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  • Can you out-exercise a poor diet? Tidelands Health physician offers tips for healthy diet and exercise

    Jan. 26, 2024
    Contact: Dawn Bryant
    Tidelands Health
    (843) 652-1636

    News for Immediate Release:

    Can you out-exercise a poor diet? Tidelands Health physician offers tips for healthy diet and exercise
    Does exercising regularly give you carte blanche to eat whatever you want? The short answer: no.
    The nutrients put in your body — good and bad — can affect your health and your risk for certain types of diseases regardless of how much you exercise, says Tidelands Health family medicine physician Dr. Elizabeth Dixon, who offers care at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Murrells Inlet.
    “Diet is in some ways more important than exercise in avoiding metabolic diseases,” Dr. Dixon says.
    One study found that nearly half of deaths in the U.S. caused by common diseases such as heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes were related to poor eating habits.
    Of course, exercise is quite good for your health. It can help build muscle mass, keep you mobile and help you maintain a healthy weight. But exercise is only part of the equation.
    It can require an hour or more to burn through calories that take only minutes to consume. Even if you’re able to maintain a healthy weight through exercise, the protective effects of exercise may not be enough to stave off chronic disease. Marathon runners and other athletes have been known to develop heart disease and other conditions associated with poor diet.
    Balanced diet
    Generally, Dr. Dixon advises patients to avoid foods that are white such as bread, potatoes, pasta, sugar and salt. Instead, she encourages people to incorporate more lean chicken, vegetables and fruits. And don’t drink your calories, she cautions.
    Specifically, Dr. Dixon recommends patients follow the Mediterranean or DASH diets. Both prioritize heart health. Each diet is based on eating a lot of fruits, veggies and whole grains and getting healthy fats from foods such as fish and nuts.
    Dr. Dixon also encourages patients who are struggling to speak with a Tidelands Health nutritionist, who can make recommendations based on a person’s unique needs and health conditions.
    It can be an adjustment, but it’s still possible to enjoy food while eating healthy.
    “You don’t have to eat food you don’t like,” Dr. Dixon said. “You just have to shift your lifestyle.”
    About Tidelands Health
    Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.