News ID: 68922
Published: 0239 GMT January 05, 2015

Chips unhealthy

Chips unhealthy

Iranian families are urged not to consume potato chips, as it is one of the unhealthiest foods.

Dr. Mohammad Hashemi, secretary of Obesity Prevention Association, also told the Persian daily 'Iran', "Chips are a high-calorie and high-cholesterol snack with no nutrition values.”

He criticized the popularity of chips in packages dating back to the 1980s and said such packages were banned by the Health Ministry because of health risks associated with it.

"The chips were sold and currently are being sold in transparent packages, which form free radicals," he said, explaining that free radicals cause cancers.

Hashemi warned salty snacks could increase the risk of heart failures and cancers, and reduce the absorption of calcium in kidneys.

Zahra Abdollahi, the head of Nutrition Office at the Health Ministry, also warned over high salt consumption and said salt is linked to high blood pressure, osteoporosis and stomach cancer.

"Per capita salt consumption is 4.5 kilograms in Iran, which is 2-3 times higher than the global standards," she said.

The official noted that 50 percent of women above 45 years and 90 percent of women above 75 years suffer from osteoporosis in Iran, which is due to high salt consumption.

"Salt is one of the leading causes of heart diseases," she said, adding that 135 out of 380 total deaths recorded every day in Iran are because of cardiovascular diseases.

Abdollahi said kids are recommended to eat low-salt foods, because people get used to the taste of salty foods in childhood.

"Family plays an important role in teaching children to consume healthy foods," she added.

She urged families not to add salt to the food of children under one year.

"Sausages, chips, salty snacks, pizza and processed foods are not recommended at all," she said.

The official also warned salt could lead to fragile bones, particularly in women.

"Salt reduces bone density in women and leads to osteoporosis," she said.

Abdollahi said stomach cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world, and one of the most common types in Iran.

"People consuming 12-15 grams of salt every day are more likely to contract cancer," she said.

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