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An unhealthy diet can cause more than just unwanted weight gain, as it can also affect your health. Consuming processed foods that are high in fat and low in micronutrients can put you at an especially high risk of developing these five common illnesses.
According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the United States, making it one of the most common illnesses. Genetics does play a role in the development of heart disease; however, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that a healthy lifestyle can cut your risk of it in half, even if you have a family history of it. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables each day is recommended in order to reduce your risk. Also, read more about the role of cardiovascular health and fighting disease.
A poor diet can make it more difficult for your body to process insulin, and might also lead to obesity (one of the biggest risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes). A British study noted that eating more fruits and vegetables and avoiding sugary soft drinks can help patients with Type 2 diabetes better manage their blood sugar. The American Diabetes Association recommends filling half of your plate with vegetables, while the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry claims that fruits such as blueberries, cranberries, and strawberries are needed to improve insulin resistance.
Although cancer is one of the most common illnesses attributed to toxins, some research suggests that a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk. To avoid cancer, you should limit the amount of processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages you consume. The World Cancer Research Fund claims that approximately 20% of all cancers in the United States stem from one of these factors:
Anemia occurs when red blood cells in your body are unable to carry sufficient oxygen to cells. Between one and two percent of all adults are affected by iron-deficient anemia. The most common cause of this condition is a lack of Vitamin B12, which is needed in order to produce red blood cells. To ensure you get enough of this vitamin, try consuming more meat, poultry, and fortified grain products.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak and brittle, making them susceptible to fracturing. Consuming a diet low in calcium and Vitamin D, in addition to alcohol abuse can leave you at an increased risk of developing it. Women who have not yet experienced menopause and adult men should consume around 1,000 mg of calcium daily, while post-menopausal women should take in around 1,200 mg. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are the best sources of calcium, while Vitamin D can be obtained through fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.
These five common illnesses are problematic on their own, but can be even more troublesome if they lead to other health conditions. Consuming a healthy diet is one of the best ways to avoid them, and can decrease your risk even if you are genetically predisposed.