The term “diet-related diseases” encompasses a wide range of health conditions that are caused, or exacerbated, by the foods we eat. While some diet-related diseases are relatively rare, others, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, have reached epidemic proportions in recent years.
The vast majority of diet-related diseases are chronic conditions that develop over time as a result of poor dietary habits. In many cases, these chronic conditions can be prevented entirely by following a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, even small changes to your diet can make a big difference in your risk for developing diet-related diseases.
Some of the most common diet-related diseases include:
Obesity: Obesity is one of the most widespread diet-related diseases in the world today. Obesity is defined as having an excess amount of body fat, and it increases your risk for developing numerous other health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. If you are obese, losing even a small amount of weight can significantly reduce your risk for these and other obesity-related health problems.
Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is another common diet-related disease that is largely preventable through lifestyle changes including eating a healthy.
Researchers found that eating too much or too little of certain foods and nutrients can raise the risk of dying of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
A growing body of research suggests that what we eat-and in what amounts-may have a profound impact on our risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
For instance, a large-scale study published in February 2019 in The Lancet found that people who consume high amounts of animal-based protein (from sources like red meat and poultry) are more likely to die from heart disease than those who consume lower amounts. The researchers estimated that every 3 percent increase in calories from animal protein was associated with a 27 percent higher risk of early death from all causes. (In contrast, they found that plant-based proteins-such as those found in beans, lentils, nuts, and whole grains-were linked with a slightly lower risk of early death.)
Similarly, a 2017 report from the American Heart Association (AHA) concluded that eating just one 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat per day-or about the size of a deck of cards-was linked with a 3 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease over the course of the study. Processed meats like bacon and sausage were linked with an even higher risk: For every additional 1 ounce consumed daily (about the size of two dice), there was an 8 percent greater chance of dying during the study period.
While it’s still not entirely clear why animal protein may be linked with an increased risk for these conditions specifically, some experts believe it may have something to do with the high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol found in many animal products. These substances can contribute to plaque buildup in arteries (a condition known as atherosclerosis), which can ultimately lead to heart attacks or strokes. In addition, eating large amounts of animal protein has been shown to raise levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and inflammation throughout the body-both key drivers behind type 2 diabetes development.
These results suggest ways to change eating habits that may help improve health
A growing body of research suggests that what we eat may play a big role in our risk for developing certain diseases. For example, diets high in saturated and trans fats have been linked to heart disease, while diets high in salt have been linked to stroke.
Changing our eating habits is not always easy, but it may be one of the most important things we can do for our health. Here are some tips that may help:
-Choose leaner cuts of meat and trim visible fat before cooking. -Replace whole milk with skim milk or low-fat yogurt. -Limit your intake of fried foods, processed meats, and sugary snacks and desserts. -Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. -Use healthy cooking methods such as grilling or baking instead of frying. -When eating out, choose restaurants that offer healthier menu options. -Be mindful of portion sizes; try to avoid overeating. Making even small changes in our diet can have a big impact on our health over time!