry. In a study conducted in South Korea on the effects of instant noodles on human health, doctoral candidate at Harvard School of Public Health, Hyun Shin, stated "Although instant noodles is a convenient and delicious food, there could be an increased risk for metabolic syndrome given [the food's] high sodium, unhealthy saturated fat and glycemic loads."
Although not a form of cancer that is very common in Ghana, pork meat has been related to an increase in colon cancer. But let's put can side on the back-burner a little bit, the fact is that with the rise in demand, production of pork meat has gone up. This puts pressure on pork producers and almost incites them to cut corners. An investigative journalist named Ted Gaenoways found concluded that pork products may include “fecal contamination, urine, bile, hair, intestinal contents, diseased animals, toenails — you name it.”