Adverse Effects Of Poor Nutrition: How Your Eating Habits Can Impact Your Health
What we eat has a big impact on our health and our body.
That’s why it is so important to make sure we get enough nutrition in our diet. Not getting enough of the right nutrients can have a lasting, negative impact on our health and wellbeing.
Discover more about the impacts of poor nutrition below.
Why is nutrition important?
Nutrition is a vital part of health and development. By eating nutritious food, we can stay healthy, grow, and reduce our risk of developing chronic disease.
We get nutrients from the food we eat. There are five essential nutrients that we need:
In addition, we also need to consume water as this plays a role in many important body functions, such as supporting digestive health.
Each of these nutrients plays an important role in the body and getting the right amount of these nutrients can help us to be the healthiest version of ourselves.
By being aware of what we eat and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, we can achieve good nutrition.
To find out more about nutrition and why it is so vital, visit our guide on the importance of diet and nutrition.
What is poor nutrition?
Poor nutrition is when we don’t get enough of the nutrients we need every day to function properly.
Poor nutrition is usually caused by a poor diet — whether this is by not having enough of the healthy foods we need, eating too much of the ‘bad’ types of foods (those high in saturated fats, sugar or salt), or by over-eating or under-eating.
If you are suffering from poor nutrition, it can affect the way you feel and look. It can even affect how you act and think.
The impacts of poor nutrition
Poor nutrition can impact all aspects of your life, including your health, everyday function and quality of life. In the short term, poor nutrition can contribute to various problems — especially tiredness, concentration and stress — but the long-term health effects are more serious.
Below are some of the adverse effects of poor nutrition.
Your diet can have a huge impact on your cholesterol levels. A diet high in bad fat (also known as saturated fat) and low consumption of fibre can lead to high cholesterol in the bloodstream, which can impact heart health. High cholesterol levels are associated with clogged blood vessels, heart disease and high blood pressure, which may increase the risk of having a heart attack, stroke and other health problems.
Foods high in saturated fats include fatty cuts of meat and poultry, full-fat dairy products, butter, cream, fried foods and processed sweets.
Incorporating more soluble fibre into your diet such as whole grains, beans, fruit and vegetables can also help to reduce your cholesterol levels.
Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them more fragile and can increase the risk of fractures.
Poor intake of foods rich in calcium, protein and vitamin D can increase your risk of osteoporosis. Calcium helps to build bone, protein forms an important structural component of bone, while vitamin D maintains your bone strength and health. Without enough of these nutrients, your bones can weaken and break much more easily.
Following a healthy diet that contains enough vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin D and protein can help to maintain bone health and density. It can also help with preventing and healing fractures. This is particularly important as you get older as your bone mass starts naturally decreasing.
You can find calcium in dairy products as well as some non-dairy foods such as salmon and broccoli. Vitamin D can be found in oily fish, but a majority of our Vitamin D is made by the body in the presence of sun exposure. Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and legumes
High blood pressure
A poor diet can also lead to high blood pressure (also known as hypertension).
High blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms and can go undetected for a long time. However, if it isn’t treated, it can have serious consequences.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help to prevent or reduce high blood pressure. In particular, cutting down on salt, caffeine and alcohol can help to improve your blood pressure. Following a low-fat diet that is rich in fibre as well as plenty of fruit and vegetables can also help lower blood pressure.
Following a balanced diet and choosing nutrient-dense foods, can also help manage your weight. Higher weight is associated with high blood pressure in some people.
Type 2 diabetes
Poor nutrition can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition in which blood glucose levels become too high. It is caused by problems with insulin (the hormone in the body that regulates blood sugar).
This type of diabetes can be linked to being overweight, and a diet that is high in fat, sugar and cholesterol. Sugary drinks and snacks, refined carbohydrates and fatty foods, in addition to large portion sizes, can all cause weight gain, which can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A high fibre diet can help manage blood glucose levels. A diet high in fibre may also promote fullness which can also help to support good weight management.
For more information, please read our article on eating well with diabetes.
Preventing the adverse effects of poor nutrition
The adverse effects of poor nutrition can be serious. Many chronic health conditions can be linked to a poor diet.
It’s important to follow a healthy, well-balanced diet that gives your body everything it needs to run smoothly to maintain good health— especially as you get older.
If you don’t think you are getting the right nutrients in your diet, it’s not too late to start. We have plenty of articles and resources full of tips and tools for understanding nutrition and keeping you healthy.
You can also browse our nutritional supplement range for a variety of carefully formulated nutritional solutions designed to support your health and wellbeing.