Diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, osteoporosis, dental issues and cancer can be brought on or worsened by poor diet, nutrition and sedentary activity. Likewise, a poor diet can be a significant contributing factor for some types of cancers. Proper diet and nutrition are an essential part of preventative medicine for chronic diseases.
But what happens when you already have one of those diseases? The good news is that if you alter your diet, it will help you manage your disease better. Let’s look at a few diseases and the kinds of nutritional tips that will help ease symptoms so you can feel better:
Diabetics are unable to process sugar, regardless of where it comes from. Slow-acting sugar is gentler on the system, but sucrose isn’t any worse than the glucose in grapes. Those with type 2 diabetes should keep sugar intake low, including natural sugars. Reducing sugar, again, either type, can really help spikes and dips in those with type 1. Make sure you are taking your medication as directed. Follow the American Diabetes Association’s advice and be sure to include whole grains, fiber, protein and healthy fats in your diet.
Getting away from a diet that relies heavily on processed foods will greatly improve blood pressure, weight and stress on the heart. Processed foods are packed with salt, sugar, fat and other additives to enhance their flavor and alter their texture and color.
While being obese is not a disease, it does lead to other diet and nutrition-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. People trying to shed excessive amounts of weight should eat natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, fiber, protein and healthy fats, as well as low-fat dairy products.
Foods that cause excessive oral bacteria can result in cavities, tooth decay and gum disease. Very acidic foods and drinks can harm tooth enamel and increase the likelihood that you’ll develop a dental disease. Foods that are soft, sweet and stick to the teeth and gums (such as cake and candy) can also lead to tooth decay. Eliminating entire food groups can also lead to mineral or vitamin deficiencies.
The American Cancer Society emphasizes the importance of eating a healthy diet right before starting cancer treatment, as well as during (which can be difficult as a result of side effects) and after. The society offers a nutritional guide to help cancer patients cope with the dietary changes that occur as they go through each stage of treatment and recovery.