Millions of Americans are living with diabetes, obesity, and heart disease—conditions that health experts say all have one thing in common. “They are all preventable through nutrition and lifestyle,” said Erika Graziani, a dietitian and Outpatient Nutrition Program Coordinator with Lee Health.
Changing your lifestyle can start by changing your diet. “Predominately plant-based diets can not only help the condition of diabetes and heart disease but in some cases, it can actually reverse it,” she said.
Start by making small changes to your diet by adding more fruits and vegetables, increasing your fiber, drinking more water, and staying away from processed foods. Adding more physical activity and movement into your daily routine can not only reduce your risk for a chronic disease it can also help you feel better. “It boosts those endorphins, it increases your confidence, it helps to reduce and relieve stress,” said Graziani.
And to keep you from losing your motivation, find someone to keep you positive, focused, and accountable. “Having that support-- often I hear that the motivation fizzles out because the support is not there,” she said.
Try setting weekly goals to keep you focused on improving your health. “It’s good to assess your goals and make sure that they’re realistic for you and not too big. When you start too big, and you don’t get it you feel like you’re failing,” Graziani said.
Just a few ways you can improve your health and lower your risk for chronic disease. time and money— but it can also help children develop a healthy lifestyle.