In the past lifestyle diseases were only associated with the rich, or wealth of society. Today, however, the landscape of lifestyle diseases is much more diverse as no longer is it the “rich man’s curse” but now thanks to the availability of cheap junk food, these chronic conditions have penetrated every layer of society.
Luckily, this as in many other cases can be fixed by addressing the root problem causing it, which in this case is diet. By swapping out unhealthy options for healthier, wholesome options you may yet be able to get your life back on track. Let’s see what you can start doing today to reduce your risk of these lifestyle diseases.
Diabetes develops slowly following years of bad eating patterns, compounded by a sedentary lifestyle and genetic predisposition. While you can’t do much about genetic predisposition, it does not mean you can control your diet and activity level.
A diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats and limited amounts of low sugar fruits along with regular exercise is your best defense against type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight and already been diagnosed with type 2 or prediabetes, you may still be able to reverse it by losing weight.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure oftentimes goes hand in hand with diabetes and high cholesterol levels, as it is compounded by other metabolic diseases. In particular, however, is the link to the high salt intake.
High sodium levels force the body to retain more water, which then causes the heart to work harder to pump increased blood volume load. In addition, high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke or blood vessel rupture, which can lead to death.
Start actively monitoring your sodium intake. Typically, most people eat more sodium by choosing processed and factory made foods. If you eat a diet rich in whole food without a lot of added salt, then you’re intake is likely to be ideal.
Use natural herbs and spices that do not include sodium in them to give your food taste, and leave that salt shaker on the table as much as possible.
In the next 20 years, it is projected that over 50% of the world’s population will be obese. Wow, think about that! 1/3 of US adults are obese or overweight and childhood obesity, which was hardly heard of in the 1970’s is now at epidemic levels. Several authorities report that as many as 1 in 5 deaths are associated with obesity.
The two root causes of obesity? Sedentary lifestyles compounded with either overeating or eating food that yields high caloric values, without much actual nutrition. Obesity is a self-propagating disease, as fat begets more fat, meaning that fat cells help the formation of new fat cells.
Calorie restriction and exercise are the most efficient ways to lose weight and keep it off. One of the hallmarks of sustained and effective weight loss is making profound habit changes, which are based on making healthier choices in food and lifestyle. Sugar and junk food especially promote storage of fat.
If you are struggling with your weight, one key tip is to avoid fad diets. It may sound great, and you may think it is doable, but fad diets are rarely sustainable. You’ll quickly find yourself off the diet and gain more weight than you had before in an endless yo-yo spiral.
If you are choosing a diet program to follow, choose one that will become a significant lifestyle change:
- A program that encourages changes to your behaviors, and educates you on portion sizes and healthy eating
- A program that isn’t restrictive on what types of food can be eaten
- A program that encourages gradual and sustainable
“High cholesterol” is often a basket term for classifying all related aspects, even though none of the blood lipids are actually cholesterol themselves. Rather, they are lipoproteins, a combination fat-protein type molecule that acts as a shuttle for cholesterol.
High levels of the “bad” lipoprotein, known as LDL is what typically constitutes high cholesterol, although triglyceride and VLDL levels also count.
Contrary to popular belief, elevations to these blood lipids are not caused by fat, but rather by a combination of carbohydrates and fat. Meaning that without the influence of carbohydrates, fat is virtually unable to cause any negative adverse effects (food for thought).
As such, it should be clear that if you wish to reduce your blood lipid levels, and corresponding risk for heart disease and the like, start by restricting sugars, eat good fats, and limit unhealthy fats. Weight loss also helps.(Source)
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