The general misconception that Nigerian food is unhealthy is a theory I whole-heartedly disagree with. It’s in the application that results are seen. For example, if one chooses to have tiger nuts (ofio,aya) – which by the way is considered by many Nigerians to be healthy- every day of the week for two weeks without any form of exercise, that person can expect to see some changes when they climb their scale.
Nigerian food in my opinion is healthy when used appropriately. There is also the myth that every one working the surface of the earth is trying to lose weight. This is not the case. A growing number of people are looking to gain healthy weight as well as those looking to lose weight. Nigerian food can help with that
You do not have to stuff your face with carbohydrates to gain weight with Nigerian food. You have to still ensure that everything is done in the right proportions. For example, In addition to your breakfast of dodo (fried plantain) and eggs in the morning, you can add an avocado smoothie drink to help with your calorie intake. It is important that whatever your weight gain goals are, you target the right ingredients to include in your diet plan. Some foods that can help you with healthy weight gain are;
Groundnuts – You can have in form of Ose Oji
Dates (Dabino) – Date Pancake recipe
High – fat dairies like Yogurt – Banana Milo Pudding with Yogurt
Oat-based Recipes – Oat Fufu
Chicken, Beef, Pork, Goat Meat dishes
Yam, Potato, Plantain, Local Rice, Acha dishes
Coconut milk, Avocado dishes etc.
Soups like Banga, Egusi, Beniseed etc. are great for healthy weight gain
These food groups and many more would be helpful in gaining healthy weight with Nigerian foods however, it is important to still maintain healthy proportions with these foods and consult with a dietitian when creating a meal plan.
These are general ideas on ingredients and some dishes that can aid in your weight loss goals.
To address the question “Does Nigerian Food Make You Fat?” My answer is No because it depends on the proportions you eat, the time of day you are eating these foods, how often you are eating it and what your unique body type can digest. For example, some people can eat Jollof rice everyday and not gain a pound, while others can smell the jollof rice from the pot and put on a few pounds lol. While that is a bit of an exaggeration, everything in moderation is key.