A cardiologist has cautioned against excessive consumption of salted tilapia (koobi) citing it as one of the causes of heart-related diseases.
Dr Abdul Sahmed Tanko further described foul-smelling fish known popularly as ‘momoni’ as dangerous for one’s health and thus, has to be taken in moderation.
Speaking at the launch of World Heart Day in Accra, Head of Cardiology at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, cautioned the public against alcohol, smoking and excessively fatty foods.
“We put so much salt in our foods which is not good for our health. Excessive intake of ‘koobi’ and ‘momoni’ can also cause heart-related diseases and I advise against it. We have to eat them in moderation,” he said.
‘Koobi’ is a type of salted fish ostensibly to preserve it which is used by many as a food enhancing flavour in cooking local sauces and soups.
Sometimes eating it as an accompaniment with boiled green plantain or yam and spinach. A lot of Ghanaians make sure they tightly pack a bit of it when travelling overseas for a period of time.
Preservation with formalin
In March 2017, accomplished heart surgeon and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, warned fishmongers to stop using a chemical called formalin to preserve ‘koobi’ which has been found to be injurious to human health.
He explained that formalin, a chemical used for preserving corpses, can cause cancer and other life-threatening diseases when consumed in any food including the salted dried fish, ‘koobi’.
To further argue his point, the Minister explained that the ‘koobi’ of recent times do not attract flies as in the past when no chemicals, apart from salt, was used to preserve the dried fish.
Alcohol, smoking deadly
Dr Abdul Sahmed Tanko also warned the public to be wary of the amount of alcohol they put into their bodies.
“Excessive intake of alcohol can damage the liver and cause the heart to enlarge so we have to really fight against some of these risk factors,” he cautioned.
He said smoking is very dangerous cautioning those who think they are better off inhaling ‘shisha’.
“Shisha is five times worse than smoking tobacco so people should desist from it.