Chronic disease prevention

Health, Nutrition
fruit in heart shape

How to prevent chronic diseases

It’s not your genes. except in a very limited number of cases.

It’s not bad luck.

It’s the food you eat.

Does what you eat affect chronic diseases?

Decades of scientific research has shown that with your food choices, you have immense power over your health.  For example, simple changes in diet and lifestyle may help prevent more than 90% of type 2 diabetes, 80% of coronary heart disease, and 70% of colon cancer. These changes involve increasing the amount of plant-based meals you eat. It means reducing the amount of sugar, meat (particularly processed food) that you buy.  It also means eating more beans and seeds.

Ultra-processed foods include packaged baked goods and snacks, fizzy drinks, sugary cereals, ready meals containing food additives, and reconstituted meat and fish products — often containing high levels of added sugar, fat and salt, but are lacking in vitamins and fibre. Researchers have found that higher intake of ultra-processed food is associated with a higher risk of  irritable bowel disease and other health problems. Processed meat increases your chances of developing cancer.

Sadly most of the main medical charities are promoting the idea that we can beat cancer or help diabetics or reduce coronary heart disease by finding more and better drugs. They promote the idea that the reason people are dying of cancer is because we are not spending enough money researching effective drug solutions.

How to reduce cancer risks

I’m not suggesting these endeavours stop – they can be life-saving. I am suggesting that the main medical charities spend a lot more of the money they raise promoting what people can do to reduce the risk of getting cancer, diabetes and heart disease in the first place. That’s a better diet (largely or entirely plant-based), giving up smoking, reducing excess alcohol intake, achieving a healthier weight and body shape and taking exercise and reducing stress levels. Sounds like a lot? Don’t try to do everything at once. Take one thing and achieve that then add more and more.

I know it’s easier to believe a pill is the answer rather than personal responsibility, but all the facts show it’s better to prevent these chronic diseases rather than have to treat them with often debilitating and toxic treatments.

Of course, governments also have a part to play in reducing pollution, making it easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists; corporations have a part to play too – reducing the amount of sugar and empty calories etc. in food. But you could die while you wait for those changes to happen.