Diseases That Respond To Nutritional Change
‘What we take in, is what we are and what we are going to be like’
The energy intake should correspond to the nutritional and metabolic requirements (how much we burn them) of the body. When this balance gets disrupted, our body becomes prone to ailments. There are a wide range of diseases caused due to improper diet. Like they say, it is never too late, these diseases respond to positive changes in diet. Centuries ago, infectious diseases and epidemics were major causes of concern and today with the advent of vaccines and better hygienic practices, the incidence of these diseases have come down. This is the age of lifestyle diseases. One disease leads to another and finally results in severe health impairment and death.
Intake of food, which is high in energy value, like refined sugars, flour and fats, but, low in micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber is the main cause of the new age diseases. BMI of more than 25 implies that the person is overweight. An overweight individual is more prone to obesity, which in turn increases the risk of diabetes. Diabetic people are predisposed to heart, eye and kidney ailments and also a wide range of skin ailments. In this article, we shall discuss about the nutritional changes, which bring about a positive change in the progress of a disease.
Obesity – the centers for disease control and prevention states that about two-thirds of the population in U.S is overweight and about 50% of the overweight group is obese. This startling data is a red warning sign of the percentage of diseased people in the near future. This situation can be reversed by reducing the energy or the calorie intake and burning more calories. Now is the right time to start eating healthy. A balanced diet in which most of the carbohydrates come from natural fibers (whole wheat breads, multigrain foods, brown rice etc), with the right amount of good proteins (like that of eggs, lentils, legumes, milk, soy etc.) and a little amount of fat from whole oils and eggs and adequate amounts of micronutrients like minerals and vitamins from fruits and veggies, would go a long way in maintaining the right weight and not just that will keep diseases at bay.
Diabetes – this disease is due to poor insulin production with high levels of circulating sugars in blood. The more refined food you take, the more spurts in insulin production occur and the insulin production becomes irregular and deficient in the long run. The more fats you consume, the more free radicals you generate and this is again bad for your insulin secreting cells. How can this be reversed? Consuming food rich in fiber causes reduces the insulin spurts and regularizes its production. Fibers take a long time to digest and it breaks down into sugars at a lower rate, so this releases sugar into blood at a slow pace. So, include loads of veggies and moderate amount of fruits in your diet and keep all your grains and breads whole or multi grain. Refined food stuffs tend to increase your waist size, which is an indicator for diabetes. Staying away from them can stop fact accumulation at the waist. Barbequed meat releases nitrosamines, which harm the insulin producing cells.
Hypertension – bad fats, when consumed in excess tend to get accumulated in the blood vessel walls. As a result of this, these walls lose their elasticity and fail to maintain the blood pressure. Not just this, the circulating fats and proteins, which are not burnt down, tend to make the blood heavier and also increase the blood pressure. Target at lowering your fat consumption and consume enough of good proteins, which are digested easily (select eggs over red meat). This good eating practice along with giving up smoking can reduce blood pressure to a great extent.
Coronary heart disease – the fat deposited on the blood vessels, get dislodged and block the entire vessel. This cuts off the blood supply to important organs like heart resulting in cardiac arrest or heart attack. Lower the consumption of bad fats in the diet.
Gall stones – gall bladder is a pouch like organ, which secretes bile, which helps in digestion. When the duct from the gall bladder is blocked by fat stones, the bile gets accumulated and the gall bladder becomes enlarged and painful. This calls for a surgical solution. People diagnosed with minor gall stones, can go for a low fat diet and prevent the worsening of the disease necessitating surgery.
Polycystic ovarian disease – high circulating sugar levels have been associated with ovarian cysts. A low calorie diet with adequate weight loss has found to benefit girls and women with menstrual abnormalities and ovarian cysts.
Obstructive sleep apnea – overweight and obese people tend to suffer from loss of breath in sleep. This can be reversed by losing those extra pounds by going on a low calorie diet.
Anemia – an iron deficient diet leads to anemia, which gives rise to symptoms like dizziness, nausea, paleness of skin, thinning of hair and breathlessness. This can be corrected by consuming egg yolk, animal liver, unpolished grains, sea food, greens etc.
Osteoporosis – as you start aging, your bones tend to become weaker and may get fractured easily. This is due to the lack of calcium. A diet rich in calcium, which includes diary products, milk, oranges, spinach, almonds, okra, beans, peas, salmons, sardines, tofu etc. can prevent deficiencies.
Cancer – to prevent cancer or to prevent the worsening of various cancers, it is essential learn, what not to eat and what to eat? Colonic cancers can be prevented by consuming a diet rich in fiber and avoiding refined food and energy drinks as much as possible. Breast cancer can be prevented by lowering the consumption of fats. The incidence of cancer can be brought down by the following dietary correction;
Avoid MSG containing foods.
Ready to eat foods and zero calorie artificial food stuff contain lot of carcinogens.
Stay away from high sugar food and drinks.
Consume lots of fruits and vegetables. Many of them have anti-cancer elements in them.
Consume lot of greens, as they have anti-oxidants in them, which prevent cancer and also prevent the worsening of existing cancer.
Artificial food colors and additives are also known to contain carcinogens.
Keep your food as natural as possible and try cooking from the scratch.
Avoid carbonated drinks.
Barbequed and burnt meat are harmful for the pancreas and insulin producing cells.
Consuming high fiber foods will prevent constipation and colonic cancers.
Healthy eating is one of the habits which have to be inculcated in children from a young age. Such healthy cooking and healthy eating practices go a long way in maintaining the health of the individual. Breastfeeding young ones for long, is beneficial to the health of the mother and baby. It is protective against childhood obesity in the infant and protective against breast cancer in the mother and also helps the mother lose the pregnancy related weight gain. On the final note, eat healthy to stay healthy.