If you are looking to improve your overall health, lose weight, and live longer, one of the most important things you can do is improve your eating habits. Although you may think that you want to go on a diet to lose weight, the best thing you can do is make long-term changes that will permanently improve your eating habits. This will help you not only achieve, but maintain a healthy weight and avoid chronic disease.
Chronic Diseases That Are Diet Related
Not every disease has risk that can be lowered by healthy eating, but many dangerous ones can, including:
Type 2 diabetes
High blood pressure
Some types of cancer
Heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes are strongly associated with obesity, but people who are at a normal weight can get them too if they are eating a poor diet.
What Does “Healthy Eating” Mean?
If you want to avoid risks of chronic diseases, healthy eating means many things. It means reducing the number of calories you consume every day to match your activity level. It means limiting the amount of sodium you consume and reducing the amount of saturated fats that you consume by cutting out solid fats.
It also means eating a balance of foods, including:
Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s a good rule of thumb that if you are eating a variety of colors, you’re getting a variety of nutrients.
Making fruits and vegetables half of the food you eat a day.
Making half the grains you consume whole grains.
Choosing a variety of low-fat protein sources.
Adding vegetarian meals to your diet.
Adding sea food to your diet (not as easy to do in Colorado as elsewhere, especially in the winter).
If you follow all these guidelines, you’re likely to have a pretty healthy diet.
Your Primary Care Physician Is a Great Partner
For some people, achieving a healthy diet doesn’t mean much in the way of changed eating habits. For other people, it means a radical overhaul in the way they eat. If you’re in the latter category, it can be hard to accomplish.
Changing to a healthy diet can be a lot easier when you have someone to guide you and monitor your progress. Your primary care physician is great for this. They can give you expert advice, follow up with you, give you moral support, and even refer you to a specialist if you’re unable to achieve your goals.
If you are currently looking for a primary care physician, please contact Dr. Andy Fine in Littleton.