Eating healthy foods helps you avoid nutritional deficiencies and excesses, and their related risks. Preserving your iron and B-vitamin levels maintains a strong blood count. Adequate calcium guards against osteoporosis, and limiting salt in your diet helps to keep blood pressure normal. All of the aspects of health supported by good nutrition increase your ability to fend off disease, including the three leading causes of death in the U.S.: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
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Eating a low-salt diet helps prevent hypertension, or high blood pressure, which is often caused by consuming too much sodium, of which table salt is the main source. Eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol makes you less likely to experience atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries. Both of these conditions, as well as obesity, increase your risk for heart disease, a series of cardiovascular malfunctions that might lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure and sudden coronary death.
Type 2 Diabetes
No one knows what causes diabetes, but certain dietary conditions are associated with its onset. A healthy diet will balance your carbohydrate intake, emphasizing fiber and limiting sugar, which might help you avoid insulin resistance. Eating right also naturally manages your weight. The Office of the Surgeon General reports that a weight gain of 11 lbs. or more marks a primary risk for type 2 diabetes. If you avoid this incurable illness, you’ll escape its complications, which include glaucoma and kidney disease.
Cancer, too, can have many causes, but a healthy diet contributes to the prevention of this potentially fatal disease. Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables protects your immune system from several types of cancer, with vitamin C and other antioxidants providing a tough defense. Staying at a proper weight can reduce your risk for colon, gall bladder, kidney. uterus, breast or prostate cancers.
You can avoid gaining weight by eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in saturated fat and added sugar, provided you exercise regularly as well. Both of these healthy pursuits can help you steer clear of or reduce the impact of arthritis, a degenerative joint condition. The Office of the Surgeon General says arthritis risk increases with weight gain and that symptoms decrease with weight loss.