By: Roberta Gayode Modin
A Dietician at the Meridian Medical Center, Forzia Baidoo has cautioned Ghanaians against the consumption of putrified fish, known in the Akan parlance as momoni, kako or kobi.
Momoni, literary translated as “stinking fish” is any fish left to start fermenting in tropical heat for 6–10 hours, then salted for 1–2 days and sun-dried, according to the oxford reference dictionary. Kako and kobi are Ghanaian traditional salted fish made from shark and tilapia respectively.
According to Baidoo, there is a strong correlation between the intake of salty foods and kidney diseases.
“There are certain foods that we do eat in Ghana here like the putrified fishes, the ones we call momoni, kako, and kobi. They are all high in salt, so when you are consuming them, try to consume them in minimal amounts. They add flavour to the food but they do not add any nutrition to the food. They are dangerous flavours and cause a lot of harm to the kidney”, she explained.
The kidney is an important organ of the body and it is responsible for filtering waste from the human body into the blood. It also helps excrete excess water and maintains electrolyte balance in the body.
Despite the significance of the kidney to the body, kidney disease is the 10th leading cause of death in the world. The World Health Organization revealed that Ghana recorded over 4,000 deaths from kidney disease in 2020.
“Kidney disease does not present symptoms at the beginning unless you’ve lost up to 90% of your kidney function before you begin to see signs, ” she disclosed.
Madam Baidoo admonished Ghanaians to develop the habit of eating a balanced diet which includes fruits and vegetables, legumes, animal and plant protein foods, and drinking a lot of water to stay healthy.