10 Foods/Items that Jamaicans love but should avoid if on a diet and why


1. Mangoes – They have about 31g of Sugar!

2. Condensed milk – Although Nestle is one of the better brands to use, it contains too much Sugar (22g) and Saturated Fat (10%) in just 2 tbsp (130 calories)

3. Escoveitched fish – Too high in Cholesterol (13%) and Sodium (17%)

4. Boiled/Fried dumplings (made with white flour) – High in simple Carbohydrates (Carbs.), i.e. bad Carbs.

5. Rice and peas (made with coconut milk) – High in Carbs. Also high in Saturated Fat from the coconut milk

6. National Bakery Jamaican Spice Bun – High in Sugar (18g), high in Saturated Fat (8%) and high in Carbs. (13%)

7. Sweet Cinnamon Bun – High in Cholesterol (9%)!

8. Beef Patties or any patty for that matter (That all-purpose flour crust!) – High in Saturated Fat (20%), Cholesterol (20%) and Sodium (18%)!

9. That awful, orange French Dressing that you put on your vegetables – High in Fat

Suga suggests you eliminate salad dressing from the diet and use a vinaigrette made with olive oil. Even a little lime juice can add a kick to the flavour of your greens.

10. Cornmeal porridge, Plantain porridge and Hominy corn porridge

Plantain porridge has too much Sodium and Fat; Hominy corn has too much Sugar and Sodium; Cornmeal is very high in Saturated Fat. Have Oatmeal porridge or Peanut porridge instead, but ensure that skimmed milk is used.

Why didn’t Ackee and Bammy make the list?

Bammy – No Saturated Fat or Cholesterol! High in fibre. No sugar, BUT high in Sodium (23%), so avoid if hypertensive or prone to hypertension.

Ackee – Although it is a fruit, it is classified in the fats & oils group because the main nutrient present is Fat (>50% fat). The majority of the fatty acid present is linoleic acid, which is an Unsaturated Fat therefore a ‘good fat’. However, it should still be eaten in moderation. A small amount of oil should be used to cook ackee since a large part of it’s composition is already fat/oil. Ackee also has 0 Cholesterol, 0 Saturated Fat and 240mg of Sodium.

Here are some Food Label tips to guide you in the Supermarket or when using your Fitness apps:-

Calorie free: <5/serving

Fat/sugar free: <1/2g/serving

Low calorie: <40/serving

Low sodium: <140mg/serving High in fat: >5%/serving

Too high in fat: >10%/serving

*For a woman following a 2000-calorie diet with 3 meals and 2 snacks, aim for about 1.2 teaspoons/4.8 grams of sugar per serving and fewer than 12.5 teaspoons (200 calories) sugar per day. Men are allowed a little bit more.

Have a Healthy Day!

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