When it comes to Nutrition and Fitness in Africa there are so many myths that have been peddled.

One of them that could not be further from the truth is the myth that has spread about Palm Oil. In this post, I will debunk that myth.

palm oil

palm oil


Palm oil has cholesterol so you should not eat it because it is terrible for you and unhealthy. 


Palm oil is a plant oil. It does not have cholesterol. It is good for you when consumed in moderation. Like any plant oil, it contains Fat.

You might want to argue that Palm Oil is high in fat, especially saturated fat. The counterargument would be that dietary fats are considered essential nutrients in the body because they are needed to carry out important functions in the body like; serving as a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins, improving the bioavailability of fat-soluble micronutrients and helping in the synthesis of steroid hormones.

It will interest you to know that the human body also requires saturated fat in controlled amounts on a daily basis for optimal health. Because when saturated fat is consumed in uncontrollable amounts you are at risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, etc. 

I’m starting to wonder if I am making this up. Let’s get into the literature.

In 2016, Laurene Boateng, Richard Ansong, William B Owusu, and Matilda Steiner-Asiedu published research in the Ghana medical journal about Coconut oil and palm oil’s role in nutrition, health and national development.

This research states how the consumption of Palm oil and coconut oil has been peddled as unhealthy, but for the purposes of this post, we will focus on palm oil.

 I will leave a link to the research article at the end for those of you who would like to read it.

 Fatty acids differ from one another in either the chain length or the degree of saturation. The degree of saturation in fatty acids simply means the amount of hydrogen bonded to each carbon.

 With this in mind, fatty acids can be classified as saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids. part of the fruit palm oil is obtained from contains 50% saturated fatty acids, 40% monounsaturated fatty acids and 10% polyunsaturated fatty acids.

 Steiner, Owusu et al state that “the saturated fat components in palm oil are trace amounts of lauric and myristic acid, and a large amount of palmitic acid (44%).

It is important to note then that, of the saturated fatty acids found in the diet, lauric and myristic acid (found only in trace amounts in palm oil) have more potential to raise total and LDL cholesterol concentrations whilst palmitic acid (found in abundance in palm oil) is less potent in that regard.” 

In simple terms, this means that Palmitic acids will not raise LDL cholesterol but HDL or popularly known as the good cholesterol in the body. 

So why was the myth created in the first place if palm oil is healthy?

In the 1950s, a researcher in Minnesota said that “the heart disease epidemic was being caused by hydrogenated vegetable fats. The edible oil industry’s response at that time was to claim that it was only the saturated fat in the hydrogenated oils that was causing the problem.” 

This began all the numerous forms of anti-saturated fat campaigns by individual researchers between the 1960s-1980s. This will then mean that the vilification of palm oil originated from the west. 

Chong and Ng argue that it was done for economic gains rather than genuine concerns for health. 

I agree. 

This is what has spread not just across the West but worldwide as the ‘myth’ surrounding palm oil and other oils referred to as tropical oils. 

My conclusion is this, as with any food nutrient that is good for you, overconsumption of Palm oil and an overall diet high in saturated fats is partly the problem of the obesity pandemic in this part of the world.

I say partly because it is not the only cause. Physical inactivity and a completely sedentary lifestyle are largely contributing factors to heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. 

So what do you need to do with your palm oil portions?

 As a rule of thumb, I always suggest 1-2 tablespoons of palm oil in your diet depending on what your Fitness and Nutrition goals are. I would go on with the literature but I believe my time with this post has come to an end. Below you will find a link to the full research article and literature used in this post. 

See you next time!

The Fit Priest



Article Written by: @thefitpriest

Edited by: @thefitpriest


Selema Enang

Hi, I’m Selema Enang.
A Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist who currently lives and works out of Africa.
I have been a Personal Trainer and Coach for 7 years. I believe that food is medicine and exercise is like the water you drink for medicine. I work with clients all over the world via online bespoke Nutrition and Fitness plans to help them achieve optimal health.

ISSA Certified Personal Trainer

PCOS Nutrition Coach

BSc Nutrition and Food Science University of Ghana

Sports Nutrition Msc (in View)

Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach

Email: thefitpriest@gmail.com

Mobile: 08162254450

Walking; the steps towards a balanced life and good mental health.

Walking has always been one thing that people have done to get away from the woes of life and to get their minds back on track. I mean they even did it in the 1800s to escape the fast-growing industrial lifestyle that was unavoidable. Streets and towns were created with the intention to encourage walking for increased wellness. Sidewalks, public parks, and promenades are great examples of this.

But when thinking about walking, I think about my family and the impact of walking on my life…

As a family walking was the one way we knew it was time to destress, disappear for a little while, exercise, and also enjoy nature and the world around us. For years my parents took us on walks, mostly to tire out our little legs but to get us exploring the world, something I will appreciate. It was something that stuck with me and my sisters. It was something that we did to raise money for important moments and was a routine way to spend quality time while being taught how to use a map without getting lost in the process. 

If the chance came to walk a route and there were a few cool things on the way…Why not? Again the time this worked out well as being a student and not having a car, because walking is always easy on the pockets and gets us to the needed location, but with obvious travel time calculations.

With reflection walking now is almost a luxury in the fast-paced and often uncertain times we live in. We take the car for most of our fast-paced lives and forget to really slow it down, even when we have the time. It’s like when we aren’t moving or getting somewhere fast, we are late. Ironic right?

Abuja Traffic. (Image from the internet)

Walking in the city of Abuja gave me a chance to see the city from a different lens and perspective. It allowed me to feel like a part of the life of the country and to really see things that I often neglected to acknowledge. Some of the most beautiful walks with a loved one, alone or significant other, have included some self-reflection, insightful conversation, finding new locations, great company, giggles and even some surprising runs in with friends at junctions and traffic lights (and I don’t mean Road Safety or VIO). 

My routes often included the Maitama hills and residential streets as they brought a gentle hum and lull that was needed compared to the loud horns you hear in the city, with the added bonus of it being safe. It is even surprisingly cooler because of the trees lodged on either side of the streets; nature’s canopy and protection from the sun and those unexpected showers. 

Mississippi Street, F.C.T Abuja.(Google Maps)

Walking benefits

Now you didn’t get legs to just run. No way. We got them to walk and that is more powerful than some may think. Take for instance that a 30-minute walk can burn up to the same amount of calories as running and when done for longer can burn even more depending on the terrain explored. I would even say that walking with your favourite music makes it even more enjoyable. The health benefits of walking improve so many facets of our physical and mental health. 

To name a few: 

  • Improved mood 
  • More alertness
  • Great for Meditation/relaxation
  • Reduces Stress
  • Improves blood flow/circulation 
  • Improves cardiovascular endurance
  • Increases metabolism and fat burning (over prolonged time)
  • Anyone can do it! 
  • Comes at no expense 

What I take when walking

Okay, like I said I used to walk with my family and loved ones so there are particular routines and things to pack or prepare to do a walk. Here are some of my tips.

  • Plan a route and let a trusted person know where you plan to walk 
  • Check the weather report! (the number of times I have been soaked based on my dad’s serendipitous adventures in the woods in winter.. sigh)
  • Use or apply sunscreen before the walk
  • Keep some cash in hand – enough for a taxi, drink/snack; avoid carrying your wallet.
  • Take a small bottle of water
  • Wear a hat, visor and or sunglasses (if it is in the day). For this I would suggest appropriate attire for the weather- hence the weather check.
  • Comfortable shoes can make a big difference; New Balance trainers, cushion and impact support shoes are great, as walking shoes or walking boots. If you don’t have these whatever you are comfortable in. 

Want to join the walking culture to support Mental Health Initiatives? 

Well, why not start by signing up for the upcoming event Nigerian Mental Health Awareness Walk in the next coming days on Saturday 15th of October 2022 at 8 am WAT.  The event is being hosted by many leading mental health stakeholders including WHO, the National Mental Health Programme, the International Organization for Migration, CBM Global, MHYI and Rayven Strategic Communication. Participants will meet at the Unity Fountain at 8 am.

 To be a part of the revolution in shifting the perspective and narrative of mental health, Sign Up Now.

To keep up to date with more offers and events Tribe Sports Store offers on our Facebook and  Instagram @tribesportsstore.

Written by: @fitkaytoday and @mr_intensity365

What’s in My Gym Bag? The Essentials.

What’s in My Gym Bag? The Essentials.

What to have in your gym bag and why does it matter?

Ever arrived at the gym and realized that you forgot something like headphones, socks, or believe it or not your gym shoes, I know I have forgotten all 3 of them at one point or the other.

What type of Gym bag should I have?

Before you start packing your gym bag after reading this post you may want to consider the size of your bag and how much stuff you throw into the bag. It makes no sense to carry a bag that is too big or stuff so much into a small bag. The right size of gym bag has to be able to carry all of the things you need for the gym, and also be mobile enough to carry on a taxi or public transport.

There are various types of bags, drawstrings, duffle bags, mini duffle bags and backpacks. Make sure to check the lining of the bag and if it is water resistant, thank us later. Keep in mind that a good quality bag with compartments can often cost more money so factor in your use and activity.

What should be in your bag?

  • Waterbottle (100ml)

  • Gym shoes

  • Snack

  • Headphones /Charger

  • Towel

  • Spare Gym clothing

  • Cold or Heat Spray/Aboniki

  • KT Tape (Kinesiology Tape)

  • Training Gloves

  • Wraps/Bandages

  • Hygiene /sanitary products

  • Slip-on/Crocs

  • Deodorant

  • Plastic Bag (for wet stuff)

Spare of everything –  we MEAN it.

Sweating buckets is not a joke. For many of us that are based around the centre of the equator, humidity, heat and damn right lack of light or A.Cs make it impossible to keep dry.  Having an extra pair of all my training gear is essential. An extra pair of shorts, socks, underwear and a shirt are almost permanently in my bag. For a lot of ladies having an extra pair of sports bras and even emergency sanitary products makes the biggest difference when faced with the sudden realisation of starting your period.

What injury items to have to save the day?

I am no professional when it comes to injury prevention but I can sure tell you that some of the items I’ll mention may just save your life and that of a fellow gymmer. Using cold spray or heat spray products helps with sudden inflammation or DOMS that I am recovering from. An all-time favourite that can be bought anywhere is Aboniki; the cure for all ailments, according to our parents in West Africa.

Bandages, wraps and kinesiology tape are a must-have in your gym bag. Why you might ask? Well if you suffer from acute or on-and-off joint or pressure, these can support that, especially when you pull or sprain a muscle. But… if the pain continues you definitely need to see a professional.

Toiletries and keeping up hygiene with all the sweat.

That funk you got is not cute. Having the funk after a workout is pretty normal but not handling it …is well not great. A lot of the time gym users forget that toiletries and hygiene products are an essential addition to their gym bag and general hygiene habits. Having a towel to wipe yourself and the equipment after use cannot be overstated. We all hate looking down at the equipment and wondering who could have done this (gasp).


Toiletries could include, deodorant, a wash bag with soap, shampoo/conditioner, body lotion and even some good funk, your favourite perfume. But remember that even a change of training shoes is also a great way to maintain healthy feet and avoid the funk too.


Article Written by: @fitkaytoday, @mr_intensity365



Email: tribesportsstore@gmail.com

Mobile: +234 909 2197 476

Beginners Guide to TABATA: What is it?

Beginners Guide to TABATA: What is it?

Ever heard about TABATA and thought hmm that sounds like a nice meal.  Well, you are not alone.





What is TABATA?

TABATA  is a type of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)  workout that is completed in four-minute increments with 10-second rest in between.

It is  20 seconds of intense work followed by 10 seconds of rest; it is the process of consecutive work and rest cycles that go into a 4-minute round of TABATA.

This cardiovascular workout elevates your heart rate and burns many calories in a short burst of time with the maximum effort that you are sure to feel.

How often should I do this workout?

Tabata is a great cardio workout and can be done every day if you want, but variety in your workouts is key to help aid in improving overall muscle development, mobility, flexibility, strength and endurance.

This kind of high-intensity work can be done 2 – 3 times a week after your strength training sessions and steady-state cardio.

Is Tabata harder than normal HIIT?

To a certain degree, this workout would be more challenging for a beginner but would give results that require resilience.

Can I use other gym equipment during TABATA?

Of course! These workouts can be done with your own body weight or with weights and resistance bands of your preferred level to increase intensity.

But, it is essential to note that taking a very heavy weight will tire you out, so it would be advised to use a light to medium weight to complete the needed reps for each cycle.

Where can I do A TABATA workout in ABUJA?

The TABATA session at Bodyline Wuse 2 hosted by Personal Trainer Uduak (Dkara Fitness)  is a great way to get yourself working.

Uduak aka Dkara Fitness


“I went to the TABATAFest hosted by Dkara Fitness on Saturday, July 2nd 2022 and it is fair to say that the workout is not for the faint-hearted. The session began with a warm-up and  8 rounds of circuits followed, with rests in between. We completed it in about 30-40 minutes. The group of attendees were great and the workout had a variety of movements and target areas. A massive bonus of Tabata is the upbeat music and voice of the instructor that keeps you motivated. Ten out of Ten.”

Article Written by: @fitkaytoday, @mr_intensity365



Email: tribesportsstore@gmail.com

Mobile: +234 909 2197 476

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