What America’s 5 Worst Diseases All Have In Common

July 10, 2013
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Everybody knows that eating high-fat foods, smoking, and obesity can lead to health problems. Yet millions of people continue to indulge despite scientific proof of the consequences. There is now further research that shows a link between five of the scariest diseases around and the bad habits Americans cannot get enough of.

Chronic Inflammation

Everybody knows that eating high-fat foods, smoking, and obesity can lead to health problems. Yet millions of people continue to indulge despite scientific proof of the consequences. There is now further research that shows a link between five of the scariest diseases around and the bad habits Americans cannot get enough of.

Chronic Inflammation

obesity and health problemsScientists have now linked a condition known as chronic inflammation to heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and outside irritants. When a human body is so unhealthy because of smoking or obesity, for example, this natural inflammation will not let up which can damage the immune the system, increasing the risk of disease. According to experts, chronic inflammation can damage brain cells, triggering a stroke or leading to Alzheimer’s, it can damage heart valves, leading to heart disease, and it can promote resistance to insulin, leading to diabetes. Cancer can also develop and spread more easily because of the weakened immune system.

Preventative Actions

Now that scientists have shown how chronic inflammation can lead to these diseases, they are hard at work figuring out how we can use this knowledge to prevent them. There are cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins, which can fight the inflammation once it is found (speak to your local pharmacy technician about drug side effects and safety before beginning any new pharmaceutical routine), but what most Americans want to know is how to prevent it from occurring altogether. An unhealthy diet and abdominal fat are a leading cause of chronic inflammation. So eating right and exercise (as we all should know by now) are key preventative measures that can be taken. There is some evidence that fiber, whole grains, and dairy foods play a protective role against inflammation.

Stick To A Healthy Diet

Obesity seems to the biggest risk factor when it comes to chronic inflammation. Abdominal fat tissue that can surround the organs is a hot-bed of inflammation. The inflammation can start in this tissue and then travel throughout the body damaging arteries and cells. Once this damage is done it is difficult to reverse, so it is critical that anyone who is overweight begin a diet program right away and ease back into an exercise routine. It is recommended that people consume whole-grain foods and unsaturated fats like fruits, vegetables, poultry, nuts, and eggs. You should avoid red meat, white, starchy foods like rice, pasta, and potatoes, and butter. It is also important, no matter how difficult, to avoid sweets and treats. Dairy foods can help reduce inflammation as well. Three daily servings of dairy containing whey and its nutrients can help prevent and fight inflammation.

We all know that diet and exercise are important to living a long, healthy life. So just in case you needed more proof to get your butt in gear, here it is, straight from the experts. In most cases, it is only small changes that need to be made by most Americans to avoid five of the deadliest diseases around. So next time you pass up a cheeseburger and have a yogurt instead, congratulate yourself for choosing a longer life.

(obesity / shutterstock)