Your food could be killing you


Salt by Salt Shaker   Original Filename: 6507-000073.jpg

Over the last few years, it has been revealed that Afro-Caribbeans are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Despite the amount of research being done into this issue, the problem seems only to be getting worse, with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently revealing that African-Caribbeans are six times more likely to suffer from a serious illness, and even more worryingly, are more likely to develop these diseases earlier in life. Black men are fifty percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, four times more likely to die from hypertension and twice as likely to die from stroke.

Although it is not certain why black people are more likely to develop these diseases, the finger has, more often than not, been pointed at the food that we eat, and more importantly, the way in which it is cooked. A lot of Afro-Caribbean food is seasoned with copious amounts of salt, in addition to other seasonings which also contain salt. While this often makes for a delicious meal, diets high in salt are thought to cause high blood pressure which in turn can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

According to Blood Pressure UK, too much salt can also reduce the affect of blood pressure medications. When you add this to the large amount of oil in foods that are fried (which leads to high cholesterol) and the fact that African-Caribbeans appear to be more likely to store fat around their waists (which is linked to diabetes), we have a recipe for disaster.

Despite the alarming figures, there are many ways you can reduce the risk of getting these diseases. Simply reducing the amount of salt, oils and saturated fats used in cooking, while also eating more fruit and veg is said to combat the onset of diabetes which is linked to obesity. Exercising at least five times a week with activities such as walking or even dancing help the body to use up glucose and promote good cardiovascular health.