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15 Nigerian Foods that make you fat

15 Nigerian Foods That Are Making You Fat (Avoid These!)

Weight loss isn’t as hard as you think it is. For most of us, becoming aware and avoiding or reducing foods with sneaky high amounts of calories will show results quickly. 

Yes, Nigerian foods are really delicious! However, along with that goodness comes the downside: getting fat.

If only we could eat our favorite foods without consequences, but the world doesn’t work like that, at least not for most of us.

In this eye-opening post, we’ll take a look at some Nigerian foods that might be contributing to those unexpected extra pounds. 

But don’t stress; you don’t have to cut the foods out entirely; just be mindful when eating them.

Depending on which side of the spectrum you are on, whether you struggle to lose weight or struggle to gain weight, you will get some value from this post.

Side note: If you struggle to gain weight, check out this post on Nigerian foods for healthy weight gain  

What Types of Foods Make You Fat?

Before we jump into the list, you should know why these foods make you gain weight fast, aside from overeating, of course.

High-carb foods

Foods high in carbohydrates tend to cause weight gain for multiple reasons.

They’re usually high in sugar, which spikes up blood sugar levels, calories, or starch, and they also break down and digest quickly in your body.

This makes you feel hungry quicker, leading to increased consumption of foods and, thus, weight gain. 

Fried foods

Whenever we fry foods, those foods tend to soak up some of the oils, thus spiking their calorie value. A lot of studies have shown that simply limiting the number of fried foods we eat will lead to significant weight loss.

Foods high in unhealthy fats

Contrary to what most people believe, not all fats are bad, just two: trans fats and saturated fats.

These fats solidify easily and can cause issues with your cholesterol levels. We don’t want that. What we do want are fats from food items like avocados and olive oil, to name a few.

Knowing all this, you can now see and understand why these foods cause weight gain. You’re ready for the list.

The Nigerian Foods That Make You Fat and Gain Weight

I won’t be listing the obvious junk foods, but rather our everyday foods that you didn’t expect to be calorie-heavy.

While going through the list, compare these foods to your daily calorie intake.

Women should consume about 1700–2000 calories, while men should eat 2300–2600. This is the recommended calorie intake for the average person to maintain a healthy weight.

Let’s get into them.

1. Yam

  • 100g of boiled yam contains 118 calories.
  • 100g of fried yam contains 262 calories.

Everyone loves a big plate of fried yam and egg in the morning or a hot plate of pounded yam with your favorite Nigerian soups in the evening.

But I’m sorry to say you should reconsider this option when watching your weight.

The average person will eat 400–800 g; if it’s fried yam, that’s a staggering 1000–2000 calories in just one meal!

If you want to eat yam and still maintain or even lose weight, have it boiled and reduce your portion sizes.

2. White Spaghetti

Plate of spaghetti

  • 100g of boiled white spaghetti contains 122 calories.
  • 100g of Jollof white spaghetti contains 170 calories.

While it might seem like a harmless addition to your plate, white spaghetti can contribute more calories than you might expect.

The average person eats 400–600 grams of spaghetti per plate, which, if you don’t know, is a lot of calories. However, if eaten in small amounts, it can still work on a diet.

Tip: If you can, have about 200g (about 3 full fork loads) with a side of salad and minimal dressing.

3. Fried Plantain

  • 100 grams of fried yellow plantains contain 252 calories.

These golden, sweet slices of fried plantains are hard to resist. However, they are high in calories and will make you gain weight.

One whole medium plantain weighs about 250g; that’s an extra 630 calories for your meal. If you don’t know by now, that’s a lot!

4. Fried Meats

  • 100 grams of fried beef contains 277–301 calories.
  • 100 grams of fried chicken contains 215–250 calories.

Whether it’s succulent fried beef or crispy fried chicken, frying these high-protein foods can add up the calories swiftly.

But I’m not saying you should cut them off, as meats are very good and provide you with lots of nutrients on a diet; just change how you prepare them if you want to lose weight.

Tip: Prepare it in a way that it doesn’t soak up oil; prepare meats either grilled, roasted, or boiled in a soup.

5. Garri

  • 100 grams of Garri contain 357 calories.

Garri has been saving lives for generations. However, it comes with decent numbers of calories, so portion control is key.

Most people drink between 80 and 130 g, which on its own isn’t bad, but when filled with sugar, groundnut, and milk, the calories shoot up.

6. Akara

  • 1 piece of medium-sized Akara contains 55 calories.

I was pretty sad when I discovered this one, but yes, just a single Akara can contain 55 calories. If you eat 10–15 of them, you can imagine how heavy that is.

7. Noodles

Noodle bowl

  • 70 grams of Indomie contain 370 calories.
  • The super pack (120g) contains 540 calories.

Let’s call it like it is: Indomie is a quick and easy meal option, but the calories they deliver are a ridiculous amount.

Most of us can eat 3 small packets, which amounts to a staggering 1110 calories per meal! When you look at the numbers, it becomes unsurprising why we find it hard to lose weight.

Related: 25 Low Calorie Nigerian Foods That Will Make Your Diet

8. Plantain Chips

  • 100 grams of plantain chips contain 529 calories.

Next time you’re looking for a sweet and crunchy snack, I kindly advise you to reconsider if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight.

One packet of plantain chips can deliver 500–800 calories, depending on the size: that’s heavy for a snack. There are other low-calorie Nigerian snack alternatives you can add to your diet.

9.  Salad Cream

  • 100 ml of salad cream contains 345 calories, and 1 tbsp contains 51 calories.

Even seemingly healthy salads can become high-calorie traps when doused in creamy dressings like salad cream. Make sure you use them in moderation.

Tip: When shopping for groceries, check the label; there are lower-calorie salad cream options.

10.  Butter


  • 100 grams of salted butter contains 717 calories, and 1 tbsp contains 102 calories.
  • 100 grams of peanut butter contains 598 calories, and 1 tbsp contains 96 calories.

From salted butter to peanut butter, these spreads are rich in calories. 

While they can be part of a balanced diet, excessive consumption can and will contribute to weight gain. Go easy on the spreads!

11.  Pastries

  • 1 meat pie contains 300–430 calories.
  • 1 small puff-puff contains 48 calories.
  • A medium doughnut contains 198 calories.
  • 100 grams of chin-chin contain 498 calories.

Do you feel like choking me for ruining the image of your favorite foods? Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.

These pastries in Nigeria are undeniably delicious but are often fat-causing traps. However, having a few once in a while won’t hurt your weight-loss efforts.

12.  Drinks & Sodas

  • 330-ml drinks contain 130–150 calories, and 500-ml drinks contain 200–250 calories.

Did you know most of us can start losing weight by cutting out drinks alone? This is one of the strategies nutritionists use with their clients, and here’s why.
Most of us take about 5 drinks per week, which is about an additional 1000 calories.

If you look at it this way, their effects become clearer.

13. White Bread

  • 1 slice of white bread contains 80 calories, and 100 grams of white bread loaf contains 240 calories.

This one isn’t a shocker anymore; it’s one of the first foods most people would tell you to cut out when going on a diet in Nigeria.

And they would be right to some extent. However, you don’t have to cut them out entirely; you can lose weight on 2-3 slices.

14. Semovita

  • 100 grams of Semovita contain 360 calories.

Yes, even the swallows are not spared on this list. Most swallows are high-calorie foods, but semo in particular contains the most.

Semo is favored for its convenience and versatility with soups. While it’s a decent source of fiber, it’s also high in calories.

Tip: If you love swallow food so much, opt for either Eba, Amala, Fufu, or Tuwo Shinkafa; they are lower in calories.

15.  Sugary Cereal

Cereal bowl

  • 100 grams of cereal contain 350–380 calories.

They are portrayed as a nutritious and convenient breakfast, but they are also packed with sugar and calories.

And not just that, most of them aren’t filing, which means you’re likely to eat again.

Check out
The 8 Best Fat Burning Spice Mixes for Weight Loss

Final Words

And there you have it—the high-calorie Nigerian foods that make you fat. From foods high in carbs to foods high in unhealthy fats, we’ve covered some foods you might want to steer clear of.

By reducing the intake of these foods, you set yourself up for the right and easy way to eat healthy and manage your weight.

Hopefully, this has been an eye-opening post, and remember, don’t feel pressured to cut them out entirely; just Portion Reduce!

Faysal Tahir
Faysal Tahir
Articles: 74

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