How Nutrition Can Play a Role in Your Chronic Disease Management

Mar 02, 2024
How Nutrition Can Play a Role in Your Chronic Disease Management
You’ve probably heard about nutrition's role in heart health, diabetes, and weight management. The truth is that nutrition touches every aspect of your health, and what you eat is especially crucial for chronic disease management.

Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with, or are on the verge of developing, diabetes, hypertension, or another chronic disease, there’s still time to take action.

Our team at Calabasas Medicine Group in Calabasas, California, led by internal medicine specialists Sagi Jacob Cohen, MD, and Nathan Alyesh, MD, is committed to your long-term health. We offer outstanding chronic disease management with a focus on preventing worsening illness by developing personalized treatment plans that address your overall well-being.   

Here’s why a healthy and well-balanced diet is pivotal in preventing and managing chronic disease.  

Nutrition and chronic disease management

Adopting a healthy and well-balanced diet can contribute significantly to preventing and managing chronic conditions. Dietary changes may also decrease your need for medications or prevent health complications related to chronic disease, such as kidney damage or vision loss related to poorly managed diabetes.

Protecting your health with nutrition

The health benefits of a nutritious diet include:  

Reduced inflammation

Just about every chronic disease — including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and cancer — is associated with chronic inflammation. Certain foods, like citrus fruits, berries, vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish, are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds.

Consuming these foods and dropping those that increase inflammation — processed meats and cheeses, sugary drinks, and fried foods — can help reduce inflammation and its detrimental effects on your health.

Blood sugar regulation

Your body needs glucose (sugar) to fuel cellular function. However, persistently elevated blood sugar can damage nerves, blood vessels, kidneys, and other vital organs.

For individuals with diabetes, maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial to preventing serious diabetes-related health complications. If you have prediabetes, efforts to change your diet, lose weight, and increase your physical activity are key to preventing full-blown diabetes.

A balanced diet built on complex carbohydrates, fiber, lean proteins, fresh fruits, vegetables, and portion control helps stabilize your blood sugar.

Protecting your heart 

A heart-healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, and sodium can help manage conditions like hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and heart disease. Including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, can also support heart health by reducing inflammation and other triggers for heart disease.

Weight management  

Excess weight is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. A balanced diet and regular physical activity support weight management and reduce the risk of developing weight-related conditions.

Improved bone health

A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D can help reduce your risk factors for osteoporosis (decreased bone density). Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins also contribute to healthy bones and joints.

Boosting immune function

Proper nutrition is essential for a well-functioning immune system. Nutrient-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins, provide the vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight infections and illnesses.

Antioxidant support

Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables help neutralize free radicals, which are molecules that can contribute to chronic disease and aging. Including a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet provides a range of antioxidants.

Which diet should I follow?

Our Calabasas Medicine team creates personalized nutrition plans that address your specific needs. We make our recommendations based on your medical history, current health status, medications you take regularly, and other pertinent factors.

We’re also here to provide education, follow-up visits, and other supportive measures to ensure your strategy continues to meet your long-term goals. It may feel overwhelming initially, but improving your health through diet might be simpler than you think.

Schedule a visit at Calabasas Medicine today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.