5 Dangerous Foods Nigerians Eat Everyday

This article discusses the 5 Dangerous Foods Nigerians Eat Everyday and how they can impact their health in the long run. It includes foods like Suya, Shawarma, Boli, etc.

Nigerians are known for their love of local street foods and snacks. However, not all of these foods are good for our health. While they provide convenience and taste good, some regular Nigerian foods contain harmful ingredients that can damage our bodies over time if consumed frequently. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly eaten foods in Nigeria that should be avoided or consumed in moderation.


5-Dangerous Foods Nigerians Eat Everyday

1. Suya

Suya is a popular barbecue meat skewer sold in Nigeria. It is usually made with beef, but sometimes other meats like pork or goat are used. The red meat used in suya has been linked to an increased risk of health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers due to its high saturated fat content. Moreover, the meat is usually not thoroughly cooked, posing risks of foodborne illnesses. The salts and spices used to flavor suya can also be harmful in large quantities. It is advisable to limit your suya intake.


2. Shawarma

Shawarma is a sandwich made of shaved meat served in many Nigerian roadsides. The meat is usually stacked in cylinders and roasted for hours, absorbing many oils and fat in the process. It is also high in calories, saturated fat, sugars, and sodium. Excessive consumption of shawarma raises the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Its preparation in unsanitary conditions further increases the chances of contracting food poisoning. Shawarma should only be an occasional treat.

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3. Kilishi

Kilishi is a seasoned, dried meat snack commonly found in Northern Nigeria. It is high in sodium which can raise blood pressure levels over time. The drying process does not eliminate harmful bacteria if the raw meat is contaminated. E. coli and salmonella poisoning outbreaks have been linked to improperly dried kilishi. Its preparation in unhygienic conditions also increases health risks.


4. Suya and Kilishi when over-roasted

When meats like suya and kilishi are excessively charred or roasted, they produce heterocyclic amines. These are potent carcinogens associated with increased risks of cancers like those of the digestive tract. Moderation and avoiding burnt portions is important when eating roasted meats.


5. Boli

Boli is a popular Nigerian snack made by roasting plantains. The blackened and charred portions of boli contain chemicals like acrylamide which studies link to certain cancers. Eating boli also increases calorie and fat intake if eaten with oil or fried meat. Moderation is key to keeping boli consumption healthy.


Other Dangerous Foods

While not in the top 5, these foods should also be consumed in moderation:

Fruits sold by the roadside: Fruits displayed on the floor or without washing carry worm infections and food poisoning risks.

Bus punctured bread: Old bread sold cheaply may harbor mold due to improper storage posing health risks.

Moi Moi and akara sold by the roadside: When not prepared or stored hygienically, they increase the chances of Typhoid, diarrhea, or worms.



Q. How can I make street foods part of a healthy diet?

  1. When eating street foods, buy from clean, hygienic vendors. Avoid ones displayed on the ground or those that look unappetizing. Steer clear of very oily, sugary, or salty options. Eat in moderation and balance with fruits and vegetables.
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Q. How often can one safely eat these foods?

  1. Most experts recommend limiting intake to once or twice a week at most. Our bodies can handle occasional treats but regular, excessive consumption increases health risks over the long term. Moderation is key.

Q. What are some healthier alternatives?

  1. When snacks are desired, baked or grilled plantain, yam, corn cob, etc. make better choices. Homemade small chops and bean cakes are wholesome options too. Freshly cooked fruits are also satisfying treats without the health risks of street foods.



In moderation, the 5-Dangerous-Foods-Nigerians-Eat-Everyday can be enjoyed as occasional treats. However, frequent, excessive portions place undue stress on our bodies. For optimal wellness, it is wise to prioritize a diet focused more on homemade, nutritious whole foods and steer clear of ubiquitous but risky street snacks as a daily habit. Mindful consumption and variety are keys to healthy living.



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