You are what you eat
Most would agree that good nutrition, along with a well-balanced diet and physical activity are important pieces to leading a healthy lifestyle.
The general understanding is that diet and exercise can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer) and promote your overall health. However, trying to maintain a sense of control over our lives can become increasingly difficult as we grapple with the rigorous demands of work and family.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention U.S. Obesity Trends report, researchers found that unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States; about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8 percent) are obese, and approximately 12.5 million (17 percent) of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 are obese.
Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death. These illnesses include heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer. Making smart food choices, helps protect you from health problems.
health enews sat down with Dr. Ian Smith, member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and a health and nutrition expert, to chat about advice on how to live your healthiest life:
“If I had to write one prescription for overall health, it would be 30 to 40 minutes per day, five days a week, of moderate physical activity,” says Dr. Smith.
Mark Parsons, an exercise physiologist at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., agrees.
“A sedentary lifestyle is the strongest predictor for coronary heart disease — more so than for high blood pressure, hypertension, obesity and cholesterol, combined,” he says.
Dr. Smith also offers these five helpful tips on diet, nutrition, exercise and physical fitness:
1) Try to do everything in moderation.
2) Eat smaller meals.
3) Eat frequently.
4) Snack well.
5) Stay physically and mentally active.
Along with this advice, Dr. Smith suggests that we try and consume five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, as well as increase our fiber and protein intake.
To learn more from Dr. Ian Smith and other healthy tips, check out this video interview.
About the Author
health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.