Everything we do either helps or hurts us, including what we eat!!

every bite either fights disease or feeds it.jpg

Remember, whether talking about performance OR mitigating chronic disease risk(cancer, CVD/hypertension, diabetes, etc.), what we put into our bodies will dictate what we get out of them! Some foods will be good for performance, yet increase chronic disease risk. Likewise some foods have the potential to decrease risk of disease, but also hinder performance. There are even cases where a food or beverage could decrease risk of one disease while increasing risk for another. Take Alcohol for example, did you know that moderate alcohol consumption(roughly 1 and 2 drinks per day for women and men, respectively) has been shown to decrease CVD(heart disease) risk? Also, contrary to popular belief, any alcohol will have this effect, not just wine. It was previously thought that only wine had this effect due to the grapes used, but research has shown that the alcohol itself is what is helping to mitigate CVD risk. On the other hand, if you look at alcohol consumption and cancer risk, you’ll see a positive linear correlation between the two(as consumption goes up, so does risk).
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Moral of the story? MODERATION. Americans are notorious for over-eating, but that’s no surprise if you look at our obesity and chronic disease rates. The best thing we can all do is begin being more conscious of what we are eating and how much. Work toward building a consistent, well-balanced diet by starting with minor changes. Changing everything at once will not be enjoyable for you, and is very hard to maintain. Many who take this approach make no progress at all, or fall off the diet and end up right back where they started. A better approach is to estimate how much of each food group YOU need daily, and make a list of all of the foods in those groups that you ENJOY eating. Start with minor changes, and progress toward bigger ones. For more help determining your personal daily needs, what foods fall under each category, and how much of a specific food is required to meet your needs, check out the free information at choosemyplate.gov.
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