#BounceExclusive: Read This Before You Use Those Seasoning Cubes
"After she drops few seasoning cubes into the soup, she scoops a little, pours on her palm and licks it off with her tongue. With her eyes closed, she could confirm 'the soup is now delicious'."
Nigerians enjoy cooking with seasoning cubes that come with different names, with their choice mostly fuelled by several reasons one of which is addiction.
Several cubes sometimes go into a put of soup to bring out the delicious taste, just like the Maggi website said - "you simply crumble 1 x Maggi seasoning cube into your pot of fresh vegetables and stir it all together to bring out the delicious taste"!
Many persons who use these cubes may not give time to reading the content of the cube to be sure of its nutritional value which is key in ensuring that an individual is healthy.
When the value of a thing is not known, there is a tendency for abuse.
Some who use these cubes even believe that it is a concentration of crayfish and fish or meat that make a cube.
Bounce News had a chat with a health coach, Lauren Osewezina, who gave a breakdown of the content of these cubes as against the daily human body requirement for these substances.
Maggi Cube on its website said a cube of its seasoning contains;
Energy: 30kl.7kcal <1%
Fat: 0.2g <1%
Saturates: 0.1g <1%
Sugars: 0.4g <1%
Salt: 2.50g and 42%
According to Mrs Osewezina, the World Health Organisation’s recommendation for daily salt intake for adults is less than 5 grams per day which an individual can get from two cubes of seasoning 2.50g dropped into a pot of soup.
Some people, after adding 2 cubes of seasoning to their food, still add salt into the soup. At that point, they have exceeded their daily intake.
“WHO even recommends that these 5 grams should be further cut down for children that are less than 15, but how many parents observe this. Our generation is a dying one and it is simply because we have refused to read and apply our knowledge.
From her calculation, people consume too much salt. An average of 9 to 12 grams per day, or around twice the recommended maximum daily need.
“Look at it this way. If you eat rice that you have spiced the stew with two cubes of seasoning in the morning, you have already reached your daily intake requirement and every other thing you should eat that same day should not have salt in it.
“If you eat Semo or pounded yam in the afternoon with a soup that has been seasoned with another 2 cubes you have received 10grams of salt from the two dishes – 5 grams from each meal,” she explained.
WHO wants people to reduce intake of salt and the health coach says this is hinged on the fact that reduction will help to reduce blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and coronary heart attack.
Take a good look at a cube of Maggi seasoning and understand that nearly half of the cube is salt.
The cube also contains sugars, a little wonder why it makes soup sweep. Those avoiding sugar intake will get 0.4grams of sugar from a cube of maggi, about just a pinch of sugar.
Taking a look again at the contents of the cube above shows it also contains fat and calories.
In the use of these seasoning cubes, there is a level of moderation required which should follow the recommendations of the WHO on salt intake, the health coach who makes her own seasoning, advises.
The World Health Organisation that provides information on healthy lifestyle that people should observe to live long says "reducing salt intake has been identified as one of the most cost-effective measures countries can take to improve population health outcomes".
Key salt reduction measures will generate an extra year of healthy life for a cost that falls below the average annual income or gross domestic product per person.
An estimated 2.5 million deaths could be prevented each year if global salt consumption were reduced to the recommended level.
Take responsibility for your health.