There’s truth to the saying, “you are what you eat.” The same holds true for “you are what you don’t eat.” Poor dietary choices can lead to a host of conditions related to malnutrition, which include a weakened immune system as well as long-term chronic health challenges.
Compromised Immune System
A healthy immune system is dependent upon proper nutrients, such as protein and essential fatty acids, vitamins A, C, E, folate and B-6 and minerals such as selenium, zinc and iron. Opportunistic infections develop when your immune system is suppressed, and a poor diet will make you susceptible to getting sick more often. Eating a varied diet full of dark-colored fruits and vegetables, nuts and fish will provide your first line of defense.
Uncontrolled Weight, Chronic Health Conditions
Consuming too many empty calories can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Overweight and obesity put you at greater risk for many chronic disease conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and some cancers. A diet full of highly processed foods and fast foods is loaded with calories and often contains high levels of saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars, all of which can lead to weight and increase your risk for chronic disease.
- Understanding Nutrition; Ellie Whitney et al
- USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 Executive Summary