by George Tohme
Posted on Wednesday 22nd of October 2008
They are the biggest killers in America: Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. The most common causes of these deadly conditions are: Physical inactivity, fattening snacks and beverages, obesity, stress, and smoking. The shocking news is that these diseases are so easily preventable.
A frequent cause of blame is the unhealthy food choices people make regularly. It’s okay to splurge once in a while, but it is the habits you follow daily that will determine your overall health. Constantly consuming chips, bacon, cakes, sugary drinks, candy, sausage, and cigarettes will get you nothing but poor health, deadly diseases, and a ticket straight to heaven prematurely.
According to the CDC over 63% (that’s over 180 million) of the US population is overweight or obese and is physically inactive, resulting in tens of millions who have chronic deadly, but preventable, conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and pre-diabetes. Recently the CDC reported that more than 70% (over 1.7 million) of all causes of death in America are caused by only three preventable factors: obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and smoking. The very fact that these factors are easily preventable is heartbreaking.
One of the major contributors to poor health is the excessive consumption of cholesterol. The body produces over 85% of the cholesterol we need and the sugar stores in our liver and muscles remain saturated due to physical inactivity. Because we are largely a couch-potato society and the food we consume every day is loaded with animal-based fats, the extra fat gets dumped into our arteries, belly areas, and under the skin all over our bodies.
Another major contributor to deadly diseases, poor health, and premature aging and death is physical inactivity. Most of us sit throughout an entire workday then go home and sit in front of the TV for another 5 to 6 hours while consuming large fatty meals, snacks, and sugary or alcoholic beverages that are rich in saturated fats, salt, and sugar, all of which contribute to increased belly fat. Shockingly, belly fat is the most dangerous kind because it causes inflammation in the arteries contributing to plaque build up in the arteries and insulin resistance leading to heart attacks and diabetes.
Yet another common issue is that people are unaware of how unhealthy the foods they consume are. When people don't read nutrition labels they tend to consume very dense food and sugary beverages that are nutrient deficient. These foods are readily available in fast food restaurants and vending machines and contain loads of sugar, fat, and unwanted calories. Sugary soft drinks (which alone contribute to over 33% of all US obesity), sugary lemonade, sweetened iced tea, smoothies, lattes, and frappucinos, which contain loads of sugar and fat that further contribute to the accumulation of belly fat, make you more of a magnet to all sorts of deadly, but preventable, diseases. One of the worst mistakes people make as well is skipping meals which makes the body more efficient at storing and gaining fat weight.
Fortunately there are important steps to help you make balanced food and activity choices and help you start a lifestyle makeover process which will be your shield against deadly diseases as you age gracefully:
• If you have any chronic disease(s) take your medications as prescribed.
• Eat 3 main balanced meals, reduce your portion sizes, and raise your fiber intake.
• Consume 2 fruit and nuts snacks between meals.
• Switch all sugary drinks to water or diet soft drinks. Sweeten all other hot or cold beverages with artificial sweeteners or sugar-free flavoring powders. Limit all non-water beverages to a couple a day.
• Increase your daily walking activity to over 10,000 steps a day by making more frequent trips at home, the office, while shopping, and anywhere else.
The good news is that diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases can be prevented, managed, and reversed with your own choices, actions and a lifestyle makeover. Now is the time to start putting these tips to good use and begin feeling better and living healthier right away!
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