While it’s well known that adopting a lifestyle of healthy eating can reduce or even prevent your chances of being diagnosed with a serious disease like cancer or even cardiovascular disease, it’s important to continue a healthy diet while dealing with a disease. Here are some things to consider:
It’s Never Too Late to Start Eating Healthy
If you have recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer like mesothelioma or are exhibiting early signs of heart disease, it’s likely that your doctor will strongly encourage you to change your eating habits. Although you may have the attitude of “what’s the point of starting now?”, making small changes in your diet can benefit your health, even if you’re battling a potentially life threatening disease. If you’ve never been much of a healthy eater, it’s never too late to start adapting to a healthier lifestyle.
Benefits to Adopting a Healthier Diet
Regardless of the type of disease you are fighting or the stage it’s at, a healthy diet can be beneficial to your health and overall well-being. For instance, if you are receiving treatment for cancer, a healthy diet, rich in protein and healthy fats, can give you the energy you need to get through a difficult treatment session and can even help reduce your risk of infection or other illnesses. If you struggle with heart disease, following the American Heart Association’s dietary recommendations may prevent further damage from occurring.
Feel bad about enjoying sugary foods over leafy greens? Don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re not alone. While some individuals have no problem transitioning to healthier eating habits, it can be difficult to make stick. Start by incorporating more fruits and vegetables and try switching out some of your favorite unhealthy foods for a healthier option. It may not always be easy or even convenient, but a little perseverance can get you far.
Ask for Help
Depending on the type of disease your diagnosis consists of, your doctor may recommend a specific type of diet, such as restrictions on certain types of foods. Your doctor may connect you with a nutritionist to help you get started with a special diet. If, at any time, you feel as though you’re having a hard time adapting to your new eating habits or feel like they are not benefiting you, consult with your doctor or nutritionist, as they are there to help you. Additionally, it’s also a great opportunity to get your family involved. Not only can they be your support system, but by also adopting a healthier lifestyle, they are improving their health and reducing the risk of developing a serious disease. Go grocery shopping as a family, check out your local Farmer’s Market or even try your hand at gardening rather than going out to eat, and prepare meals together as a family.
Pre-planning or making meals ahead of time can help you stay on track and can also be convenient if you don’t have the time or energy to prepare a healthy meal while you are fighting your disease.