livewell-logo Author: Live Well Northwest Florida

Nutrition and Chronic Disease

Our partnership for a healthy community focuses on three priority areas of health. One of which concentrates on health management, including self-care and chronic disease management. Did you know that maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and physical activity can help prevent specific chronic diseases? We focused on three of those diseases in this article and how a proper diet and nutrition impacts them.

Heart Disease

Still the #1 killer worldwide and ultimately, preventable. Especially through lifestyle choices. Many heart disease cases can be attributed to an unbalanced diet and lack of physical activity. Consuming too many unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats…learn more about fats here) and dietary cholesterol (from animal products like meats and cheese) can increase your risk of heart disease. You can reverse the signs and decrease your risk of heart disease with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Avoiding too much salt (usually high amounts in processed foods! Check the labels for the sodium amount) can lower your blood pressure, which decreases your risk for stroke and heart attack. Learn more at

Diabetes (Type 2)

A diet that contributes to excess weight gain is a risk factor for developing diabetes type 2. Usually these diets lack fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins and have too much sugar, simple carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. If you are taking more calories in than you are spending (through activity), you’ll likely gain weight. Having diabetes type 2 can increase your risk of kidney and heart disease. A balanced diet with lean protein, non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits can help you decrease your risk of developing diabetes type 2. Paying special attention to limiting the amount of saturated and trans fat, salt, and SUGAR are important as well. Learn more at


Using tobacco is the leading cause of cancer, but you can reduce your risk of developing many types of cancer through a healthy diet and the best nutrition. Having a healthy weight can decrease your chance of esophagus, colorectal, breast, endometrium, and kidney cancers. Having enough fruits and vegetables should further reduce the risk of oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, and colorectal cancer. Your body needs the those necessary and essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to combat the rogue cancer cells in the body. A balanced, healthy diet that is plentiful in fruits, vegetables, plant-based (beans!) and lean protein fuels your immune system. Learn more at