So what’s killing us?
From the files of the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), we can give you the latest figures.
Heart disease: 633,842 deaths
Lung disease: 155,041
Alzheimer’s disease: 110,561
Influenza and pneumonia: 57,062
Kidney disease: 49,959
Looking at those stats, we see that heart disease and cancer kill more than ALL other causes combined.
“So what can I do to live longer and healthier?”
Instead of succumbing to the notion that these diseases all just happen to people randomly and that there’s nothing we can do to help ourselves, we’re going to take a quick birds-eye look at choices we can make. Because, as many health professionals will tell you, your choices in matters of health really DO make a difference.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE FACTORS
— HEART DISEASE & CANCER
It’s well understood now that there are decisions we can make that dramatically improve our prospect of a longer healthier life. Including these which can protect your heart…
Less salt in your diet
Less sugar (better still, cut it out entirely)
Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
Alcohol in moderation, if you must drink
Reduce your stress, or learn to handle it better.
Note, ALL of these are things we can do for ourselves to improve our health.
The World Cancer Research Fund attributes one third of cancer cases in the developed world to PREVENTABLE causes such as being overweight or obese, being inactive, and poor nutrition. Skin cancers from sun over-exposure is another example of a preventable health crisis.
— LUNG DISEASE
For more ways to improve your health prospects, consider these…
Avoid second hand smoke
Avoid chemical fumes
Avoid inhaling dust.
How many accidental deaths involved alcohol while driving or failure to use a seat belt? These are things we can do.
The big risk factors for stroke deaths are high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. Again, there are many issues we can control, including…
Hydration (drinking enough pure water).
Without wishing to oversimplify this (or any of these diseases), there are health choices we can make.
For example, autopsies show that cardiovascular disease was present in up to 80 percent of Alzheimer’s deaths (source: alz.org). So anything that helps with heart health (see above) could help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.
Type 2 diabetes is where your blood sugar controls don’t work right anymore. Multiple studies have shown the regular exercise and changes in diet can both help and even reverse diabetes. That’s right. Diet can reverse diabetes! Look it up in Google.
— PNEUMONIA & FLU
Again, protecting your lung health is recommended because smokers have a greater risk of pneumonia. As always, choosing to a healthy diet with regular physical activity and sufficient rest will keep your body in better condition to withstand illness. It might not be a guarantee but sure will improve your odds.
— KIDNEY DISEASE
The kidney that’s been pounded by years of excess alcohol is a candidate for kidney disease.
So, what have we seen here? It’s almost like “second verse, same as the first”.
Look after your health, your diet, your weight, your level of physical activity and you will put yourself in a much better position to stay away from the top ten killers list.