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The Cardiologist's Wife - Are You Sabotaging Your Health
Jan 24, 2018

Every day you probably unwittingly do several things that are bad for your health. Little things can add up over time and then you wonder what went wrong when you receive an unexpected diagnosis. Here are some ways you are sabotaging your health and why.

Stopping for a morning coffee on the way to work. Unless you take your coffee black and without sweeteners, you are getting a load of sugar in your coffee drink. At Starbucks, a grande Frappuchino has 50 grams of sugar, a vanilla latte has 35. Keep in mind that you should have no more than 25 grams of sugar in your daily diet and that you are likely to get more sugar throughout the day from seemingly innocent sources like salad dressing, granola bars or yogurt. All that added sugar increases your risk for developing diabetes, obesity and dying of a heart attack, perhaps at an early age.

You don’t get enough sleep. Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived are more likely to be overweight or even obese. More worrisome for the rest of us, sleep deprived people have problems operating machinery and making judgements, leading to accidents. A lack of sleep affects mood, learning, memory and can contribute to such diseases as diabetes and heart disease.

Mindlessly grazing on food throughout the day. Do you eat in front of the TV or grab some cookies in the break room at work just because they are there? Those who eat while distracted by work, TV or computers tend to consume far more calories than necessary, leading to obesity and other related problems. Indeed they often have little memory of what they ate, prompting them to eat more at the next meal! Even worse, we tend to make poor food choices when we reach for something quick.

Neglecting to take proper care of your teeth. Not brushing and flossing can have worse consequences than just cavities and bad breath, though that is bad enough. If your gums become inflamed, bacteria can travel through the bloodstream to your heart, contributing to the development of heart disease. Inflamed gums can also make it harder for diabetics to control their blood sugar or lead to infections in your lungs, like pneumonia.

Having a sedentary lifestyle. If you spend all day at a desk or long hours driving, then sit in front of the computer or TV all night, you have a sedentary lifestyle. To function optimally, the human body was meant to move and bad things happen when it doesn’t move enough. Being physically inactive increases your risk for developing certain cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, becoming obese or suffering from anxiety and depression, just to name a few.

Not learning about good health practices. Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to your health. Take time to learn more about good nutrition, exercise and more. There are plenty of sources to read - magazines, online and newspapers. Just make sure the source is reputable.

If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, hopefully you’ll be motivated to make some changes. Your health is a precious gift and taking care of it is your responsibility.

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