Just how important is a healthful diet in the mix of factors that paint your total health picture?
“What you eat is very important to good health,” explains Tim Byers, M.D., M.P.H., professor in the Department of preventive Medicine and Biometrics at the university of Colorado School of Medicine iii Boulder. “In fact, in terms of health benefits, eating well is a two-for-one deal that’s hard to beat. It pays off now by
Helping you feel good today and pays off Later by helping prevent many chronic diseases that may occur as you get older.”
Today, healthful eating habits power you with energy to tackle that long “to do” list, contribute to good looks and maintaining a healthful weight, and help prevent annoying problems such as irregularity that can slow you down.
A lifetime of good eating helps prevent or delay a number of illnesses that can rob you of your zest for life or result in premature death. Need convincing? Scan this list of relationships between diet and Disease, established by years of scientific Research. It’s an eye-opener:
Poor eating habits:
Contribute to contracting heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes— four of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States.
increases risk for a bevy of illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, high Blood pressure, diabetes, and several types of cancer. An alarming one in three Americans is overweight, a jump up from one in four just two decades ago. One in five children and adolescents is overweight as well.
Eating too much fat:
Increases risk for heart disease and cancers of the colon, rectum, prostate, and endometrium.
The saturated fat:
Found in meats, dairy products, and coconut and palm oils is the biggest dietary culprit for high blood cholesterol, a major risk factor for heart attack. One in five Americans has high blood cholesterol attack. One in five Americans has high blood cholesterol.
More than one in three:
(35 percent) of all cancer deaths are related to what we eat. Up to 90 percent of colon and rectal cancers are caused by diet. The links to increased risk? Eating too much fat and too little fiber.
Eating too much sodium:
Drives up blood pressure in up to 30 percent of Americans.
Low calcium Intake:
Can lead to osteoporosis, the crippling, bone-thinning disease that results in 1.5 million bone fractures each year. More than 28 million Americans, mostly women, are at high risk of developing osteoporosis.
Drinking too much alcohol:
May increase risk f or breast cancer. But, enough dietary gloom and doom! A healthful eating plan chock-full of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, and light on Saturated fat from sources such as meat and dairy products does wonders for staying healthy and preventing disease, according to Byers. “National nutrition surveys show that the American diet is slowly improving,” he says. “Since the 1960s, we’ve gradually been eating more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat. At the same time, average blood cholesterol levels have declined.”
While other factors such as advances in medical treatment and a decline in smoking also contributed to this improvement, diet is surely an essential part of the mix.
What does all this mean to you? It’s really good news. With the sure knowledge that medical science backs you up, you can now count healthful eating as your powerful ally for maintaining vibrant good health. And in this fast-paced, ever-changing world, isn’t it nice to know that making good food choices is one important way you can take charge of your health?