Chronic health issues such as various heart diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer are among the most prominent causes of death in the United States. In 2019, for example, these four diseases accounted for nearly 1.5 million deaths. If we wish to solve these issues that take so many of our citizens too soon, we need to look at the underlying causes of these diseases.
Thankfully, as the body of research on these topics improves every year, we learn more about how these causes of death can be prevented. One of the main areas of consideration is diet. When properly addressed, there is substantial evidence that diet can help prevent and even reduce the symptoms of chronic health problems.
Aren’t Chronic Diseases Outside of My Control?
Many patients believe that their risk for certain diseases like cancer and heart problems are chiefly out of their control. While genetics plays a role in health status, and a confirmed family history of a certain disease can certainly indicate an increased risk, a substantial portion of these ailments are preventable through lifestyle changes.
Heart.org estimates, for example, that up to 80% of cardiovascular disease cases are preventable. With that in mind, it is an obviously worthwhile objective to explore prevention methods, as this disease alone costs a combined $1 billion per day in health care costs and claims hundreds of thousands of lives.
Diet and Chronic Health Issues
One of the most impactful, and often easiest to address, methods to prevent chronic disease is diet adjustment. The CDC identifies poor nutrition as one of the leading risk factors for chronic diseases, and much of the Center’s preventative literature revolves around diet.
The scientific community has published many studies showing that a healthy diet can prevent chronic health problems and markedly reduce risk of these issues occurring in the first place. Even more exciting, research also shows that lifestyle modification such as diet improvement can “mitigate disease progression and reverse existing disease.”
So, in short, the answer is “yes” that diet can help you with the chronic health issues you may be facing, as well as prevent future chronic problems from arising.
What Steps Should I Take?
What exactly can you do to pursue a healthier life through diet? Some basic tips include:
- Consume generous amounts of fruits and vegetables
- Avoid sugar and sweetened beverages
- Limit sodium
- Eat whole grains in their natural form
- Avoid excessive calorie intake
If you abide by these guiding principles, you will generally move towards a healthier lifestyle and begin to prevent or even reverse chronic health issues.
However, everybody is different, and every body is different. The specific health choices that are best for you should be discussed with a trusted health care provider. Your doctor can dive into deeper detail regarding mitigation of your chronic issues as well as dietary recommendations that work best for you.
Prioritize Your Health with Richfield Medical Group
If you have lingering questions about your chronic health issues, the physicians at Richfield Medical Group would be happy to help you. Our staff is dedicated to improving the lives of our patients through best-in-class treatment: we offer in-person visits, as well as telehealth virtual consultations for some services. At Richfield Medical Group, we are ready and able to provide your family with the answers and the care you need. Please call our clinic at 612-861-1622 to schedule your appointment, or visit us online at richfieldmedicalgroup.com to learn more.