Eating a healthy diet is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. But for some people, health issues can prevent them from having a balanced, nutritious diet. In this blog, you’ll learn about the common health issues that can get in the way of healthy eating habits and how to work around them:
Gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, Celiac disease, and acid reflux make it difficult to digest certain foods. For example, people with Celiac disease must avoid gluten altogether, while people with acid reflux may experience problems consuming spicy or acidic foods. In these cases, it’s best to focus on eating nutrient-dense foods that are easy to digest, like cooked fruits and vegetables, lean proteins (e.g., fish), and grains like quinoa or oats.
But if you really want to address your gastrointestinal disorders, it’s important to speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian about treatment options and dietary suggestions. This could include taking digestive enzymes, avoiding foods that worsen your symptoms, or trying certain supplements to improve nutrient absorption. Getting plenty of probiotics from sources like yogurt, tempeh, sauerkraut, and miso is essential to keep your gut bacteria healthy.
Food allergies are widespread today. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 32 million Americans may suffer from food allergies. The most common food allergens include dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, shellfish, and fish.
If you have a food allergy or sensitivity and are struggling to maintain a healthy diet, try speaking with your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can help you identify your triggers and make recommendations on managing your symptoms while still meeting your nutritional needs. For example, if certain foods cause digestive issues or allergic reactions, an elimination diet may be recommended to identify your specific triggers. You could also try keeping a food diary to help pinpoint the foods causing problems.
Lack of appetite
Many illnesses can cause a lack of appetite or decreased interest in food due to medication side effects. If this is the case for you, focus on smaller portions full of nutrient-rich ingredients such as lean proteins like fish or chicken breast and plenty of colorful vegetables that offer vitamins and minerals essential for good health. You may also want to consider talking with your doctor about taking supplements if it’s difficult for you to get enough nourishment from whole foods alone due to a lack of appetite.
But if you want to boost your appetite, you can do a few things. For starters, try drinking a warm beverage like tea or broth to stimulate your appetite before meals. You may also want to incorporate foods that contain natural appetite-boosting compounds, such as ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. Additionally, avoiding dense, heavy foods may help increase your appetite and overall interest in food.
Stress has become an epidemic in our society today—and unfortunately, many times, it causes us to reach for unhealthy comfort foods rather than nourishing snacks or meals that will sustain us throughout the day instead of dragging down our energy levels even further with sugar crashes later on down the line. When feeling stressed out, try reaching for healthier options like fruits paired with nut butter (like apples with almond butter) or Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit instead of sugary treats that won’t leave you satisfied in the end anyway.
To reduce stress, it’s essential to find healthy coping mechanisms. This may include incorporating more mindfulness and relaxation practices into your daily routines, such as yoga or meditation. Additionally, spending time with loved ones who make you feel happy and supported can help distract you from stressors in your environment. Finally, prioritizing things that bring you joy—like hobbies or activities that truly make you happy—can help give your life more meaning and purpose, which can also help reduce stress levels.
Oral health problems can also cause you to avoid certain nutritious foods or make it difficult to chew and swallow properly. The most common oral problem that does this is tooth loss, which can prevent you from eating certain types of foods, such as crunchy fruits or veggies.
If you are experiencing tooth loss, speak with a dentist about teeth replacement solutions such as dental implants. These implants can help to restore function and improve your ability to chew foods more easily. Additionally, you may want to consider incorporating softer foods into your diet, like soups or smoothies, while you adjust to any changes in your oral health. And be sure to continue practicing good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice daily and flossing regularly, as these can help prevent dental disease and further damage to your teeth.
Many health issues can prevent you from eating a nutritious diet and enjoying the foods you love. But with some simple strategies like the ones discussed in this blog, it is possible to overcome these obstacles and maintain good physical health despite any health conditions you may face.