Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa (inset), a pathologist, addressing participants in the  event. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa (inset), a pathologist, addressing participants in the event. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY

Eat more local nutritious foods to avoid diseases — Prof. Akosa

A Cellular Pathologist, Lifestyle Wellness Consultant and former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, has said the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, fried foods and processed foods is highly associated with non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, heart diseases and diabetes.


He has, therefore, advised Ghanaians to eat more locally produced foods than Western and fast foods to reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases in the country. 

He said Ghanaians had put away their local nutritious foods and were eating imported, highly processed foods with a high sugar concentration in processing them. “I will urge us all to go back to our former ways of eating kontomire or cocoyam leaves, garden eggs, okro, ‘abedru’, and all that keep us healthy and also minimise the dependence on the pizzas, noodles and fried foods,” he advised.


Professor Akosa was speaking at the maiden edition of the National Stakeholders Forum of the College of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management in Accra as part of activities to mark Ghana Month.

Dubbed: “Our Heritage, Our Food”, the forum aims to reflect on the country’s history and assess the present to preserve our collective culture for future generations.  The event displayed the culinary prowess of the students, with each dish highlighting the versatility and richness of the various regions and ethnic groups in the country. 

Local foods

The cellular pathologist said although the country abounds in local foods, the high demand for Western and fast foods was making the local food less prevalent and inferior. He said traditional foods were part of the country’s heritage and were strongly rooted in the culture of the people; hence, the need for Ghanaians to consume locally produced foods. 


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the College of Culinary Arts And Hospitality Management, Thelma Boye, said there was a need for Ghanaians to project the local foods to the outside world to support local businesses and also build connections between the local people and foreigners.  She said her mother’s passion for teaching and culinary arts led to the establishment of the school in 1971.

She reiterated the need for older generations to share and pass on the country’s history, heritage and culture to the younger generation, adding that, “this will ensure that the younger generation has the opportunity to interact with personalities who played a pivotal role in shaping the present of the country.”

Food enhancers 

The CEO also advised Ghanaians to avoid food enhancers and use natural ingredients for cooking, saying, “These are not bad but we shouldn’t rely solely on it; we should develop the food and allow its natural taste to come out instead of using food enhancers, which in the long run change the original taste of the food”. 

She said too many food enhancers had caused food to lose its taste and nutrients, adding, “We now prefer food cooked with these enhancers to our natural and nutritious food.” She, therefore, urged caterers and culinary schools to build on the confidence of students in cooking and teach them how to prepare more local foods.

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