Dr Abdella Quartey, a Dietitian and member of the Ghana Dietetic Association, has advised the public to incorporate more vegetables and fruits in their diets.
He said this, would help reduce the risk of diabetes, lower the risk of obesity and Body Mass Index, as well as reduce the cholesterol level of the individual.
Dr Quartey gave the advice at this year’s Food Fusion event organized by final year students of the Department of Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management of the Accra Technical University (ATU) in Accra.
The day’s event, which offered participants the opportunity to sample different vegetarian dish was on the topic: Harnessing Vegetarian Integration with International Cultures”.
The Dietitian said one of the surest ways of staying healthy was to reduce the intake of fatty foods.
“We are not saying that one should completely abstain from meat. Heath wise we recommend that people should cut down on the fried foods, and do physical activity, increase fluid intake,” he said.
He urged people who were considering a shift from meatarian to vegetarian to consult dietitians to ensure that their meals were planned appropriately in order to avoid nutrients deficiencies.
“Vegetarianism itself is a good practice because it encourages the intake of complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits. It, however, has to be planned appropriately because there are some nutrients from animal sources you might lack even though you might still get it from plant sources, so either the fruits are fortified or you plan it appropriately to gain all its nutritional value,” he said.
While commending the University and the students for such educative programme, Dr Quartey urged vocational institutions to undertake more of such initiatives to enable the public make informed decisions.
“ATU has done a great job to get dieticians here, to get the students cook vegetarian dishes”.
Mr Bright Aaron Aradzinu, a final year student of Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management of ATU, said they chose this topic to educate the public on the importance of vegetarianism, adding that often people misconstrue the term to mean living on vegetables or plants sources.
“This year, one part of the final year group is doing a vegetarian test so we decided to have a food fusion that is, blending the local vegetarian dishes with international vegetarian dishes,” he said.
“We as hospitality management decided to pick this topic to educate the public that being a vegetarian doesn’t mean the consumption of only vegetables but also some part of vegetarianism takes poultry or even fish”.