Guide to Prevent Chronic Diseases with Healthy Habits:

Studies have shown that adopting a healthy lifestyle or engaging in healthy behaviors can reduce the risk of chronic diseases as well as enhance the quality of life. Read on to learn how you can prevent these life-shortening diseases by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking cessation (or never starting) is associated with lower rates of various chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, lung disease, cancer, and heart disease, even for longtime smokers. When you smoke, a fatty substance builds up in your arteries, which eventually leads to atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries. As a result, your organs become less effective, and you are at greater risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Try to avoid smoking to decrease the likelihood of getting these chronic diseases. Also, avoid secondhand smoke as this can negatively affect your health as well.

Stop Smoking

Eat Healthy Diet

Hundreds of research studies have revealed that a healthy diet can help you prevent, minimize, and control type 2 diabetes, heart disease, coronary artery disease (CAD), ischemic stroke, and other chronic diseases. Taking a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products is essential for every age group. The following changes can be made‌ ‌to‌ ‌your‌ ‌diet to prevent chronic diseases:

  • Reduce saturated and trans fats by substituting unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Make sure to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables and adequate folic acid.
  • Consume cereal products that are whole grain and high in fiber.
  • Don’t consume sugar or sugar-based beverages.
  • Consume as little sodium as possible.

The principal reason for limiting sodium intake is that it affects blood pressure, increasing stroke and coronary risk. The WHO recommends that you consume no more than 1.7 grams of sodium (equivalent to 5 grams of salt)

Healthy Weight

Keep A Healthy Weight and Engage in Regular Physical Activity

Obesity is the root cause of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancers of the kidney, breast (postmenopausal), endometrium, colon, and other sites. In contrast to lean individuals, overweight people have increased risks for CAD and hypertension two to three times. Moreover, type 2 diabetes is more than ten times more likely in overweight people than in lean individuals5.

If you are overweight, a decrease in weight even of 5% to 7% can help you prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic recommend that you should exercise at least 30 minutes per day and 30 to 60 minutes on most days of the week. Exercise doesn’t need to be intense. Being active is key6.

Exercise is one way to maintain a healthy weight. You should balance the number of calories you eat with the amount of activity you do. Establish healthy weight loss goals by finding out your body mass index. Maintaining a healthy weight helps lower your blood pressure and reduces your risk for other complications7.

Exercising to get healthy

Get Enough Sleep

Poor sleep is associated with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and depression. Exercise has also been shown to improve sleep in patients with insomnia. Sleep restores us and positively affects our feelings8. It is advisable that you sleep for seven hours a‌ ‌night.

Try to establish a schedule for sleep if you have difficulty sleeping. To get enough sleep, it is important to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and to avoid eating or drinking heavy meals. Also, it would be best if you stop using your devices two hours before bedtime9.

Manage Your Stress

You can’t have a healthy immune system when you are constantly stressed. Besides causing sleep loss, pain and headaches, it can exhaust the body. Stress can make the heart work harder. There are many stress-reducing habits that you can adopt in order to improve your health.

You can reduce stress through‌ ‌physical‌ ‌activity‌ ‌or‌ ‌exercise. Gratitude, mindfulness, and meditation can also relieve stress and make you feel better. The use of relaxation techniques or breathing exercises, such as yoga, can also help calm the mind. Let the worries go and spend more time with your family and friends to get a healthy and relaxed lifestyle

Exposing to sun

Avoid Use of Alcohol

Consuming excessive alcohol can result in high blood pressure, various types of cancer, and heart problems, strokes, and liver disease. By avoiding excessive drinking, you can reduce the risk of these chronic diseases

Avoid Drinking to stay healthy

Catch Chronic Diseases Early

You are more likely to develop chronic diseases if your family history includes cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or osteoporosis. You can prevent these conditions or catch them early by discussing your family’s medical history with your doctor and doing regular health screenings.

The Bottom Line

Poor dietary habits, little physical activity, stress, and tobacco and alcohol use are the major causes of the onset of chronic diseases. You can prevent, delay or even treat these life-shortening diseases and improve your life quality by making healthy lifestyle changes. Changing your habits overnight isn’t realistic. It’s important to make sure you take the necessary steps to maintain your health to lead a healthy lifestyle.


  1. National Council on Aging. The Top 10 Most Common Chronic Conditions in Older Adults. https://www.ncoa.org/article/the-top-10-most-common-chronic-conditions-in-older-adults
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How You Can Prevent Chronic Diseases. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/prevent/index.htm
  3. Jha P, Chaloupka FJ, Moore J, et al. Tobacco Addiction. In: Jamison DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, et al., editors. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd Ed. 2006. Chapter 46. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11741/
  4. Willett WC, Koplan JP, Nugent R, et al. Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Changes. In: Jamison DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, et al., editors. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd Ed. 2006. Chapter 44. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11795/
  5. Rodgers A, Lawes CMM, Gaziano T, et al. The Growing Burden of Risk from High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Bodyweight. In: Jamison DT, Breman JG, Measham AR, et al., editors. Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries. 2nd Ed. 2006. Chapter 45. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11738/
  6. Mayo Clinic. Strategies to prevent heart disease. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-disease-prevention/art-20046502
  7. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2nd Ed. https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf#page=43
  8. Knutson, K. L., Ryden, A. M., Mander, B. A., & Van Cauter, E. (2006). Role of sleep duration and quality in the risk and severity of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Archives of internal medicine, 166(16), 1768–1774. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16983057/
  9. Taheri S. (2006). The link between short sleep duration and obesity: we should recommend more sleep to prevent obesity. Archives of disease in childhood, 91(11), 881–884. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2082964/
  10. American Heart Association. https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/StressManagement/HowDoesStressAffectYou/FAQs-About-Stress_UCM_307982_Article.jsp#.V5bI4o7Njy8
  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Excessive Alcohol Use. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/factsheets/alcohol.htm

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Faye is a highly experienced Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian with a passion for transforming lives through health and fitness. With 9 years of industry expertise, Faye has consistently empowered numerous clients to achieve their specific goals and make positive changes.

Originating from the Philippines, Faye has made a significant impact as a clinical dietitian for 4 years, gaining a profound understanding of the vital role proper nutrition plays in attaining optimal health and wellness. Her dedication lies in providing evidence-based, personalized nutrition plans that cater to each client’s unique needs and aspirations.

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