This is the #1 Cause of Death and Here’s How to Avoid it  — Eat This Not That

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By Ghuman


Eating healthy is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Unfortunately, poor diet is the number one cause of death in the United States. Eating the wrong foods can lead to a variety of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to make sure you’re eating the right foods. In this article, we’ll discuss the top cause of death in the US and how to avoid it by eating the right foods. We’ll also provide some tips on how to make healthier food choices and how to incorporate them into your daily diet. So, if you’re looking to improve your health and reduce your risk of death, read on to learn more about how to eat This Not That.

This is the #1 Cause of Death and Here’s How to Avoid it — Eat This Not That

Death is an inevitable part of life, but there are certain things we can do to reduce our risk of dying prematurely. According to the World Health Organization, the leading cause of death worldwide is cardiovascular disease, which accounts for 17.9 million deaths each year. This is followed by cancer, which causes 9.6 million deaths annually.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer. Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.

In addition to eating a healthy diet, it’s important to avoid certain foods that can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer. Processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats, are high in saturated fat and sodium, which can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Red and processed meats have also been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer.

It’s also important to limit your intake of sugary drinks, such as soda and energy drinks, which can increase your risk of developing diabetes and obesity. Eating too much sugar can also lead to tooth decay and other dental problems.

Instead of eating processed meats and sugary drinks, focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods. Choose lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, and beans, and fill up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Eating a healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases and can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, “One person dies every 34 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease,” and adds, “Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing 382,820 people in 2020.” While the statistics are grim, heart disease isn’t a given. While there are certain risk factors like age and family history you can’t change, there are lifestyle choices and health habits that can help avoid heart disease. Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share how to prevent heart disease. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

doctor holding heart

Eric Stahl, MD Non-Invasive Cardiologist at Staten Island University Hospital says, “Heart disease is the leading cause of death for most racial and ethnic groups in the USA. Within heart disease, coronary artery disease due to atherosclerosis is most common. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of plaque in the arteries. The process starts in the second and third decade of life as a result of high cholesterol, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus.”

Dr. Bayo Curry-Winchell, Urgent Care Medical Director and Physician, Carbon Health and Saint Mary’s Hospital tells us, “According to the CDC, the number one cause of death in America is heart disease (696,962 deaths). It’s important to note, there are several types of heart disease and unfortunately, they’re not always associated with warning signs – which contributes to the number of deaths each year. Anyone can develop heart disease. That’s why it’s super important to be mindful of your health and decrease your risks.”

closeup man's chest heart attack

Dr. Stahl explains, “For many, heart attacks are the first realization that they have heart disease. Atherosclerosis and hypertensive heart disease progress over decades without symptoms. As hypertension, diabetes, and obesity become more prevalent, more people suffer from the downstream effect of heart disease. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 697,000 people in the USA will die of heart disease in 2020. Heart disease accounts for about 1 in every 5 deaths. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease and accounted for approximately 383,000 deaths in 2020. About 20.1 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease.” 

Woman getting her painful chest examined by a doctor.

Dr. Stahl reminds us, “It is important to get regular blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screening. Everyone over the age of 20 should undergo screening at least every 5 years.” 

Dr. Curry-Winchell urges, “Get a check-up! There are some warning signs of heart disease such as chest, neck, or shoulder pain, however, not everyone will have symptoms. Some conditions like hypertension and elevated cholesterol might not be associated with any symptoms — often referred to as the, ‘Silent Killer.” 

Businesswoman coughing while having coffee break in the office.

Dr. Curry-Winchell says, “You are more likely to develop specific diseases, including heart disease if someone in your family has it, or has had it. Be sure to share this information with your healthcare provider. The info you share could help identify heart disease at an early stage or decrease your risks for developing it.”

no smoking sign

Dr. Stahl reminds us, “Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the USA. On average, smokers die more than 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. Smoking and the inhalation of dangerous toxins increases cholesterol, promotes atherosclerosis, raises blood pressure, and causes narrowing of arteries.” 

Dr. Curry-Winchell adds, “Your body responds to nicotine by raising your blood pressure. Simply put, an elevated blood pressure throughout the day and for an extended period increases your risks for developing heart disease.”

high blood pressure

Dr. Stahl suggests, “All adults should undergo routine blood pressure screening to prevent unrecognized and uncontrolled hypertension. Left untreated, hypertension or often called the “silent killer”, causes significant downstream effects, particularly on the cardiovascular system.”   

mature couple jogging outdoors

Dr. Curry-Winchell states, “Staying active is key! Whether it’s a walk around your neighborhood or spending time in the gym, both can help decrease your risks for developing heart disease by lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure.”

Dr. Stahl shares, “Being active is an important aspect of a heart healthy lifestyle. It is recommended to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of high-intensity exercise.” 

woman eating pizza in bed
Shutterstock / Doucefleur

Dr. Curry-Winchell tells us, “Incorporating heart healthy foods such as beans, berries, and a good amount of green leafy vegetables into your diet can do a lot! They all have antioxidants and vitamin K which helps protect against inflammation and decreases your blood pressure – all contributing factors of developing heart disease.”

According to Dr. Stahl, “Following the Mediterranean diet is an excellent foundation for a heart healthy lifestyle. This diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish. Olive oil should be the primary fat source. The foods to avoid are those high in sodium, added sugars, saturated fats, and trans fat.” 

overweight woman at home lying on the floor, laptop in front of her, prepared to work out on mat according to video

Dr. Stahl emphasizes, “Maintaining a healthy weight has numerous cardiovascular benefits. If you are overweight or obese, modest weight loss lowers the risk for developing heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Make small attainable goals by eating healthier and being more active.”

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