Disadvantages of Eating Pap: Why You Should Watch Your Intake

Yes, there are disadvantages of eating pap which may seem shocking but if you take into the account the ingredients and how often we eat it then it makes sense.

I and many others grew up eating pap because it became a household staple as it was cheap, quick and goes with most other dishes.

Pap, also known as maize meal, is a popular staple food in many African countries. It is made from ground maize, which is boiled in water to form a thick porridge-like consistency. Pap is a delicious and filling meal that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. However, as with any food, there are both advantages and disadvantages to eating it.

What Is Pap and How Is It Made?

Before we dive into the disadvantages of eating pap, let’s start by defining what it is and how it’s made. Pap is a porridge-like food that is made by mixing flour and water and cooking it over low heat until it thickens. The flour used to make pap can come from a variety of grains, including maize, millet, and sorghum.

The process of making pap involves boiling water in a pot and gradually adding the flour while stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. The mixture is then cooked over low heat for 10-15 minutes until it thickens and has a smooth consistency. Some people add milk, sugar, or other flavorings to their pap to enhance its taste.

disadvantages of eating pap

Disadvantages of Eating Pap

Firstly, pap has a high glycaemic index. The glycaemic index is a measure of how quickly a particular food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with high glycaemic indices, such as pap, cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels, which is not suitable for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing it. A sudden increase in blood sugar levels can cause a range of symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, and blurred vision.

Secondly, pap can cause constipation. While pap is a good source of fibre, excessive consumption can lead to constipation. This is because the fibre in pap absorbs water and swells up, making it harder for waste to pass through the digestive system. This can lead to discomfort, bloating, and even painful bowel movements.

Thirdly, pap can lead to vitamin deficiency. While pap is a good source of energy, it lacks essential vitamins and minerals. Consuming pap as a staple food can lead to a deficiency in essential nutrients, such as vitamin A, iron, and calcium. A lack of these essential nutrients can lead to health problems, including anaemia, poor vision, and weak bones.

Fourthly, pap can cause food poisoning. Pap is a fermented food, and the fermentation process can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria. If not prepared and stored properly, pap can cause food poisoning, which can lead to severe health problems. Symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

Lastly, excessive consumption of pap can lead to weight gain. Pap is a high calorie food and consuming it in large quantities can lead to weight gain. This is because the body stores excess calories as fat, which can lead to obesity and other health problems.

weight gain

See also: How to make zulu beer

The above outline the disadvantages of eating pap but that doesn’t mean it is all bad, here are some reasons to actually include pap in your meals.

Benefits of Eating Pap

While there are many disadvantages of eating pap, there are some benefits such as:

Provides energy: Pap is a good source of carbohydrates, which are the body’s primary source of energy. Eating pap can help provide sustained energy throughout the day.

Rich in nutrients: It is also a good source of nutrients such as vitamin B, iron, and fiber.

Easy to digest: It’s  a soft, easily digestible food that is suitable for people with digestive problems. It is also a good food for babies and young children who are just starting to eat solid foods.

Affordable: Considered an affordable food that is readily available in many parts of Africa. This makes it a good option for people on a budget who still want to eat healthy and nutritious food.

Versatile: Pap can be prepared in many different ways, such as as a porridge, a side dish, or even as a bread substitute. This versatility makes it a convenient and easy food to incorporate into a variety of meals.

Is Pap Healthy

Yes, in moderation eating pap can be a healthy choice for many. Pap, a dietary gem cherished across cultures, is not merely a food item; it’s a nutritional powerhouse.

Is Pap Good for Weight Loss

No, there are many disadvantages of eating pap and this is one of them. Eating pap should be avoided when trying to loose weight.


It’s good to understand the disadvantages of eating pap, as much as it’s a popular dish in the African countries, we should remember to eat anything in moderation