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Disease and Diet

Aside from aging itself, nutrition is perhaps indirectly the most important factor in the cause of disease and death. High calorie consumption usually leads to overweight and obesity, a primary driver of disease. Overweight can lead to high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes; along with bad trans and saturated fats and too much cholesterol (when it leads to high LDL in the blood), these increase risk for vascualar problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, kidney diseases. and maybe even Alzheimer's disease. Obesity, bad fats and carcinogens in food can also promote cancer, while the vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables, some of which are antioxidants, as well as some whole grain elements, fiber and healthy unsaturated fats can protect against cancers, vascular diseases and perhaps Alzheimer's disease. Good nutrition, especially water, fruit and vegetable consumption can also help keep the immune system strong, aiding in the prevention of cancer or infection related deaths.

Rank
Number
Notes
Nutrition factors
All
All Causes
2,416,425
1,989,841 in 1980
Baby Boomers are aging; is obesity playing a role?
1
Diseases of the heart (heart attacks, heart failure, congential and valve problems)
700,142
Decline since 1980
2
Malignant neoplasms (cancers)
553,768
416,509 in 1980
3
Cerebrovascular disease (stroke)
163,538
Decline since 1980
Like heart disease: blood pressure, atherosclerosis
4
Chronic lower respiratory diseases (lung diseases)
123,013
5
Unintentional injuries ('accidents')
101,537
Top cause of death in youth (many car-related)
6
Diabetes mellitus ('sugar')
71,372
34,851 in 1980
High calorie (obesity) diet leads to type 2 diabetes, high simple carbs problem
7
Influenza and pneumonia
62,034
8
Alzheimer's disease
53,852
Not in top 10 in 1980
9
Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome, Nephrosis (kidney diseases)
39,480
Not in top 10 in 1980
10
Septicemia (blood infection)
32,238

While good nutrition is critical, it will not keep you healthy in and of itself. Consistent physical activity, sleep and stress management are also critical for weight management, blood pressure control and a healthy immune system. Furthermore, being aware of your environment will help you avoid accidents, infections and harmful toxins.

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

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