Kota: Be Warned

Kota: Be Warned

Slow poison: eating your health away

“Eat that kota at least once a year – on year birthday,” warns dietician Regine Gray jokingly. But she means it. She swears that “the township burger” is not good for your health. It is high in fat, energy and refined carbohydrates. Kota can contribute to heart diseases, lifestyle conditions such as pre-diabetes, hypertension, high bad cholesterol and add unnecessary extra body weight.

Kota, sphahlo or bunny chow (depending on where you come from in the country) is made from a quarter of a full bread. It is staffed with anything from chips (fries), Russian, Vienna, Polony, cheese, eggs and atchaar. Sometimes lettuce is added.

“But that vegetable is not enough. Also, too much oil makes that good potato bad,” says Gray. She says kota has low fibre content – a high fibre can minimize the risk of cancers.

She says people should observe the quarter-quarter-half  plate rule. A half of the plate should be veggies, one quarter of carbohydrates like whole-wheat bread, grains and starches. The other quarter should be good low fat: chicken, fish, red meat and eggs.

Dieticians do not only work with weight reduction – they can devise diets for lifestyle conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, gout, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.


Regine Grays qualifications: B Dietetics, University of Pretoria; Postgraduate Honours in Hospital Dietetics, University of Pretoria. She has been in practice for 28 years. Her private practice is in Florida Park. For bookings email: regine@regine.co.za   

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