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5 Negative Health Effects of Malnutrition

5 Negative Health Effects of Malnutrition

Malnutrition doesn't have a number on a scale. People of all sizes and backgrounds can be malnourished and not even know it. Food insecurity and obesity affect a majority of the population, meaning more people may be malnourished than they realize. Malnourishment is a real issue, and it's not an effective way to live or diet. You must have balanced meals every day to fully nourish your body and keep all your organs strong. If not, you're at risk of several severe health problems.

1. Impaired Function

If you're not getting enough nourishment, your brain will start to suffer. Healthy fats are necessary for good nutrition, as human brains are mostly made of fat. When people diet, they may try to avoid foods with a lot of fat in them. While cutting out bad fats might be a good move, eliminating the good fats is a major mistake.

These healthy fats are found in nuts, avocados, and plenty of other fruits and vegetables. If you're not getting enough fat in your diet, you might find that you can’t concentrate well or witness your cognitive function slipping when you speak or use your brain power.

2. Weight Gain

While some weight gain isn't bad, and people shouldn't feel ashamed of their sizes, having too much extra fat can negatively affect your quality of life. Weight gain can also be worse in older folks with arthritis, leading to additional pain and pressure on their joints that can leave them with a permanent disability if not rectified.

Always talk to your doctor and listen to your body – when something feels wrong, you'll know it. Try to live a healthy and active lifestyle so you'll feel good rather than looking to lose weight for aesthetic purposes.

3. Swollen Salivary Glands

Malnutrition and eating disorders can lower your mouth's demand for saliva, causing your salivary glands to swell. Saliva aids in proper digestion, so you want your salivary glands to function properly. Over time, if your glands remain inflamed, they may stop working altogether.

While it may seem like a less detrimental side-effect of malnutrition when compared to the others on this list, it can impact your body in a big way.

4. Potential Heart Disease

Malnutrition often manifests in ailments like heart disease or high cholesterol. These conditions typically come from a diet that's high in fat and not nutritionally balanced. People need certain nutrients in their diets to avoid being at risk for these diseases. Heart disease is the top killer in the United States, so it must be taken seriously and you have to put your health first if you want to avoid risking it.

Also, a poor diet can lead to a stroke. People who aren't getting enough to eat may be at greater risk of having a stroke, as certain foods with different nutrients can affect the levels of plaque in your blood vessels. When too much plaque builds up, you risk having a stroke that can impair your functions. Sometimes, strokes can result in death, meaning you want to avoid them at all costs.

5. Hypertension

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure or "the silent killer," can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke – the two conditions mentioned above that can cause death. Many people, even those who are properly nourished, don't have their high blood pressure under control, and it affects tens of millions of American adults.

Reducing salt intake might be a good first step for anyone who wants to reverse their hypertension. Ultimately, having a healthy diet – including healthy portions – and limiting your bad habits can control your blood pressure without medication.

Fight Malnutrition With Balance

Many things can stand in the way of people eating a healthy diet. It might be easier or cheaper to eat fast food, whereas some people may prefer to eat smaller portions because they need to save food. Healthy portion sizes full of the nutrients you need are the only way you're going to have a fitting diet that can support your body rather than harm it.

Change your diet little by little so your body has time to acclimate to the positive changes, and you'll be feeling better than ever before.

      

For healthy, fresh and fabulous food, look no further than the Mediterranean! With its array of colorful vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats, Mediterranean cuisine offers vibrant flavors and delicious dishes that you'll enjoy making and eating every day.


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