Proper nutrition is one lifestyle choice that prevents chronic disease. A chronic disease is one that lasts for at least three months. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, and do not just go away on their own. Most Americans over 65 years of age have at least one chronic health condition.
Unhealthy choices, such as poor eating habits, lack of physical activity and using tobacco, are major factors for the leading chronic diseases. The leading chronic diseases include (in alphabetical order):
- Cardiovascular disease (such as heart attacks and stroke),
- Cancer (such as breast and colon cancer),
- Epilepsy and Seizures,
- Obesity and
Oral health problems.
For more information, visit the Center for Disease Control
How to prevent chronic diseases?
Eat healthy: A healthy diet can help protect you from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Your body needs to get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Eating healthy means eating a variety of the following every day:
- Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products
- Seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, seeds, and nuts
Eating healthy also means eating no or little of the following:
- Cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars
- Trans fats, which may be in foods like cakes, cookies, stick margarines, and fried foods
- Saturated fats, which come from animal products like cheese, fatty meats, whole milk, and butter
- Foods made with refined grains, like white bread, noodles, white rice, and flour tortillas
- Promotes ideal growth and development of children.
- Prevents high cholesterol and high blood pressure
- Helps lower the chances of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
- Helps lower the chance of becoming obese, having osteoporosis and having low iron.
- Helps lower the chances of getting cavities.
A healthy lifestyle includes choosing a balanced diet or healthy eating plan. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, eating healthy or a healthy eating plan:
- Stresses fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and dairy.
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
- Stays within your daily calorie needs.
- ChooseMyPlate.gov (United States Department of Agriculture - USDA) - Based on age, gender, weight, height and how active you are, provides information on the amount of each food group you need daily. The site also offers useful tools on planning menus, shopping on a budget and recipes.
- FamilyDoctor.org is another helpful website that offers a lot of videos on healthy food choices and nutrition.
- Healthy Fast Food Guide (HelpGuide.org) - Fast food is typically never healthy, but with our busy lifestyles, many of us resort to picking up something on the run. This guide will help with healthy choices.
For more information about resources in our region, please see the Northwoods LEAN website.
Local Farmers Markets:
Locations of area farmers markets are listed below:
Eagle River Farmers Market
Highway 45 North
Eagle River, WI 54521
(Highway 45 just North of the bridge)
Wednesdays from 8:30 am until 1:00 pm.
June 6th through October 3rd
Hodag Farmers' Market
Pioneer Park - South Oneida Ave
Rhinelander, WI 54501
(Behind Pizza Hut)
Saturdays 8:00 am until 1:00 pm
May 31 - October 18
Minocqua Farmer's Market
10295 HWY 70
Minoqua, WI 54568
Fridays 8:00 am until 1:00 pm
May 23 - September 26
WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program
The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program offers eligible WIC families the opportunity to buy fresh fruits, vegetables and fresh cut herbs at approved farmers markets. Program guidelines are listed below:
- Farmers Market eWIC checks may be used no later than October 31 of the year issued.
- Go to a Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) market and look for a FMNP Vendor sign. Only farmers with this sign can accept Farmers Market checks.
- The check amounts are preprinted. Sales tax will not be charged. No change will be given even if you spend less than the amount of the check(s) used.
- You do not need your WIC ID to use the Farmers Market checks.
- You do not need to sign the Farmers Market checks.
- Farmers Market checks may not be used to buy non-food items such as plants or ornamental corn.
- You may only buy approved, locally grown foods from the list below: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/wic/fmnp/food-chart.htm#fruitsetc
Northland Pines Community Garden
A committee made up Northland Pines School District, Seed-to-Seed Edible Garden Project, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Vilas County Master Gardeners, and Vilas County Public Health, started the Northland Pines Community Garden (located on school property behind the Phoenix Center) in 2010.
To provide educational opportunities to the Northland Pines School District students and surrounding community in organic gardening which will promote healthy food choices and support local needs.
- To educate students and the community about different ways to garden, healthy eating and how to prepare foods.
- To offer access to fertile planting ground.
- To provide foods to the Eagle River Food Pantry.
- To bring fresh, organic fruits and vegetables to the Eagle River Community.
- Soil preparation
- Utilize classrooms and greenhouse to start plants
- Plant growth
- Food preservation
- Seed saving
- Construction – garden tool shed, picnic table, cold frames