Relying on fast food for fuel can result in more than just belly fat—it can land you in the MD’s office. We usually associate a “bad diet” with belly fat, but there’s a surfeit of serious health issues that are closely linked to nutritional deficiencies. Sure, you may notice the number on your scale hiking up after digging into one-too-many bacon cheeseburgers and ice cream sundaes; however, you may need a doctor’s office visit to ferret out the more insidious ailments.
Osteoporosis occurs because the bones become brittle and weak and are at higher risk of breaking. There are a few different risk factors that can cause osteoporosis. A few of them are diet-related such as insufficient calcium and vitamin D intake as well as an increase in drinking alcohol. The best sources of calcium are found in vegetables but can also be found in items such as low-fat milk and yogurt.
2. Chronic Constipation
Constipation may not sound like a serious health complication, but chronic constipation affects many people and can be quite uncomfortable and affect quality of life. Many factors contribute to constipation, including not getting enough fiber and/or water in the diet. Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses are loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber. It’s recommended to aim for 25-30 grams of fiber per day, but the average American is only getting 15 grams, and many less than that. Increase your fiber intake gradually to avoid gas and bloating.
Certain foods can weaken the ‘doorway’ between the esophagus and stomach, thus making reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus more likely. These foods are chocolate, caffeine, mint. Acidic foods can also make GERD worse because higher acid content [equals] more burning. A lack of B vitamins can affect the growth of the wall of the esophagus (and stomach) making it more fragile.
4. Hair Loss
Insufficient intake of protein can lead to damaged hair follicle structure and hair loss. Iron deficiency can also lead to hair loss.
5. Poor Wound Healing
Inadequate protein (eggs, dairy, lean meats, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, and legumes), inadequate calories, and inadequate Vitamin C” intakes can lead to slow-healing wounds. Besides noshing on sufficient lean protein, make sure you’re getting your daily intake of vitamin C via foods such as guava, red bell peppers, and Brussels sprouts.
6. Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are ‘open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. Taking certain medications regularly such as Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) can be direct causes of ulcers. Examples of these medications include ibuprofen, aspirin, and Aleve. Although ulcers are not caused by poor dietary choices, they can be exacerbated by them. The stomach is already an acidic environment.