Your body is what you eat! Out of various parameters responsible for your fitness, diet obviously plays a major role. It is a well-known fact that diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity can be triggered due to wrong dietary patterns along with other guiding factors.
Risk Of Chronic Diseases
Researchers have found correlations between certain foods and the risk of chronic diseases; however, it cannot be ascertained that removing these foods completely from your diet can give you disease-free life as there are many other factors responsible for the condition too.
Furthermore, new groundbreaking studies have ascertained that plant-based diet is a lot healthier option than a non-plant-based diet, predominantly due to less meat consumption and eating more fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals.
Frequent consumption of foods high in phytochemicals can increase the lifespan of an individual as well as reverse symptoms of chronic disease.
On the contrary, a high intake of red and processed meat has been linked to increased risk of certain non-communicable diseases.
Cancer is the second largest cause for death globally annually and it is estimated that the cancer mortality rate would increase by 72% between 2018 and 2040. Researchers claim that almost 70-80% of the cases can be attributed to dietary factors.
Frequent consumption of red meat has been linked to colorectal cancer which is the second leading cause for cancer-related mortality. Similarly, processed meat consumption has been linked to stomach and bowel cancer.
As per claims, cooking meat at high temperatures can produce certain chemicals like Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Heterocyclic Aromatic Amines (HAA’s) that can cause colorectal cancer. Also, salts like sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, used for preserving certain foods can damage the stomach lining and eventually lead to stomach cancer.
Cardiovascular disease (CVDs) like coronary heart diseases, stroke, peripheral arterial diseases etc. are quite often linked to certain dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyle.
Certain harmful substances found in red & processed meat like carnitine, haem iron and saturated fats are known to clogged arteries and are linked to heart diseases and also increase the risk of chronic diseases.
Carnitine for example is a compound found in red meat, that can break down the guts in the microbes and produce a chemical referred as trimethylamine, which is further converted to Trimethylamine-N-oxide(TMAO). This compound alters the cholesterol metabolism of organs and hence increases the LDL levels.
Also, salts found either in animal tissues or used for food preservation is not good for heart health too. It increases the blood pressure levels and affects the overall functioning of heart.
Another cause for CVD is haem iron, found in red and processed meat. It is known to increase the risk of CVD by 57%.
Diabetes, another infamous chronic disease and the seventh biggest cause of death globally. Certain dietary changes are not just effective in reducing the chances of diabetes, but also important for successful regulation.
Just like CVD, saturated and trans fatty acids found in meat and dairy products can affect the insulin sensitivity adversely. Studies have also found a co-relation between consumption of refined grains and diabetes in Asia. Foods with high glycemic index like sugary foods and beverages, white rice, white bread and sugar sweetened beverages also cause diabetes.
Furthermore, cooking meat at high temperatures is known to produce chemicals like nitrosamines that can decrease insulin secretion capacity of pancreatic Beta cells.
Obesity needs no introduction and uncovering the link between unhealthy food consumption and obesity is not rock science either. It is a major risk factor for diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
Major triggers of Obesity are saturated fats, animal protein, refined carbohydrates, processed foods and sugary drinks. Excess consumption of the above foods results in fat accumulation and increased cholesterol levels.
Different food groups have different effect on your body. Above correlation of food and diseases have made more people adopt plant foods. It is important to combine right food groups in your diet to get nurture your health better. It is right said – Eat healthy stay healthy!