James Hauschildt Looks at 3 Science-Backed Reasons Why Healthy Eating is Vital
By now, virtually everyone knows that healthy eating is smarter, better for your health and safer than unhealthy eating. However, a surprising number of people — especially those who find themselves on the unhealthy eating side of the spectrum more often than not — neglect to dive deeper and ask the pivotal, essential question: why is this the case?
According to James Hauschildt, a non-profit executive who previously served as a clinical nurse in the United States Air Force and as a higher education executive in healthcare facilities for Allen College and Saint Luke’s College, there are three key science-backed reasons why eating healthy is vital:
A study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and the University of Michigan found that people who live healthy lifestyles — which the researchers defined as those who did not smoke, were not obese, and whose alcohol consumption was between non-existent and moderate — lived an average of seven years longer than those who led unhealthy lifestyles.
James Hauschildt says that what makes this study even more meaningful and inspiring, is that researchers found that people who lived longer did not typically spend those extra years suffering from diseases or illnesses. In other words, people who live healthy lifestyles throughout adulthood generally maintained their positive health as seniors. They lived longer, and they lived well.
Reduced Risk of Disease
While many factors play a role in disease prevention — including genetics and even geography — a healthy lifestyle corresponds to a reduced risk of disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, bone fractures, disease, and more. In addition, a new study by the University of Exeter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that the risk of dementia was 32 percent lower in individuals with a high genetic risk who led healthy lives, compared to individuals with a high genetic risk who lived unhealthy lives.
James Hauschildt comments that a crucial factor in a healthy lifestyle is nutritious and balanced eating, complimented by a physician-approved exercise program, effective stress management, and sufficient quality sleep.
Enhanced Mental Well-Being
A study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, published in JAMA Psychiatry provides the strongest evidence yet that healthy living — specifically, exercising for 15 minutes a day — may reduce the risk of developing depression by 26 percent. This compliments a separate study by the University of Warwick, which found that healthier eating choices that included fruits and vegetables was associated with better mood and mental well-being.
According to James Hauschildt, the connection between healthy living and enhanced mental well-being is a dynamic relationship and triggers a virtuous cycle. A healthy lifestyle enhances mood, which in turn makes it even more rewarding to stay on a healthy path.
James Hauschildt’s Final Thoughts
The link between healthy living and benefits like a longer lifespan, reduced risk of disease, and enhanced mental well-being have always been intuitive assumed. Now that clinical research has verified these positions — and turned beliefs into facts — the question that people need to ask isn’t whether they should adopt a healthier lifestyle, but how quickly they can do so; and the sooner, the better.