A better diet is not a miracle cure for all of your problems but it can help reduce the symptoms or risk of many health problems like diabetes or heart disease. The cliché “you are what you eat” isn’t literally true, but it is correct in identifying the connection between your diet and your health. Your health and diet are clearly related issues, so if you want to solve any of your major problems, you will need to fix your diet. Here are a few ways a better diet can help you.
Lowering Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check with a proper diet are both good ways to reduce your chance of significant heart problems. People today are eating far too many processed foods that are rich in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. This kind of diet combined with a largely sedentary lifestyle can lead to high cholesterol and a build-up of plaque in your arteries. High cholesterol is a problem that affects up to one third of Americans; so changing your diet is more important than ever.
A healthy diet and exercise plan is the best way you can try to keep your cholesterol problems in check and minimize your chances of heart problems. Your doctor may recommend medication to reduce your cholesterol levels, but the pills will work more effectively when combined with other strategies. Complex carbohydrates that are rich in fiber will help decrease your levels of bad cholesterol. Not all types of cholesterol are bad for your heart health, so your nutritionist may recommend eating foods like omega-3 fatty acids or olive oil, which are high in good cholesterol. Good cholesterol will actually reduce your chance of heart problems.
Minimizing Diabetes Symptoms and Preventing Diabetes
One of the most important strategies for treating or preventing diabetes is managing your diet. Diabetes prevents the body from effectively moderating blood sugar levels on its own. Doctors will prescribe a course of treatment that combines a low sugar diet with medication to help manage the problem. Eating the right foods is key to keeping your blood sugar level stable throughout the day to prevent the negative symptoms of diabetes.
Diabetics have to be careful not to eat foods that are going to cause their blood glucose levels to spike and bottom out. Foods that are rich in fat, salt, cholesterol, and sugar can all increase the risk of diabetes and make the symptoms of diabetes much worse. You can manage your condition better by eating a balanced diet with reasonable portions. Foods that have too many simple carbohydrates or sugars are the worst foods that you can eat because they will lead to spikes in your glucose levels.
Managing Food Intolerances
Food allergies are quite common, but many people also suffer from non-allergic reactions to certain kinds of foods such as dairy or gluten. With both of these types of illnesses, it is very important for you to avoid eating certain types of foods in order to prevent your body from suffering from the negative symptoms of intolerance. Common symptoms range from mild digestive discomfort to serious nausea and illness that can lead to more significant problems like dehydration. People who have Celiac disease cannot eat any type of gluten products. There is also a similar condition where people suffer from intolerance to wheat, not unlike lactose intolerance. In any of these cases, people with food intolerances should be sure to avoid the foods that make them sick. They may be able to eat small quantities of dairy or wheat, but if they start becoming ill, it is important to back off.
Dr. Michael Barakate is a pediatric and adult otolaryngologist located in Sydney, Australia offering health and wellness information at ENTWellbeing.com.au.Learn More