Modern Lifestyle and Health

Lifestyle disorder diseases / Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are diet-related chronic diseases and the main ones include obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancers. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than nine million deaths worldwide attributed to NCDs occur before the age of 60.
Your background, lifestyle, and the environment are all factors that are known to affect your chances of developing certain NCDs. Some factors are well within our control and we can choose to reduce our risk of NCDs if we take the appropriate actions. The factors that are within our control basically involve our lifestyle, which includes physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking, excessive stress and excessive alcohol intake.
Lack of control of these factors results in raised blood glucose, high blood lipids, raised blood pressure, and overweight or obesity. Most of us just seem to be oblivious to the truth and continue to indulge in an unhealthy lifestyle. The proof of this is in the rising statistics for the risk factors of NCDs.
Now let us talk about the three major factors that influence the onset of these diseases:

It’s not easy to make a major lifestyle change. It takes time to form new habits. By understanding the stages of change, starting small and setting realistic goals, you can learn to make healthier choices and in the process, reduce your risk for chronic disease. A few steps one can take towards a lifestyle change are as follows:

Limit your intake of alcohol.
Drinking too much alcohol can put you at risk for many kinds of cancer. Moderate drinking means an average of one drink for women or two drinks for men per day.

Reduce your stress.
Take time to relax. Stress can raise your cholesterol level and blood pressure and lead to heart attack and stroke. Stress is also a trigger for mental health problems like depression. See your healthcare provider for help in managing stress.

Be screened or tested regularly.
Report any new signs and symptoms to your healthcare provider. It’s also important to know your body and have regular check-ups to measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In many cases the earlier a problem is detected, the easier it is to treat.

Be a non-smoker and avoid second hand smoke.
If you smoke, get help to quit. Smoking is the major cause of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and lung cancer. It is also a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. It’s never too late to quit and reduce your risk.

Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a condition in which you have some combination of too much fat around the waist, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, or high blood sugar. Research shows being physically active lowers your risk for three types of cancer: colon, breast and lung cancers.Regular physical activity helps with arthritis and other conditions affecting the joints. As you age, it’s important to protect your bones, joints and muscles. Not only do they support your body and help you move, but keeping bones, joints and muscles healthy can help ensure that you’re able to do your daily activities and be physically active.

There’s no denying the health benefits that come from nutritious diets. Incorporating a healthy diet into your lifestyle will automatically reduce your risk for serious, life-threatening diseases.
The body requires proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to maintain healthy organs, bones, muscles, and nerves, and to produce hormones and chemicals that are necessary for the proper function of organs. Vitamins and minerals are both necessary (in small amounts) for normal chemical reactions (metabolism) in the body.

These guidelines recommend that a healthy diet should include:

  • Make half your grains whole.
  • Vary your veggies.
  • Focus on fruit.
  • Get your calcium-rich foods.
  • Go lean with protein.

Obesity and heart attacks are major public-health problems, following a healthy diet will prevent diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, obesity, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. It will also help control /or treat chronic diseases and conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, sleep apnea , and celiac disease.
A balanced diet will also help you to maintain health by preventing loss of muscle strength, bone mass, and vitamin deficiency states.