Thursday, November 18, 2010

What You Eat Today Affects Your Future Health

Heart disease is a young person's disease in an older person's body. It doesn't happen over night, and it doesn't happen as a result of age - it happens as a result of inappropriate diet and lifestyle choices that stem from youth through adolescence and eventually, one day, kick you in the butt when you're older.

The funny thing about this fact is that when we're in our teens and twenties especially, poor diet and lifestyle choices are trendy! Now, the American Heart Association has come out with new research that more clearly illustrates the fact that a high sodium intake during adolescence - you know, when it's cool - is strongly associated with heart disease and hypertension in adulthood. In fact, they showed that on average, adolescents take in a whopping nine grams of sodium each day! I can't fathom -- the recommendation is no more than 2300mg, but 1500mg is the ideal goal. They're taking in nearly 4x the 'looser' recommendation and 6x the best recommendation.

Now don't worry, there is always room for improvement when it comes to poor diet and lifestyle choices - it's never too late to make a change for better health, but just think about some of the things young people (not exclusively) say: "hey, do you have a smoke?" or "I'm gonna go get a double down sandwich, it's so gross and bad for you -- you have to try one!" or "I'm so lazy" or"We're gonna drink so much tonight, then eat Chinese food, then chips and then go to bed at 4am". Yep - it's not pretty. We've all seen and heard it. We put our bodies through a lot of bad stuff, especially when we're young, and yet we are still surprised later on when we get sick.

You can still add many years of good health to your life by taking action as soon as possible, instead of waiting until things get're not 'doomed'! So go on, get active, cut back on that salt and saturated fat, eat more frequent and smaller meals, lose those few extra pounds on your tummy, get more rest, reduce your alcohol intake to 1-2 standard drinks per day, and eat more fruits and veggies! Any or all of the above can yield amazing health benefits - the more the better.


thedocsquawk said...

Finally, some sound advice on health prevention in the blogosphere. Thanks!