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Your Diet Has a Big Effect on Your Health

By Paul Rothbart

Everyone knows you have to eat to stay alive. Most people are even aware that nutritious foods help keep you healthy. But many do not realize the extent that food affects their health. Food functions like medicine, working with the immune system to prevent chronic disease and fight off threats to wellness. It is essential to be careful about what you put in your body and in some cases, how it is prepared.

Health Issues in the U.S.

In the United States, health problems and chronic diseases are common. The nation ranks just ninth in life expectancy worldwide. Nearly four-fifths of healthcare expenses cover a chronic disease. Studies have found that many of these illnesses are directly connected to a poor diet. It was once believed that many forms of cancer, as well as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes were the direct result of genetics and gene mutation. More recent research attributes chronic disease to biological dysfunction which is significantly impacted by the foods you eat.

Cardiovascular Disease as an Example

Heart disease is sadly all too common. Factors that contribute to it include hypertension, oxidative stress, high cholesterol, inflammation, heavy metal toxicity, and insulin resistance. Every single one of these factors can be connected to diet. Eating the wrong foods can cause them or eating the right foods can prevent them. Cardiovascular disease is the clearest example, but it works the same way with other diseases. There is overwhelming evidence that your diet impacts your health.

What Should You Eat?

Beyond the obvious problem of eating too many calories and becoming obese, there are foods to avoid. Red meats, especially those high in fat, can raise cholesterol in addition to weight. Leaner proteins such as poultry and fish are much better choices. Processed foods containing added salt and sugar should also be avoided as they can raise the risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Fruits and vegetables should be a major part of your diet. Look for those that contain antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals. These powerful plant compounds fight free radicals in the body that can cause oxidative stress and damage cells. This can lead to cancer and other chronic diseases.

What you eat is about far more than taste. A healthy diet helps to prevent chronic disease and can contribute to a longer and more productive life. Give some thought when planning meals and snacks. It can make a huge difference to your health.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor in Lawrenceville, Ga.

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