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Good Nutrition Can Help Prevent Chronic Diseases

by Eleanor Kurtus, PhD (revised 10 August 2015)

Chronic disease is related to lifestyle, which includes things like what you eat and whether you exercise or not. Having a chronic disease is expensive both money-wise and in relation to quality of life. Many chronic diseases are preventable and nutrition plays a key role.

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This lesson will answer those questions. Health Disclaimer



Prevalence of chronic degenerative disease

The leading cause of death in the United States is chronic degenerative diseases.  These are persistent conditions that develop slowly and swallow 75% of all health care costs.  They compromise quality of life and lead to premature death and disability.  These chronic conditions are heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, respiratory diseases and oral conditions.

In the United States alone, 64 million people have cardiovascular disease and 70% of adults are overweight.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death followed by cancer, strokes and pulmonary disease.

Prevention of chronic diseases

The chronic conditions listed above - heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, respiratory disease and oral conditions - are for the most part preventable.

Much of the illness, suffering and early death is caused by four modifiable risk factors:  poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption.  The CDC reports that the chronic diseases listed above are among the most preventable and that “there is indisputable evidence for the power of prevention”.  Nutritional excellence is a key factor in prevention and recovery.

Facts on nutrition

Here are some facts related to poor nutrition and quality nutrition:

Some facts related to poor nutrition

Quick facts about quality nutrition

Summary

Nutrient-dense foods are important in helping to avoid chronic diseases.  Other important factors are physical activity, absence of tobacco use and moderation with alcohol.

References

Fuhrman, J. (2011). Eat to live: The amazing nutrient-rich program for fast and sustained weight loss. New York: Little Brown and Company.

Higdon, J. (2007). An evidence-based approach to dietary phytochemicals. New York: Thieme.

The complete CDC report may be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or through this link http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/pdf/2009-Power-of-Prevention.pdf


Eat hardy; eat healthy


Resources and references

Author's Credentials

Websites

Dr. Joel Fuhrman - "How to live, for life" website

Nutrition Resources

Books

An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals by Jane Higdon; Thieme (2007)

Super Immunity by Dr. Joel Fuhrmann (2012)

Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Dr. Joel Fuhrmann (2007)


Comments and questions

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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