Written By Lewis Robinson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
The quality of your diet has a major impact on your health throughout all stages of your life. Unfortunately, many people in the United States do not eat a healthy diet. These are eight of the ways that your diet can affect your health.
1. Your Weight
Poor nutrition is associated with being overweight or obese. About 19 percent of young people and 40 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some kinds of cancer.
Obesity also drives up the cost of the health care system by over $140 billion per year. If you are trying to lose weight, look for science-based information, from organizations such as ILSI, instead of relying on commercial diet programs.
2. Type 2 Diabetes
Being obese or overweight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. This chronic condition is caused by the body losing its ability to use insulin. More than one-third of all adults in the United States have prediabetes and almost 80 percent of those people don't know it.
Though the numbers have been trending down in recent years, the population of people who have this disease in the United States has almost doubled in the past 20 years due largely to a population that is becoming older and more overweight.
3. Brain Function Deficiencies
Pregnant people who have low iron levels during pregnancy may be at a higher risk of having children with behavioral or mental delays. The human brain develops at its fastest rate during the first 1,000 days of life. Children who are iron deficient during this time are at a higher risk of developing brain function deficiencies.
Ensuring adequate iron and iodine levels during pregnancy and the first two years of a child's life may help prevent these issues.
4. Stroke and Heart Disease
High blood pressure and blood cholesterol are two of the top causes of stroke and heart disease. Consuming a diet that is high in sodium may increase blood pressure. An average American consumes more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day which exceeds the maximum recommended amount of 2,300 milligrams per day.
The majority of sodium consumed by Americans comes from processed, packaged, restaurant and store-bought foods. You can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease by getting regular physical activity and eating foods that are low in sodium and saturated fats and high in fiber.
Being overweight or obese is associated with 13 types of cancer, including breast, endometrial and colorectal cancer. These cancers account for 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States.
6. Muscle Loss
Protein is the main building block of muscle tissue. Consuming too little protein in your diet can contribute to loss of muscle mass. A decrease in muscle mass may also increase your risk of becoming overweight or obese because muscle tissue is more metabolically active and burns more calories at rest than other types of tissue.
People who have lost muscle mass may be more at risk of falls and other medical conditions associated with poor muscle strength.
7. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
A poor-quality diet can lead to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals that help maintain healthy bones, skin, teeth, mucus membranes and soft tissue. A lack of B vitamins can affect your body's ability to produce red blood cells and affect your metabolism. Vitamin D deficiency contributes to rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults.
8. High Cholesterol
Eating too much saturated fat can lead to high blood cholesterol levels. By contrast, consuming unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, can help maintain cellular health and regulate cholesterol levels. Additionally, consuming more fiber can lower cholesterol levels because the fiber binds with cholesterol particles and carries them out of the body.
Eating a balanced diet that contains adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins can help maintain health and prevent chronic diseases. Even if your diet has been poor, you can reverse some of the damage by making healthier choices.
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Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.