Two of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke are high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Consuming too much sodium can increase blood pressure and the risk for heart disease and stroke. Current guidelines recommend getting less than 2,300 mg a day, but Americans consume more than 3,400 mg a day on average.

Over 70% of the sodium that Americans eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought, and restaurant foods. Eating foods low in saturated fats and high in fiber and increasing access to low-sodium foods, along with regular physical activity, can help prevent high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure. (1)

Type 2 Diabetes

People who are overweight or have obesity are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those at a normal weight because, over time, their bodies become less able to use the insulin they make. Of US adults, 88 million—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes, and more than 8 in 10 of them don’t know they have it. Although incidence has decreased in recent years, the number of adults with diagnosed diabetes has nearly doubled in the last 2 decades as the US population has increased, aged, and become more overweight. (1)

Cancer

An unhealthy diet can increase the risk of some cancers. Overweight and obesity are associated with at least 13 types of cancer, including endometrial (uterine) cancer, breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and colorectal cancer. These cancers make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed. (1)

Yes, bad things do happen to good people.

Of course, there are a few who have lived perfect lives and still had health problems. It would be ignorant to believe otherwise. However, the vast majority of us do have control over our health, but choose to do nothing to improve it.

Cigarette smoking is known to trash our lungs and cause cancer, but people still choose to light up.

Overeating of poor foods that create preventable illness over time is a matter of personal choices. The cost of healthy foods appears to be higher than the cost of cheap low nutrition foods. However, the resulting cost of healthcare from poor nutrition voids the money saved at the grocery store in a big way. We can choose what we place into our grocery cart and what we stock our pantries with. No one is forcing any of us to eat foods with added sugars, more specifically, processed foods. Remember, foods with fewer ingredients are almost always going to be the healthiest for us.

If you can’t afford healthcare, you can’t afford to be sedentary.

Physical inactivity, along with alcohol and tobacco use along with poor nutrition, are increasingly becoming part of today’s lifestyle. These factors are leading to the rapid rise of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, or obesity. Chronic diseases caused by these risk factors are now the leading causes of death in almost every part of world.

It costs you nothing to get up and move your body. Going for a daily walk has a great cost to benefit ratio. When you choose to take walks, you get the most restorative exercise there is for absolutely nothing but your time. Think about this article the next time you consider how the high cost of health care affects you. When we can’t afford healthcare, we also can’t afford to not take take care of our own health. It is a given that when you live a sedentary lifestyle and consume unhealthy foods every day of your life, there will eventually be consequences.

Life is all about choices, choose wisely my friends.

David’s Way to Health and Fitness can also be found on Facebook. Look for us at Fit and Healthy living with David’s Way!

(1)  https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/nutrition.htm