The epidemic of chronic diseases in both underdeveloped and developed countries is associated with lifestyle and dietary changes. Changes in diet and lifestyle result from rapid industrialization, economic growth, and market globalization. Millions of people have been victims of diet-related chronic diseases due to unhealthy dietary habits, decreased physical activity, and increased tobacco usage. They can lead to a high patient influx causing a burden on healthcare systems. Undoubtedly, chronic diseases are a critical public health problem that affects people all over the world.
Chronic diseases are caused mainly by repeated involvement in three consistent behaviors, unhealthy diet intake, being physically inactive, and smoking. But you can lower the risk of developing chronic illness and increase your quality of life by making healthier choices. Healthy habits can help reduce or alter the effects of high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and so forth. The leading causes of death worldwide are due to the following chronic diseases:
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Chronic obstructive lung disease
- Coronary Artery Disease
However, all of these chronic problems are preventable by treating the underlying cause: Routine Behaviors. Dietary changes can affect one’s current health and chances of developing such diseases in the future too.
Health literacy is becoming increasingly critical in the field of public health. The world needs more trained and qualified healthcare professionals to cater to the growing demands of the industry. However, there is a global shortage of trained personnel in the healthcare sector leading to poor health outcomes. Several healthcare professionals are now opting for masters in healthcare leadership programs for a future-focused initiative, eliminating growing health issues. Organizations today place a greater emphasis on leadership capable of ensuring the long-term viability and quality transformations.
Prevention of Chronic diseases
We have made a list of the following necessary transformations in your daily habits to prevent chronic diseases:
1. Healthy Consumption
The impact of dietary factors on the risk of CVD, renal stones, cancer, diabetes, cataracts, dental disease, and congenital disabilities is under consideration. It is also evident by research that nutritional deficiency increases the risk of chronic and infectious diseases. Dietary improvements are both quantitative and qualitative. The following is a list of six dietary factors having significant health consequences.
Replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats
The risk of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is reduced by replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats. It decreases high cholesterol levels in the body. Thus, incorporating sources of Omega-3 fatty acids into the diet can prove beneficial. Higher trans-fat consumption increases the risk of type-2 diabetes.
Generous consumption of fruits and vegetables
Higher consumption of energy-rich and healthy fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of CAD and stroke. The intake of potassium also contributes to the advantage, but folic acid is likely to play a significant role. Fortunately, fruits and vegetables are a rich source of calcium and vitamins that prevents constipation and colon diseases.
Consuming cereals and fewer calories
Consumption of cereals in whole-grain, high fiber form has many advantages. It facilitates weight control and helps in the prevention of CAD and Diabetes-2. Consumption of high calories is a cause of obesity and overweight. Limiting the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is significant to control metabolic syndromes.
Limit Sodium Intake
The effect of sodium on blood pressure, a significant risk factor for stroke and CVD, is the primary reason for sodium restriction. The World Health Organization recommends a daily sodium limit of less than 5grams. One of the most cost-effective steps countries can take to boost population health outcomes is to reduce salt consumption.
2. Maintain regular physical activity
The modern living standards in developed nations have limited the opportunities for physical exertion, whether at home or commuting to work. Physical activities may aid in the prevention, delay, or management of chronic diseases. Physical inactivity is associated with excessive hours spent watching TV or scrolling social media. However, many of our body’s systems benefit from movement. Regular physical activity helps in weight loss and prevents obesity.
You can practice different exercises at home like brisk walking, aerobics, biking, and yard work. Besides, there are several muscle strengthening exercises like crunching, squats, and elastic bands. They’re best if you work all of the body’s big muscle groups at the same time.
3. Quit smoking and alcohol
Tobacco addiction and alcohol abuse are some of the most common causes of chronic diseases. Smoking has the potential to shorten your lifespan drastically. Vaping delivers more concentration of nicotine than cigarettes, in contrast. Moreover, excessive drinking can result in high blood pressure, cancers, heart disease, stroke, and liver disease over time. Studies have found that people who drink have a habit of smoking too.
Quitting both habits requires ample time. By not engaging in both behaviors, you can concentrate on breaking one habit at a time, which can be overwhelming at first. Cutting back a little each day might help. Water can suffice as a spacer between the drinks.
4. Get enough sleep and relieve stress
Stress is a reaction to adversity and difficulties in everyday life. It has a mental, physical, and behavioral effect on us. Stress in moderation can be a motivating force to remain positive and remain energized. However, excessive stress can lead to poor sleep patterns, deteriorating health in the long run. Additionally, not getting proper sleep results in headaches, anxiety, fatigue, appetite loss, and back pain. It eventually becomes the reason for uncontrolled illnesses. Therefore, it is mandatory to manage stress and sleep.
You can handle stress by assessing its cause. Limit alcohol and caffeine to improve the quality of sleep. Involve yourself in physical exertion and put digital devices away before sleeping. Similarly, wake up early, set a sleep routine, and practice mindfulness and gratitude to help relieve stressors.
The human body needs continuous care and attention. A slight deviation from the acceptable behaviors will lead to negative consequences in life. Hence, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to sustaining body functioning. Belongingness is also essential for emotional and mental well-being, plus a nutritious diet, physical activeness, and avoiding harmful substances. Also, enabling people to make informed choices and developing strategic actions to promote healthy diets should be incorporated in policy formulations.