Never in the history of mankind have we had easy access to a variety of foods like we do today. Yet this luxury that our ancestors could only dream of has become our undoing. In recent times, lots of people have developed poor eating habits.
For instance, CDC reports that over a third of Americans eat fast food daily. Fast food is high in saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, trans fat, and as such, it shouldn’t be eaten often. Most people know that, yet they pump their systems with these unhealthy foods. In the article, we explore some of the health risks of poor nutrition.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, over 73% of American adults are either overweight or obese. 42.2% have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above (obese), while 9.2% have a BMI greater than 40 (severe obesity).
Obesity occurs when you consume too many calories, particularly fat and sugars, without burning it off. Unfortunately, much of the food we consume is loaded with calories. The surplus energy gets stored in the body as fat.
Asides from the societal stigma and negative psychological impact of obesity, obesity also increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. Foods high in sugar, salt, and saturated or trans fats can increase blood pressure or damage the heart. Common high blood pressure diet includes snack foods, condiments, deli meats, canned soups, and processed foods.
Hypertension is a silent killer as it typically goes unnoticed till the damage has been done. A diet full of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains can help lower your risk of high blood pressure.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, claiming 660,00 lives yearly. Unfortunately, poor nutrition is the greatest factor causing the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as poor diet, being overweight, lack of exercise, and smoking can lead to heart disease.
That’s why doctors recommend that you avoid high-fat diets, particularly foods with large amounts of saturated fat. Common examples include eggs, ice cream, beef, and butter. Instead, choose lean protein like turkey, fish, and seafood.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas can no longer produce insulin or when the body can no longer process the insulin produced by the body. Insulin is very important because it helps break down carbohydrates into glucose, which is the body’s primary source of energy.
In a diabetic patient, the blood glucose (also called blood sugar) isn’t regulated. Although several factors can cause diabetes including family history and genetics, poor nutrition is also a major factor for some people. Foods like sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fats, fruit-flavored yogurt, dried fruit, among many others increase the risk of diabetes.
Diabetes-related complications include damage to large and small blood vessels, which can lead to stroke and heart attack, as well as problems with the kidneys, eyes, feet, and nerves.
Gout is a form of arthritis caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream. Consequently, this uric acid buildup results in the formation of crystals in your joint, which can result in painful swelling, resulting in permanent joint damage.
Food and drinks that often trigger gout attacks include game meats, organ meats, sugary sodas, fruit juice, and alcohol. That’s why you should stay away from a diet high in fat or cholesterol. On the other hand, vegetables, soy products, low-fat dairy products can reduce the risk of gout attacks by lowering uric acid levels.
- Some Cancers
While the link between diet and cancer is just as mysterious as the disease itself, the relationship cannot be ignored. Research has pointed toward certain foods and nutrients that seem to increases one’s risk of cancer.
Examples of foods that have carcinogenic properties include processed meats like hotdogs, corned beef, sausages, beef jerky, and lunch meat. Unfortunately, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US.
Health experts advise that you avoid processed and red meats. Antioxidants, as well as foods high in calcium, can lower the risk of cancer.
Perhaps the greatest irony about our modern culture is the fact that a person can overeat and still be malnourished. Malnutrition occurs when there are excesses or imbalances in your intake of energy or nutrients.
Depending on the nutrients you’re lacking, several symptoms may arise. For instance, iron deficiency may cause dizziness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Lack of vitamin can result in vitamin deficiency anemia.
The solution is to conscientiously ensure that the food you consume is rich in all the classes of nutrients required by the body.
The body requires proper nutrients for it to function effectively. Unfortunately, we’ve incorporated unhealthy eating habits into our modern lifestyle, which we pay for with our health. American poor diet drives $50 billion a year in health care costs. This doesn’t even account for the emotional turmoil faced by the person and their family. Eating the proper diet will result in better health and overall well-being.
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