Eating right affects many body systems and can be beneficial at ALL ages of life. Graceful aging comes best when you follow your body’s owners manual and eat healthy and maintain physical activity.
Cardiovascular disease: Cholesterol levels, triglycerides, hypertension, and obesity all impact cardiovascular health. Eat right and remain physically active to decrease high blood pressure and obesity. Remember that overweight people have more pain and more joint problems. That will impact your quality of life in later years when you have chronic knee and hip pain. Also, weight loss that comes with good diet also decreases the incidence of sleep apnea, which can cause high blood pressure and general exhaustion.
Cerebrovasculardisease: This includes stroke and dementia. These result from smoking, no activity, and poor diet. It is important to control your blood pressure by decreasing sodium intake to <1500 mg a day. Foods with high sodium include pizza, bread and rolls, cold cuts, processed chicken, pasta, snack foods, soups, sandwiches, and mixed meats. Follow the DASH diet to help control hypertension and salt intake. This alone can decrease blood pressure by 12/6 points (systolic/diastolic). This is a link to a dash diet plan and information: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dash
Diabetes: Diabetes will increase your risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cerebrovascular disease by 2-4 times. Be certain to eat low glycemic index foods, eat less fats and avoid high sugar foods. Include more fruit and vegetables in your diet, as well as whole grains. Maintain a normal weight and exercise. Here is the glycemic index link: http://www.glycemicindex.com/
Cancer: Cancer risk increases with obesity. Maintain a normal weight and increase your physical activity. Moderate your alcohol intake, quit smoking, and include fruits and vegetables with whole grains in your diet.
Chronic Kidney disease: High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol all increase the chances of kidney disease. Maintain a healthy weight through diet.
The key for the healthiest lifestyle includes:
Limit high-trans fats and saturated fat in your diet
Decrease salt intake
Decrease added sugar intake.
Increase whole grains in the diet.
Add bright colored vegetables to your diet.
Add deep colored fruits such as bananas and peaches.
Use whole enriched fortified grains such as whole wheat bread.
It is apparent and true that increasing the quantity of whole fruits and vegetables in your diet decreases your mortality risk. This occurs by decreasing obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease risk.
Soluble fiber in fruits decreases the postprandial glucose leves and decreases inflammatory damage. The carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and flavonoids in fruit decrease the diabetes risk by decreasing oxidative stress which interferes with the uptake of glucose by cells.
Studies have shown that increasing your intake of fresh fruit does not increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, except with excessive intake of cantaloupe( at an amount of three times a week).
The best choice of fruit to decrease diabetes risk is blueberries, especially when eaten five times a week.
Glycemic index has no association between a fruit type and its diabetes risk. Glycemic index is the measure of incremental glucose response per gram of carbohydrate taken in, whereas the glycemic load is the amount of carbohydrate and the glycemic index multiplied. these measures are not helpful in determining the healthfulness of fruit intake.
Consuming grapes, apples, bananas, and grapefruits have been shown to be associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The World Health Organization recommends that a minimum of 400 gm or 5 portions of fruits and vegetables be taken per day to prevent type 2 diabetes.
It is more important to have a great variety of fruit in the diet and not quantity to be healthful. Decrease your fruit juice intake.
Best choices for organic fruits and vegetables include: apples, celery, cherry tomato, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, potatoes, peaches, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.
Best choices of non-organic fruits and vegetables are: asparagus, avocado, cantaloupe, corn, cabbage, eggplant, mango, kiwi, onion, papya, pineapple, sweet pea, and sweet potatoes.
Testing for Diabetes:
If you have a BMI of more than 25 kg/Meter squared and one of the following risks then you need testing now:
First degree relative with diabetes (mother or brother, i.e.)
Coconut palm sugar is a sugar alternative from Southeast Asia made from the flowering buds of a coconut tree. It has minimal processing in it’s production.
It is not highly nutritious in vitamins and minerals, but rather it is just sucrose and does not have a low glycemic index. It does not help in weight control or prevent cancer.
It’s use is mainly just for it’s taste, which is a more caramel flavor, and is useful in cooking and baking. Consider coconut palm sugar to be empty calories otherwise. There is no proof of health benefits to using it.
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