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How Does Diet Affect Health

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The impact of diet on health.

A poor diet can lead to obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other health-related complications. It is these conditions that are the major contributors to skyrocketing medical costs in America, and they can be prevented or modified by dietary changes.

Science has now proven that a diet rich in alcohol, saturated fat and sugar increases the risk of diseases such as cancer. This risk is decreased if you consume a diet rich in vegetables, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. But there are other complications associated with eating too much saturated fat. Atherosclerosis, also known as the hardening of the arteries is caused by eating too much fat which can also lead to a heart attack and stroke. Many of the animal products that we eat are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. The answer is to substitute these fats with monounsaturated fats.

The way to do that is by cooking with olive oil and eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as certain types of fish, olive oil and nuts. You can effectively reduce your cholesterol count by also eating adequate amounts of dietary fiber which helps remove cholesterol from your colon.

Your diet is directly linked to your health and your longevity. For example as you age your bones lose more density and become brittle and can easily break. Approximately half of all women will suffer a fracture during their senior years, with about 25 percent of senior men suffering a fracture, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Consuming more foods with calcium and vitamin D help improve bone health.

Another consideration on how your daily diet affects your health is avoiding suffering from anemia by simply eating more iron rich foods like leafy greens, black strap molasses, red meat, soy beans, black beans and tofu. If you exercise on a regular basis you simply have to repair the damage you do by eating correctly.

Probably the most vital replacement that needs to be done after exercise of any sort is your electrolyte balance. After workouts or other activities, eat foods high in potassium, such as bananas or kiwis, to help replace this electrolyte that's lost through sweat. Eating lean proteins with amino acids will help your body repair your muscles. Sports drinks and energy bars also help replace essential nutrients after activity.

There are many side effects of being overweight as mentioned above but something that people often do not think about is the enormous effect that it can have on the economy. If you carry extra weight around your middle the chances are that you will get back pain at some time or another.

According to the Wellness Council of America, workers in the USA miss 100 million days of work each year due to lower back pain. This is caused by eating a high-fat diet and too many calories leads to weight gain and fat storage that can cause lower back pain. Eating lower-fat foods and a reasonable amount of calories will help prevent lower back pain.

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This publication is presented for information purposes, to increase the public knowledge of health and fitness.

The information presented is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice.

Any of this advice should not be adopted without a consultation with your health professional.

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