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Sounds reasonable. But is it really that simple?
Like much of life, eating healthy isn’t one-size-fits all. There may be basics that many can agree on, like drinking more water and eating more fruits and vegetables. But what is best for your body and your health depends on many things that aren’t the same for everyone. Your age and activity level are factors in choosing the best things to eat and how much.
And some serious, chronic health problems can be significantly impacted by your food choices. For health issues like arthritis, cancer, heart disease or diabetes, what foods you choose may help or worsen your health.
If you have arthritis, your body has chronic inflammation. And what you eat can either help your symptoms or add to the problem.
Following an anti-inflammatory diet can help. In general, regularly eating certain vegetables, fruits and oils can help relieve symptoms. The Mediterranean diet is one example of an anti-inflammatory eating plan.
Certain foods and ingredients can make your arthritis symptoms worse. The Arthritis Foundation suggests that you watch out for these ingredients:
To help avoid foods and drinks that can make your arthritis symptoms worse, be sure to read food labels.
While foods may not prevent cancer, some foods may help you lower your risk. Research shows that making certain healthy food choices routinely over time can cut your risk of getting cancer.
To reduce your risk:
Many foods have broad health benefits in addition to improving your heart health. Nutrient-rich foods have good things like minerals, vitamins, protein and more. They are lower in calories, which can help you control your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol, all vital for a healthy heart.
Try a variety of fruits and vegetables and get most of your protein from beans, skinless poultry and fish. If you choose to eat red meat, select the leanest cuts. Pick low-fat dairy products and non-tropical vegetable oils.
One heart-healthy eating plan is DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). The Mediterranean diet is another. But you can also craft your own plan based on your calorie goals and personal and cultural food choices.
Looking for power foods for heart health? The Cleveland Clinic has a list of some foods packed with heart disease-fighting nutrients. Having more of these super foods in your diet may help you reduce your risk of heart disease:
If you have diabetes, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests that you work with your doctor or health team to create a meal plan.
Some general steps to take:
There is a lot of information out there about eating healthy. But that doesn’t mean the same things for everyone. To help find out what your individual needs are, talk to your doctor.
Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting itself.
But too strong an answer from your immune system can harm healthy parts of your body, leading to serious health problems. Conditions like arthritis, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, inflammatory bowel disease and Alzheimer’s are all related to chronic inflammation.
What Foods Should You Avoid?Some foods can make the situation worse. Overly processed foods, sugary drinks and too much alcohol can make chronic inflammation worse over time. Limit things like cakes, cookies and soda.
Also watch out for high-fat and processed meats. And take a pass on high-fat dairy items and fried foods.
What Foods Should You Eat? Harvard Medical School suggests eating more:
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