Dietary Management’s Role in Chronic Disease Prevention

As the number of Americans living with cardiometabolic diseases seems to rise each year, it has never been more critical to understand dietary management’s role in chronic disease prevention. Although it is not new news that better nutrition is recommended for a healthy lifestyle, it is now considered by many professionals to play a more pronounced role in chronic disease prevention. This means that improvements in diet could potentially enrich a person’s overall quality of life, as well as add years to it.

Signs of Cardiometabolic Disease

A cardiometabolic disease is one that involves a number of health issues centered around both cardiovascular conditions as well as metabolic dysfunction.

These diseases can be characterized by cardiovascular conditions such as:

  • Angina
  • Heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Other disorders

A combination of metabolic dysfunctions such as the following are often associated with cardiometabolic disease:

  • Belly fat
  • Diabetes
  • Inefficient glucose tolerance
  • Insulin resistance

The Negative Effects of Cardiometabolic and Chronic Disease

The combination of the above conditions that may signal the existence of a cardiometabolic disease can have two staggering effects on an individual:

  1. Fewer years without disability. Experiencing a stroke, heart attack, or diabetes can leave an individual with some disabilities. A heart attack may leave the organ weaker and less efficient. A stroke may leave an individual without normal use of certain parts of the body. Diabetes requires the patient closely monitor their daily health to prevent an emergency situation.
  2. A reduced lifespan. While some strokes and heart attacks may leave an individual simply impaired, some can be fatal.

While healthcare technology is constantly evolving to create scientific breakthroughs, there has yet to be a “magic pill” invented that can reduce the risk of serious conditions related to cardiometabolic disease such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

Without a comprehensive breakthrough treatment in sight, the focus needs to shift to more proactive measures in preventing cardiometabolic disease such as dietary management.

Prevention of Cardiometabolic and Chronic Disease

The steps an individual takes to ensure they have an optimum chance to live a long and healthy life surrounded by the people they love all starts with prevention.

While it is never too late to start taking better care of yourself and your current state of health (whatever that is), being proactive in prevention typically yields better quality and longevity of life. The best place to start can be making key lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Avoiding tobacco use. This requires refraining from smoking tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. For individuals who are already tobacco users, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional about how best to kick the habit.
  • Exercising roughly thirty minutes a day at a moderate to vigorous level. This does not require a gym membership and may be as easy as walking around the neighborhood or riding a stationary bike for thirty minutes a day.
  • Controlling cholesterol levels. If an individual’s cholesterol levels are high, it can be a good idea to reduce the intake of red meat and other foods that are high in saturated fat.
  • Diagnosing and treating pre-diabetes or diabetes. To help combat the onset of diabetes, eat a well-balanced diet, stay active, and closely monitor blood pressure levels.
  • Treating hypertension. The first step can be knowing what your blood pressure level is. If it is high, it may require more attention to eating a low sodium diet that is rich in nutrients and being active daily.
  • Maintaining a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 25 or under. This is generally done by a combination of eating nutritious and low-calorie foods as well as regularly exercising.
  • Eating a balanced diet. There is promising research underway that may show dietary management to be one of the most effective tools in terms of lifestyle changes for preventing cardiometabolic disease.

Dietary Management’s Role in Chronic Disease Prevention

Dietary management plays a key role in at least half of the above lifestyle changes recommended in preventing cardiometabolic and chronic disease prevention. This is the reason why this change alone might have the greatest capacity to prevent premature onset of disability, disease, and death.

Diabetes, for which the management of relies heavily on an individual’s diet, is thought to increase the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adults by up to two and half to five times.

According to a 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of various nutrition patterns on diabetes noted that diets such as Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Nordic, DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), and Portfolio are likely helpful in:

  • Reducing the risk for diabetes
  • Managing existing diabetes
  • Lowering the risk and effect of conditions such as obesity, stroke, and cardiovascular disease
  • Reducing inflammation in the body (which may mean a lower risk of chronic pain)
  • Improving a person’s overall quality of life

A separate 2019 systematic review found that better dietary management may even impact disorders typically associated with cognitive decline, such as dementia, for which there is currently no cure. Specifically, the authors of this review found that the DASH diet, the Mediterranean diet, and a combination of the two known by the acronym MIND (Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) were somewhat effective in possibly improving cognitive function.

How A Kingwood Chiropractor Can Help with Dietary Management’s Role in Chronic Disease Prevention

In addition to staying active, many chiropractors also find that eating a balanced diet can help reduce common aches and pains as well as other chronic health problems.

If you are actively working on chronic disease prevention, a professional chiropractor can walk a patient through proper dietary management’s role in doing so. While good nutrition should be a staple for all people looking to live a healthier lifestyle, a chiropractor can use a patient’s physical evaluation, current state of health, and health goals to help tailor dietary management to the individual.

Understanding dietary management’s role in chronic disease prevention can be empowering for the average individual struggling with related aches and pains. Take control of your health again by making an appointment with a reputable and licensed chiropractor and discover how the right foods may be part of the solution you are looking for.