“There are programmes to cut down salt in food, cut down oils. Even in supermarket there are supervisions (to check the quality of food). There is awareness to reduce obesity as well.”
In the past few years there have been a number of awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of healthy living and push people away from unhealthy eating habits. Earlier this year, there were increasing calls for schools in Oman to become junk-free zones and encourage children to include more fruits in their diet.
Dr. Sajeev Bhaskar is a family practitioner at the Al Lamki Medical Centre in Muscat, and has advised people on improving their health for over 27 years in the Sultanate.
“The oils that are used by peo- ple today are hydrogenated, and this leads to a lowering of good cholesterol in the body,” he said.
“Good cholesterol, also known as high-density lipids (HDL), helps clean the inside of the body. Hydrogenated oils lower the levels of HDLs in the body, which means the body cannot clean itself efficiently, and that is the cause of all of these cardiovascular diseases.”
“Earlier, we used to get unprocessed oils directly from mills, but these oils had a very short shelf life,” added Bhaskar. “Now the oils have a longer shelf life, but our shelf life is going down. It is very difficult to get unprocessed oils in the market today, and they are very expensive.”
In light of this, he asked people to use safer methods of cooking.