Eat To Live Or Live To Eat: Incorporating Healthy Eating Habits

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Incorporating a healthy lifestyle in my life by choosing to make better food choices and exercising consistently and whole heartedly can be a major factor in increasing my life span for the future. By choosing to live a healthier lifestyle I hope to live longer and be around to see the grand kids I hope to have some day grow up and leave behind a legacy they can be proud of. Bestselling author Marla Heller who is a registered dietician and wrote the number one overall diet book The Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution advocates it is the best eating plan to control weight and improve health for life by lowering blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, improving heart health and banishing that hard to get rid of belly fat once and for all. (citation)

I selected the Dash Diet Mediterranean Solution book for my review because hypertension, heart disease, lupus, diabetes and obesity have been found in members of my family. It’s hard for me to get away from the fact that I already have one strike against because I’m already pre disposed based on my family history. And not to mention that myself included are already on blood pressure medication, overweight, don’t exercise and eat as healthy as I should and have placed myself at risk to die from metabolic syndrome. I believe the eating plan discussed in the book can be a way to assist in controlling and lowering your blood pressure without having to take medication. The diet is a great way to decrease high amounts of unnecessary sodium in your diet by incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy choices. This diet not only helps to prevent or treat high blood pressure, but it also helps you to eat less foods with high cholesterol and saturated fats. By decreasing or limiting unhealthy additives and ingredients into our bodies we can decrease our chances of dying from disease, lose and control our weight, feel better about ourselves, have more energy and stamina to live longer and on track to the path of a healthier lifestyle.

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Today, many early deaths in the United States are preventable and nutrition-related. According to an analysis of risk factors over the period 1990–2010, the leading cause of early death and disability in the United States is diet.[1] The authors note: “The most important dietary risks in the United States are diets low in fruits, low in nuts and seeds, high in sodium, high in processed meats, low in vegetables, and high in trans fats.” Unfortunately, pharmacological and procedural interventions are more common than dietary interventions. Diet is often viewed as more difficult to implement as it is an intrinsic part of culture, family, and self-identity.

Reducing the risks for cancer In the book stated that some types of cancer are based on genetic mutations but many of our cancer risks come from our lifestyle factor such as smoking, eating a diet of junk food, excessive alcohol consumption, too much exposure to sunlight and inactivity which are all choices we make as individuals but can change. ( book 55)It also mentions the concern of food additives and pesticides which is a major public concern of how our food is being grown in the U.S today. That’s why a lot of people have turned to buying organic and trying to implement a plant-based diet into their daily nutrition to battle inflammation, insulin resistance, belly fat, and weight loss to reduce their chances of getting cancer. 

Last year I blamed the food we eat on my fibroids and breast cancer scare. When I was called back to the doctors office to re do my mammogram twice I was so worried and the first thing I said was that its all the pesticides and food additives the farmers are using to grow our food. According to U.S and World Heart Organization a higher body mass index makes you Metabolically Obese and at risks for heart disease. My BMI of 31.9 puts me at being obese but I feel I am overweight and need to shed a few pounds but not technically “ metabolically obese” as stated in the book. I was told by my weight loss doctor that according to my BMI I needed to get my weight down to at least 135 pounds according to my height to be healthy. Im currently 180 pounds and cant even imagine losing 45 pounds right now; my ideal weight for a curvy black female of my stature is no less that 160 pounds.

In prospective cohort studies the Mediterranean diet has been associated with lower risk for cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Similar findings were reported for the PREDIMED study, a randomised controlled trial of the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or nuts. The primary endpoint of cardiovascular events was about 30% lower in the intervention groups than in the control group, and analyses of secondary endpoints support benefits for peripheral artery disease, atrial fibrillation, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet generally refers to a diet encouraging high intake of fruits, nuts and seeds, vegetables, fish, legumes, and cereals and limiting the intake of meat and dairy products. Moderate intake of alcohol and olive oil as a major fat source have also been considered key components.

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