Health Effects of Seasoning Cubes – To Use or Not to Use
Our forebears used a variety of traditional herbs, spices, and condiments to season and flavor their meals, but due to colonization, international trade, and other factors, newly introduced Seasoning Cubes have pushed ours to second place!
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Food seasoning is significant because it is assumed that with the correct culinary expertise, especially when the right type of seasoning that makes people salivate is used, the meal becomes something of an experience that the family enjoys – but is this really true?
Seasoning brands in the Nigerian market
Nigeria’s seasoning market boasts a list of well-known brands (with each brand competing for the best seasoning cubes in Nigeria) that Nigerians are familiar with.
Hardly a dish is cooked these days without adding a seasoning cube or two. It improves the taste and aroma of anything it is applied to by adding a lot of flavors.
There are numerous stock cube brands available on the market. Despite the fact that they all taste nearly identical, everyone has a favorite brand or two.
Depending on whether they contain genuine chicken, beef, fish, crayfish, or vegetable extract, stock cubes come in a variety of flavors.
Seasoning cubes usually come in a single form; however, the ingredient amount varies based on the brand.
Artificial meat, fish, or chicken flavors may also be used to trick customers into believing they are purchasing real stock cubes.
Stock Cubes vs. Seasoning Cubes
The difference is that a Stock cube must contain meat extract, but a Seasoning cube does not.
A stock cube is a blend of flavor enhancers, salt, spices, and herbs that is added directly to cooking, whereas a seasoning cube is a blend of flavor enhancers, salt, spices, and herbs that is used as a stock alternative. Both are used to enhance the flavor and taste of a dish.
These condiments have taken the place of traditional seasonings, and some even use them instead of salt.
People use these spice cubes without thinking about the health implications. It is undeniable that it alters the flavor of food, but long-term or excessive usage of these cubes may have a negative impact on your health.
Examining the ingredients of a typical seasoning cube is a useful method to understand this ~
Seasoning cube ingredients:
Salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), sugar, hydrogenated palm oil, cornstarch, dried beef or fish (depending on the flavor), caramel color, natural flavor, disodium inosinate, spices, turmeric, and TBHQ (preservative) are all common ingredients in seasoning cubes.
As you can see, nearly nothing is natural here because everything has been processed in some way, and consuming too much-processed food comes with its side effects because it contains chemicals and additives that your body may not agree with, in the long run.
The salt content, however, is the main source of worry. Some seasoning cubes include as much as 2.50 grams of salt in them, which accounts for more than 40% of the total cube.
To properly comprehend the danger, an average adult should not take more than 5 grams of salt each day
So, by the time you’ve used two seasoning cubes, you’ve given your body all the salt it requires for a day. However, the majority of people do not stop at just two cubes.
Seasoning Cubes Health Effects – To Use or Not to Use
Some folks may consume three to four cubes at a time. Some people may even cook twice a day, using 3 cubes each time, resulting in a salt overload. However, that is not the only danger.
Many people have the practice of adding salt after putting two or more spice cubes to their pot.
While some do so out of ignorance, others continue to add salt because they do not trust the seasoning cube would give them enough salt needed. Consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and kidney problems.
Furthermore, seasoning cubes are rich in sodium, and consuming too much sodium has been related to high blood pressure. Heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and kidney disease are also possible outcomes.
They’re made up of hydrogenated oils as well. Hydrogenated oils are once-healthy oils that have been converted into trans fatty acids, which are unhealthy.
To improve the taste, texture, and shelf life of hydrogenated vegetable oil, it is processed.
Trans fats are formed as a result of this procedure, which is harmful to your health. They have been found to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol while lowering HDL (good) cholesterol.
Monosodium glutamate is also present in seasoning cubes (MSG). While there are differing views on the exact effects of MSG on the body, it should be consumed in moderation.
Taking a lot of anything that isn’t natural into your body isn’t a good idea. Obesity, cancer, numbness, asthma, and other harmful consequences of MSG have been documented in many research.
Another Seasoning cube ingredient includes sugar though in small quantities but using more cubes may increase the amount of sugar in your food, even if it is in very small amounts.
So, if you’re trying to cut down on your sugar intake, you should cut down on the number of stock cubes you use.
Health Concerns ~ What You Can Do to Curb the Health Effects of Seasoning Cubes?
If you must continue to use seasoning cubes, you must practice moderation. You can only eat two cubes per day at most.
Also, try to stay away from fast food as much as possible. Foods are prepared with a variety of condiments, the majority of which are processed and include excessive salt.
“What Alternatives Do We Have?” Exploring Alternatives to Seasoning Cubes in Nigerian Cooking
- Traditional Herbs, Spices, and Condiments should be used.
Other spices, such as garlic, ginger, curry leaves, turmeric, and so on, can be substituted for the seasoning cube.
However, you can never go wrong with adding only salt. If you want anything more, use healthy Nigerian seasonings such as locust beans (iru), ogiri, dawa dawa, crayfish, and onions.
- Create your own Stock and Stock Cubes – learn how to make seasoning cubes in Nigeria
- You can make your own seasoning if you want to.
My inference from this is that if stock cubes are formed from stock and seasoning cubes are made from a blend of spices, it will be quite possible to make your own seasoning at home to your liking, free of excessive salt, additives, artificial preservatives, and of course with health benefits!
Similarly, if you have the TIME, you may prepare more superior stock at home using premium cuts of beef, poultry, or vegetables.
No need to thank me, guys. I’m just…