This research paper analyses the Ghanaian diet by comparing it to that of the Mediterranean diet in terms of the family or national economics, accessibility to the food and the nutritional value of the diets. Ghana is made up of ten regions and all these regions have distinct cultures and foods that represent them, also, these regions have certain foods that are common to them all. In this research, I am going to explain using three main reasons why the Mediterranean diet is superior to the Ghanaian diet. In a sequential order, my reasons are based on the nutritional value of the Mediterranean and Ghanaian diets, the accessibility of the Mediterranean diet in Ghana and the cost of both diets.
The Mediterranean diet is based on food patterns typical of Crete, Greece and part of Southern Italy in the early 1960’s where the adult life expectancy rate in the early 1960’s was high and diseases such as coronary heart diseases, high cholesterol level, and other diet-related chronic diseases were very low (Willett, Sacks, Trichopoulou, Drescher, Ferro-Luzzi, Helsing, & Trichopoulos, 1995).This diet includes fruit, vegetables, breads, other forms of cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds (Willett et al., 1995).
The Ghanaian diet is a diet originated from Ghana, a country located in the Western part of Africa. According to the Nutrition and Consumer Protection in Ghana (2010), contrary to the Mediterranean diet, the Ghanaian diet is mainly made up of starchy roots (yam, cocoyam cassava, potatoes) and cereals (rice, wheat). Most Ghanaian foods are those which can be made into sauces, stews or soups, they usually contain tomatoes, palm oil, okra, garden eggs and groundnuts. The common ingredients in these dishes are hot peppers, tomatoes and onions. There are several varieties of peppers ranging in degrees of hotness. In the beginning they may give one watery eyes and running noses, but after a while, one gets used to it (Peace Corps, 2003).The Ghanaian diet provide a large amount of energy but diversity in the diet remains low because it relies solely on carbohydrates.
The first reason why the Mediterranean diet is superior to the Ghanaian diet is based on the dietary patterns of both diets. The Mediterranean diet consists of ingredients such as olive oil, peanuts and peanut oil (Monounsaturated fats) , plant foods (vitamin B), salmon, sardines, and tuna (Omega-3 fatty acids), beans, and grains (Complex carbohydrates), milk, banana and dark green vegetables (Potassium) and phytonutrients which are the red color in beets, green color and strong flavor in broccoli. All these nutrients are useful to the human body. They prevent the body from contracting diseases such as heart diseases, stroke, different forms of cancer, and diabetes. They help promote a normal blood pressure level, a healthy red blood cell, muscle contraction and nerve impulses ( Diekman, & Sotiropoulos, n.d).
In relation to the Ghanaian diet, the nutritional values include a...