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Fast foods consumption has been on the increase in Nigeria raising concerns about the nutritional and health implications. This study was carried out to determine the proximate composition and cholesterol contents of four commonly consumed fast foods (doughnut, chicken pie, roasted chicken, and Jollof rice) sold in Nigeria. Commonly consumed fast foods and most widely patronized fast food outlets were determined by a preliminary survey. There was a wide variation in the proximate composition and cholesterol contents of the food samples. Average dry matter ranged between 68.8 – 84.0g while the range of values for ash, crude fibre, crude fat, crude protein and nitrogen free extract were 0.89 – 2.45%, 0.56 – 7.53%, 10.99 – 18.52%, 1.81 – 9.71% and 43.32 – 66.98% respectively. Energy content of the fast foods ranged between 304.9 and 400.8 Kcal/100 g. Cholesterol levels ranged between 10.40 – 117.80 (mg/100 g) in the food samples. This study has established the fact that fast foods are concentrated sources of energy, low fibre and high dietary cholesterol and could significantly contribute to dietary cholesterol intake with implications for cardiovascular health.
Keywords: Proximate composition, cholesterol, health, fast food, nutrition.