Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?
A healthy diet is essential for the body to function properly and optimally, and also helps us to maintain a healthy weight. Carrying excess weight increases your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other life-threatening medical conditions.
Almost 90% of people newly diagnosed with diabetes are overweight or obese, according to the American Diabetes Association.
An obese person has double the risk of developing diabetes. A severely obese person has ten times the risk. Obesity affects 1 in 3 people in Iowa and is the largest contributor to preventable death in the United States.
Type 2 diabetes is the form of the disease most closely linked to obesity. Approximately 90 percent of all diabetics in the United States are type 2 diabetics. Complications of diabetes include heart disease, blindness, nerve damage and kidney damage. People with diabetes can lose limbs from nerve damage and/or foot problems that can ultimately lead to ulcers and infections.
Eating healthy promotes physical and mental health in several ways, for example:
- The Heart - Years of research gives us solid evidence that certain foods increase the risk for heart disease, and that there is a direct link to unsaturated fats and cholesterol. By avoiding foods high in unsaturated fats and cholesterol, we can promote healthy heart function for years to come.
- Our Bones - Bones are important at any age, but many bone conditions that develop later in life can be avoided by providing our bodies with enough calcium in our diet. Milk and other dairy products contain calcium and should be consumed every day.
- ENERGY! - Are you tired of being tired? Foods that are excessively sugary or high in fats can minimize our energy levels from day to day. Fats are slow to digest and don't provide a steady source of energy, while sugary foods can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate, making us tired very shortly after eating. Eating a healthy diet promotes constant energy throughout the day!
- Self Confidence - When we make the conscious choice to eat better and healthier, we begin to have more energy and feel better about ourselves. Even if weight loss isn't a goal, the benefit of eating healthy will be felt, and seen!
The benefits of eating healthy are limitless, and something you can start implementing today. There are plenty of great recipes on the web for you to explore, including this site! If you want further information or help with nutrition, weight loss or making healthy lifestyle changes, the Weight Loss Specialist at UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge are ready to help.