3 'white poisons' we should be careful about

Mosabber Hossain . Dhaka | Update:

Sugar, salt and rice. Photo combo: Prothom AloWhite is a symbol of peace, but everything that is white does not always bear peace for all.

The three white substances involve nothing but our diet and they are salt, sugar and rice. Would you believe nutritionists often call them poisons if taken in a large amount?

The nutrition experts say if a person eats salt, sugar and rice excessively, s/he will quickly become obese. So these three white poisons should be taken with proper care, they add.

"Chemical materials are used to whiten salt, sugar and rice, lessening their natural quality, so they lead people who take them, to obesity," former chief nutritionist of BIRDEM Hospital, Akhtarun Nahar told Prothom Alo.

"The salt we eat is as white as snow. But, the salt which we collect from the nature is not as whiter as the one we buy. Hydros, which leads people to obesity, is used for bleaching salt and sugar," she added.

To attract the consumers, millers bleach rice and this process takes away vitamin B-1 and other essential nutrients from rice, she said.

Ishrat Jahan, head of nutrition department, BRB Hospital, said that whitened rice has nothing but carbohydrate. "Consumption of carbohydrate increases hunger and causes obesity," she said.

The nutritionist pointed out that excessive consumption of sugar increases sugar level in blood and this can be a cause of high blood pressure, diabetics and even cardiac arrests.

Ishrat Jahan's advice for people is to eat at least one fruits item every day to meet the need of sugar. She also recommended brown rice instead of the whitened rice. "These habits will keep us away from a number of diseases," she observed.

*This piece has been rewritten in English by Imam Hossain.

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