No one contests the negative influence of cigarette smoking or excessive alcohol on health. However, the issue of what constitutes a healthy diet remains highly disputed. Many Kenyans believe that eating fatty meat contributes to disease. Many more assume fruit intake, and lots of it, is a healthy practice, even for diabetics.
Little kiosks are dotted all over towns and villages in Kenya, selling manufactured food products, such as bread, scones, chapati, mandazi, chips, and of course, sodas. Coca-colonisation is visually evident, everywhere. In the bigger cities, urbanization has led to increased uptake of processed foods, and a move away from diets rich in fiber and vegetables.
The Nairobi I grew up in in the 80s is now largely unrecognisable. Pizza deliveries are commonplace. Supermarkets are overflowing with processed food.
Petrol stations, having once sold fuel and newspapers, have been turned into cafes and fast-food restaurants. The portion sizes are huge, even by ‘western’ standards. As this 24-hour eating extravaganza descends onto our major cities, profits continue to soar with each expanding waistline.
Juicing has recently gained wide popularity, as a weight-conscious generation seek healthier alternatives to soda.
The juicing process squeezes out most of the moisture, leaving behind the seeds, skin and membranes – where most of the fibre and nutrients exist. This results in a concentrated sugary solution, devoid of many nutrients, and the protective effect of fibre.