Health is wealth. This common saying holds a lot of weight because it has truth behind it.
But what exactly is disease prevention and how can you prevent diseases from happening? Integrative medicine physician Irina Todorov, MD, offers nine ways to prevent diseases and how to take care of yourself so you can live your healthiest, best life.
“For good health and disease prevention, avoid ultra-processed foods and eat homemade meals prepared with basic ingredients,” says Dr. Todorov.
A study publishedin 2019 concluded that consumption of more than 4 servings of ultra-processed food was associated with a 62% increased hazard for all-cause mortality. For each additional serving, all-caused mortality increased to 18%. These foods can cause chronic inflammation, a normal bodily process gone awry that can contribute to heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
“It’s crucial to read food labels carefully,” warns Dr. Todorov. “Most foods that come in a package have more than five ingredients or have ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Many foods labeled as diet, healthy, sugar free or fat free can be bad for you.”
What do all healthy diets have in common? They consist of fruits and vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains like quinoa, brown rice and steel-cut oats, nuts and seeds and healthy oils like extra-virgin olive oil.
“A great example of a healthy eating pattern is the Mediterranean diet,” says Dr. Todorov. “Talk to your doctor or dietitian to help create a meal plan that works for you.”
When checking your cholesterol, your test results will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per decilitre. It’s crucial to get your cholesterol checked because your doctor will be able to advise you on how to maintain healthy levels, which in turn lowers your chances of getting heart disease and stroke.
Do you have high blood pressure? Even if you don’t think so, keep reading. Based on data published from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 45% of adults in the United States have hypertension defined as systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure or are taking medication for hypertension.
Normal blood pressure is definedas blood pressure