If you watch your calories and incorporate fruits and veggies into your day, you may think your eating habits are fine. But health experts warn that the average person’s diet may actually be lacking in certain key nutrients. And unless you know what to watch out for, you could be looking toward poor health down the road.
How do you know whether you may be missing the mark in critical dietary areas? Here are 10 surprising health issues that could mean you have a bad diet.
1. Dental Cavities
Cavities (also known as “dental caries”) can happen to anyone. But dental health experts say if you have multiple cavities despite regular brushing and flossing, you may be getting too many carbohydrates in your diet. If you’ve had one filling too many, try cutting back on the carbs.
2. Poor Sleep Quality
Poor sleep quality has been linked to too much fat in the diet in some studies. And an excessive intake of sugar can cause you to wake frequently at night. Minimize both of these for a better night’s sleep.
3. High Blood Pressure
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says hypertension is among several health issues that could mean you have a bad diet. Foods connected to hypertension include fried, sugary and salty choices, as well as caffeine, the NIH notes.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid, you should follow your doctor’s orders, of course. But interestingly, excessive calorie restriction could also cause a temporarily slowed thyroid, among other health issues that could mean you have a bad diet. Boost calories so you lose more slowly, but steadily.
5. Brittle Hair and Nails
Thin hair and fingernails that break or split easily could be a sign that you’re low on your intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs), according to health professionals. Good dietary sources for EFAs include seeds, nuts and vegetable oils.
Depression can have many causes. One that’s often overlooked is diet, according to health experts. Boost B vitamins and essential fatty acids – two groups that work on the brain and on mood.
7. Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Antioxidants such as Vitamin C are critical for maintaining your skin’s elasticity and glow. Slow the aging process by eating plenty of oranges, avocadoes, bell peppers, broccoli and pineapple.
8. Certain Forms of Cancer
Bladder, colon and breast cancer have all been linked to poor dietary habits. In fact, these are among the most serious health issues that could mean you have a bad diet. Experts say a varied diet high in a range of vitamins and minerals is important to support your body’s natural anti-cancer efforts.
9. Poor Memory and Concentration
Can’t concentrate? You could need more omega-3s. These essential fatty acids can be found in fish such as tuna, salmon and halibut. You can also get them from nut oils.
10. Slow Wound Healing
Wounds that take a long time to heal can be a warning sign of not getting enough nutrients such as Vitamin E and zinc. Try wheat germ, avocados, sweet potatoes, spinach, and flax or pumpkin seeds.