The Fast Food Industry – You Pay Them to Kill You, While Still Making Hefty Profits

The power of advertising has made the public rethink their unhealthy habits. After the September 11th terrorist attack, the marketing department of the Department of Health used this angle to decrease the desire in young adults to use drugs. We’ve all seen these public service announcements from time to time, and I have mentioned them previously: “My drug habit lead to the ruination of lives far from where I live, I am directly helping organized crime… In other words, my drug use has financed murder…”

This chapter is using another angle to get the right point across. “Today, I built up the plaques in my arteries, I increased my triglyceride level by 30%.” I guess this is a blunt way to make a point. By eating fast food, you literally finance your death.

While several worthwhile books have been written in recent years about the broader social implications of a meat-centered diet (Erik Marcus’ “Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating”, Gail Eisnitz’s “Slaughterhouse”, and Howard Lyman’s “Mad Cowboy”, to name a few), none has been greeted more warmly by the mainstream press than Eric Schlosser’s “Fast Food Nation”. They all make one point in common: the dangers of eating fast food. In spite of this bad press, we haven’t seen many fast food corporate giants go under. Actually, some are doing very well, indeed. How can we comprehend the fact that despite everything that health magazines, newspapers, and television documentaries say about the dangers in the food we eat, such as hamburgers, fries, soft drinks, etc., people still find themselves filling the seats of these restaurants without thinking about the consequences of their actions? We are talking about your health here. A well-researched and trenchant expose of the fast food industry has caused some people to sit up, take notice, and perhaps even rethink their unhealthy eating habits.

It is obvious that a book talking about the causes of obesity talks about the fast food industry as well. Eric Schlosser’s book “Fast Food Nation” has enabled many to understand how fast food is being processed. Today McDonald’s is the country’s largest purchaser of beef, pork, and potatoes, and it’s the second biggest purchaser of chicken – which should seem obvious to us all. With their restaurants in every corner of America and beyond, millions of tons of meat and poultry are being processed in the slaughterhouses that supply meat to McDonald’s.

They can only offer their promotions, 2 burgers for $2.22, if their expenses are low. The point here is to make you realize that each time you enter their restaurants, order food, and pay the cashier to eat their food, you are signing your death warrant. Some statistics are truly staggering: In the early 1970’s, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they shelled out more than $110 billion, more than they spent on higher education, computers, or new cars. McDonald’s operates about 28,000 restaurants worldwide and opens 2,000 more every year. That equals six McDonald’s/day. If they follow the same trend for the next decade, they might reach the 50,000 franchises mark. In real life, opening more franchises will mostly send more Americans to their doctors or the emergency room to get diagnosed with several diseases, including high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. There is at least one positive outlook of these corporate giants. They keep our labor force working by creating many jobs in America and abroad. The 3.5 million fast food workers are by far the largest group of minimum-wage workers in the world; not too bad for the fast food industry.

However, creating jobs should not be used as an excuse, though. They are still convincing people to eat their food by using the media and other sources of advertising. Fast food chains collectively spend about $3 billion annually on television advertising, most of it directed at children-talk about creative marketing. By reaching out to kids, they (the fast food giants) assure themselves a future. What is the point in reaching the older crowd since they are already hooked to their food? They need to reach a virgin market. Yep, ladies and gentlemen, they are targeting your kids. While you are trying your best to teach your kids to adopt a healthy lifestyle by making their lunch everyday, making them participate in after school sports activities, encouraging them to avoid unhealthy temptation, the industry is spending several millions dollars to brainwash them about what food to eat. I guess you agree with me that these are counter-productive measures. Can this ever end? I don’t think so. Unless Congress confronts one of the underlying factors in health costs for the country, we might never see any progress.

There is some good news, though. We’ve seen some changes in this industry in the past few years. McDonald’s and other fast food chains have tried to implement some healthy items in their menus. Americans are finally seeing some choices offered to them: salad in a cup accompanied by low fat salad dressings is one positive result. Although, most consumers are still not ordering these healthier items, they do have the choice anytime they desire.

Diners can now order salads, baked potatoes and grilled chicken sandwiches, some of which weren’t on restaurants’ original menus. Jeff Bonasia, Burger King’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, says customer surveys revealed that 41 percent of Burger King’s “heavy users”, the beef eaters, wanted a vegetarian burger on their menu.

“We’re not necessarily going out to appeal to people who are strict vegans or vegetarians,” Mr. Bonasia says. “It’s meant to provide more choice and variety for the people who love burgers.” When the BK Veggie Burger idea came up, Burger King officials envisioned it as anchoring a nutritious meal combination, possibly paired with a side salad and bottled water. That didn’t register with customers, Mr. Bonasia says. “Their reaction was, ‘I’ll get the Veggie Burger, and I’ll have my fries’,” he says. Most fast-food chains supply customers with the nutritional content of their menu items, either through Web postings or handout guides.

Fast-food restaurants may have consistent menus, but items typically can be customized on request. Often, Ms. Gensler, a Chevy Chase Maryland Dietician, says, “the delivery time of such meals is the same as with a standard order”. “Today’s consumers appreciate a flexible, heart-friendly menu,” says Wendy’s company spokesman Bob Bertini. The burger chain just went nationwide with four new entree salads after successfully test-marketing them last year in five cities. The Garden Sensations salad lineup offers “ingredients that consumers are not used to seeing [in a fast food restaurant],” Mr. Bertini says, from Mandarin Chicken Salad to crispy rice noodles and roasted almonds. Condiments are included separately.

“The whole approach now is not as much on strict diet regimes … it’s more now about balance and choices,” he says.

“For too many, those choices involve super-, mega- or ultra-sizing the meal in question,” says Keith Ayoob, a registered dietitian in New York and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. Super-sized meals also contain excess fat, salt, and sugar, the three main items people crave. The chains (fast foods giants, that is) “know exactly what they’re doing,” Mr. Ayoob says.
Too much fast food leaves diners susceptible to weight gain and all its risks, including diabetes and high blood pressure, not to mention the strain on the heart. Moreover, fast food tends to offer small amounts of fruits, vegetables and fiber, three components that counteract obesity and other health woes. Mr. Ayoob says: “Americans won’t stop eating fast food, but if they eat it wisely, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that”. “Go eat it, but eat smart,” he says. “Find the food there you like the most and have it in a more modest portion. As long as your weight is being maintained and you eat a low-fat, balanced diet,” he says, “An occasional journey into a fast-food restaurant should present no problem.

Give Your Loved Ones the Best Family Healthcare

There are many times when despite all the precautions, you fall ill. It is therefore important that people have the ability to get treated at such times. Family healthcare is one of the most basic needs of man. People need to seek treatment as soon as the first signs and symptoms of an illness show up. It is important that people are able to get the required medication and cure for their problem as soon as it starts lest it should turn into something far worse. Often minor problems could lead to major ones. When family members try to avoid going to a doctor, or getting treatment, it is mainly because the cost of treatment is too high for them to bear.

Family healthcare is one of the most important thoughts on the minds of the elders in the house. When it comes to children, the numbers of problems they can face by just going out of the house to play are countless. Since there are numerous infections in the air, it is difficult for anyone to stay protected from all illnesses. It is the same with adults in the house, when you are in office, at the market, or just at a neighbor’s house, you are vulnerable to a large number of illnesses. Family healthcare does not just mean that when a member is sick, he/she gets treatment. It rather means that when a person is hale and hearty, he/she should get regular check-ups to stay the same.

Whether it is the kids in the family or the adults, treatment for medical problems is seldom cheap. Everyone wants the best family healthcare for their family. But this means that people have to spend a lot of money on the same. This can easily be avoided with a medical insurance plan. The policy would pay for all the healthcare problems undergone by family members. At the same time, if the members use the plans wisely, then they have a better chance of staying healthy and leading a happy life.

People thus have the chance of staying healthy without having to pay much. The health insurance plan would take care of most aspects of family healthcare-inpatient treatment, day-care procedures, and other such problems. However, most such plans do not cover outpatient treatments. But there are plans that cover outpatient consultations, dental treatments, spectacles, etc. also. These are known as outpatient benefit plans.

All healthcare problems that a family faces can be dealt with. But the cost of doing so makes it difficult to get the right quality of treatment for individuals. There is the option of availing health insurance policies to cut the cost of family healthcare. But the problem is that people have the inclination to get the right health insurance plan for family members but they just get confused in selecting the right one.

When selecting the plan, one should remember that the policy is meant to get the family all the healthcare assistance it needs. This means that even pre-existing and hereditary diseases should be covered. However, it is not necessary that they be covered from the very first day. Such illnesses are often covered after a waiting period. One should be well aware of the waiting period before buying the policy.

A family is meant to share everything-happiness, sadness and problems. However, in most families, there are few earning members and more dependents. This means that while there are some members who earn money, there are more who spend the same. Thus the fiscal strain that is felt by the earning member can be easily understood. He/she has to provide for the needs of the whole family. However, when the cost of nearly everything around us is increasing, there is seldom any means by which all the ambitions of a family can be fulfilled. Family healthcare is one of the most difficult aspects of a family budget.

There are times when a person has the option of getting treatment that he/she needs, but in order to save money they avoid the same. This leads to further problems. Since there is no means of predicting the problems faced, one cannot tell the cost needed to deal with the same. The cost of healthcare is ever increasing. As time goes by this cost is going to go up manifold. It is important to stay protected against such high costs, so that there is no compromise on family healthcare and at the same time no stress on the earning members.

There are insurance plans that can come to the aid of a person at such times. However, the problem is that people often feel that they do not have the means of buying a health insurance plan. This is contrary to the reality. When a person cannot afford a mediclaim plan, there is no means by which he/she can afford the cost of treatment. Thus it is best to save money enough for a health plan and then buy the same. Also, one must be able to understand the offerings of the plan one is purchasing. The insurance plans are available with variety of offerings and in different values of sum insured. First, one needs to select the cover of benefits he/she is looking for and then accordingly he/she can choose a plan.

Apollo Munich offers comprehensive plans that are designed to take care of a family’s healthcare needs and give them adequate coverage for all medical problems that are likely to arise. It puts up the policy wordings on the website of the company in very transparent and simple terms. One can also buy and renew plans on its site. All the plans are designed t provide all-round family healthcare coverage. Apollo Munich offers mediclaim policies that are designed to give all-round protection to families. There are a variety of policies which are designed for the same.

Affordable Dental Care Available

Affordable dental care is available. Dental care may be one of the most unmet health care needs but if it’s affordable, your needs can be met. When you forgo dental care, you may be putting yourself at risk for more serious health conditions. It is bad enough that you will lose your teeth if you do not take care of them, but you may also be affecting your brain, heart, and immune system as well. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the gum disease that causes tooth loss (called periodontitis) is associated with other more serious conditions like bacterial pneumonia, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. There are other reports that indicate an unhealthy mouth may be linked to diabetes. Without the proper dental care, small cavities or painful teeth can lead to more serious conditions than just tooth decay. You should not delay making an appointment.

Affordable dental care is available for people on a budget in the form of a “discount dental plan”. What is this? It is an alternative to traditional dental insurance that allows you to see a dentist quickly without breaking your wallet. Many major insurance companies offer an affordable dental care package that offers comprehensive coverage at a discounted price. This is to help people on a budget get the care they need quickly.

Discount dental plans are different from traditional insurance in four different ways:

#1 – Instant savings. Once you have your membership, you get a discount of 10-60% off of most procedures. You pay the dentist directly for their services and there are no hidden fees. For example, you need a procedure that usually costs $249. As a member of the discount network, you are eligible for a 60% discount on that procedure. Therefore, you would only have to pay $99 to get your dental work done ($249 – 60% = $99). That’s it. No additional fees will be charged. This significantly reduced rate allows you to get affordable dental care quickly. If you need to make payment arrangements, you can discuss it directly with the dentist.

#2 No paperwork hassles. With traditional insurance, there is a lengthy waiting period that you must go through while the insurance company decides whether or not you are eligible for coverage. This is called the underwriting period. There is no lengthy underwriting period with a discount plan. Your membership is usually active within 3 business days from the time you join the discount network. If you choose coverage for your family, they will be covered at the same time you are.

#3 – No monthly premiums. There are no monthly bills to pay. Once you have your discount plan membership, you are covered for an entire year.

#4 – No deductibles. There are no deductibles to pay before your benefits kick in. Once you are a member of the network, you are fully eligible for member savings. The dentists in the network offer their dental care services to members at a significantly reduced rate.

What You Must Know About Family Medicine

A Primary care physician is required for those who have certain types of health care coverage plans. This type of doctor can perform physical exams, write prescriptions for your medication, make diagnoses, and treat common illnesses, ailments, and some chronic diseases like diabetes. You can locate primary care doctors in the online business directory, local telephone directory or a physician referral service can refer you to one in your area or surrounding area. These types of doctors provide care to all family members like adults, teens, children, and babies. Sometimes they may refer babies to a pediatric specialist. These doctors can be contacted online or by phone and many of them require you schedule an appointment unless you have an emergency.

Family medicine is also called family practice and this is known as a medical specialty devoted to people of all ages for comprehensive healthcare. If you have been diagnosed with a serious or disabling condition, then this type of practice will refer you to a qualified specialist who can treat you. When you make an appointment to be seen a the family practice, a representative, receptionist, or nurse will schedule one for you. When you arrive for your appointment, the nurse will record your vital signs and then the doctor will visit with you to treat your medical condition.

If you or your family member need a general doctor to treat minor illnesses or ailments, then you may schedule an appointment to be seen by a regular family doctor. This doctor can provide basic treatment and medication to all members of your immediate family. These doctors keep charts on file on your medical records and medical history. Sometimes this type of doctor may be able to help you with prescription medication costs by giving you sample medications they have in stock in their office. This type of doctor usually does not write prescriptions for narcotic pain killers. They can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for pain. Only a pain specialist can prescribe narcotic pain killers.

A family physician can provide the same quality healthcare as a family healthcare doctor, a primary care doctor or a family RN. They can provide medical treatment to all family members of all ages. They offer many great resources to help you understand your medical condition. They monitor your weight by taking measure with a scale. Their nurses in the office take blood pressure readings and record them on their charts. They can monitor blood glucose levels too. They have blood glucose monitors in their office. Some of these physicians will accept walk-in patients. They accept new patients too. New patients will be required to fill out some information regarding their medical history and any drugs they may be allergic to.

Seeing a doctor for your healthcare needs will help you to improve your overall health and self-esteem. They can help you with weight control by providing you with a weight loss diet or refer you to a nutritionist. Family medicine doctors accept a variety of forms of payments that include cash online payments, payments by phone, credit cards, debit cards, e-checks, and bank checks and bank cards. They will also accept health insurance payments and their office staff will work directly with your insurance care provider to collect the payments for medical services provided to you. They make paying simple, easy and fast for their patients. If your medical problem cannot be treated with out-patient care services, these doctors have the authority to admit you for hospitalization in-patient services. After you have been admitted to the hospital, he will treat, run medical tests and prescribe medication for you.

If you have been experiencing problems with your health, seeing a doctor can greatly increase your chances for faster recovery and you will soon be back to your normal daily routine. Sometimes medical conditions can interfere with work. A family doctor can help you get back to work faster if you receive the right treatment and medication for your medical problem.

Buying Individual Health Insurance: 3 Essential Tips From a Health Insurance Specialist

When you’re buying individual health insurance, you’ll probably get overwhelmed by the prices and options of health plans online. Health insurance is now one of the more expensive items in the budgets of many people, but it can also be one of the best decisions you make if you have some know-how selecting the right health plan for you and your family. Here I will give you the 3 Essential Tips that I advise my clients to use when purchasing individual health coverage.

Tip 1: Do not take health insurance advice from someone that is totally unqualified to give you this advice!!

I cannot stress this enough. It amazes me how many sensible people take advice about what health insurance to choose from people who are totally unqualified to give you this critical advice. For example, when I see health insurance messes, (which I see virtually every day) and I ask where they got their health plan information, I inevitably hear things like: “My brother-in- law told me to choose this health plan, he used to work at the hospital.” or “I read an article that says this is the best plan available.” And so on. Everyone’s got an opinion about what health plan you should choose. Just because they are your relative, or involved in some area of health care totally unrelated to insurance, does not mean they know the answers to your individual needs and questions! Work with an insurance specialist BEFORE the problems come up! You have no idea how many clients I have worked with come to me after they chose a health plan online and then have an insurance coverage issue and expect me to fix it, I want to tell them: you should have come to me for help before! Most insurance specialists get paid through insurance carriers, so their services are free to you. USE THEM!!

Tip 2: Determine your actual needs.

The three things to keep in mind when determining your needs are: budget, patterns of doctor and hospital visits, and prescription drug usage. Ask yourself these questions: How frequently do you visit your doctor? Do you go for checkups only or do you go for sick visits? How many times have you been in the hospital in the past 2 years? Do you take regular prescriptions? What are they? Generic or Brands? This is another area where most of my clients neglect. It is not possible to have maximum coverage in all of these areas in any affordable way, maximum coverage for the doctor and hospital plus prescriptions leaves a dent in the budget. However, most health insurance plans offer more than one version of the same plan. For example, say you have “health plan A” that offers maximum coverage for the doctor, maximum coverage for the hospital, and maximum coverage for your prescription drugs. But “health plan A” costs the same as your mortgage. The good news is “Health Plan A” most likely also has customization options, meaning if after analyzing your needs, you discover that you rarely visit a hospital, you could change “health plan A’ s” hospital coverage to moderate or even minimal which will bring down the premium a great deal. If these options are confusing to you, again, a health insurance specialist will be able to help you. They are already aware of “health plan A’ s” customization features and can match your needs to the appropriate version of “health plan A”. A health insurance specialist also has access to versions of health plans that aren’t available as options to the average consumer buying health insurance online.

Tip 3: Resist the urge to over-insure!!

After you’ve analyzed your needs, resist the urge to over-insure! One of the most common health insurance messes I see is over-insurance. People think that if they have maximum coverage for doctors, hospitals, and prescriptions, they have “good” insurance. The truth is, most people who will be approved for individual health insurance won’t need all this coverage. Two things I advise my clients to be aware of: Health Care Reform and Stop-Loss. First, Health Care Reform allows for preventive care services to be covered at 100%. For example, if you only get checkups, why enroll in the plan with 100% doctor’s visit coverage? Enroll in the plan with a lower premium and pay a $10 copay for your sick visit. The difference in premium with this small detail is $100’s of dollars! Furthermore, some of these “maximum coverage” health insurance plans exclude things like pregnancy. The last thing you want to do is pay a small fortune for “good” health insurance only to discover it won’t cover something you need it for! Second, most health insurance plans have a stop-loss built into them which basically states that when your out-of-pocket costs reach a certain amount, the plan will cover you at 100% for all services. And you don’t need the “maximum coverage” plan for this benefit. Your health insurance specialist can even customize this stop-loss amount!

Then, select your plan after following My 3 Essential Tips:

1. Do not take health insurance advice from someone unqualified to offer this advice. Seek a health insurance specialist, they have studied and are licensed to offer this advice and they’re free to you. USE THEM!!

2. Consider your actual needs. Ask yourself questions so you know what your specific health plan needs are, that way you can make sure you select a plan that meets them. After all, if you don’t know what you actually need in a plan, how will you know if you’ve come across the right fit?

3. Resist the urge to over-insure! Health Care Reform has changed how many plans work and you may be able to receive ample or superlative coverage without over-insuring. And most importantly, without the hefty premiums!

There you have it, online health insurance shoppers! I hope this was helpful!

Some Helpful Dental Care Tips

Dental care involves taking proper care of your teeth, gums as well as related structures of your mouth. It encompasses preventing and treating diseases of the teeth and gum and replacing or repairing defective teeth. In most cases, people suffer from dental diseases due to poor brushing, unbalanced diet, and negligence to dental care. This leads to numerous dental problems, which can be expensive, painful, complex, and time consuming. Most of the dental diseases can be prevented by paying much attention to the daily dental care. Proper dental hygiene is not only crucial to our physical appearance, but also essential to the well-being of our body. Below are several dental care tips that will help improve your health and look.

Brush your teeth after each meal

The ideal dental care involves brushing your teeth after each meal. Use soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride and carefully brush along all the surfaces of the teeth in a back and forth motion. It is important to avoid brushing your teeth too vigorously as this can wear down teeth structures. To thoroughly clean each tooth, change the position of your brush after few strokes.

Take your time when you brush

Most people brush for as little as twenty seconds, which is not long enough to get rid of most of the plagues. You should brush for at least two minutes every time you brush your teeth. While you have to brush after every meal, it is before bedtime and after bedtime that is the most crucial.

Flossing techniques

For proper dental care, proper flossing technique must be used. Use about 18 inches floss and wrap both ends against each of your middle fingers. Firmly hold the floss between your thumb and forefinger on each hand. Pool the floss between each other gently, rubbing against the sides of your teeth.

Regular dental checkup

It is essential to visit the dentist at least once every three to four months. Getting your teeth checked by a dentist will help detect any oral problem early. There are no dental signs associated with many oral health problems until the condition has developed to the advanced stage. You should not hesitate to visit the dentist if you have a tooth ache.

Use mouthwash twice a day

For proper dental care, mouthwashes are imperative as they will keep your breath fresh and your mouth feeling clean. They contain effective antiseptic properties that slay the bacterial plaque. It is also vital to maintain a good balanced diet, and reduce the consumption of starchy and sugary foods that are known to trigger tooth decay. To maintain good dental care, avoid consuming between meal because it will make your teeth prone to decay.

Avoid smoking

For a good dental care, smoking should be avoided as it can cause tooth decay, bad breath, tooth discoloration, and gum disease. Some of the other bad effects of smoking are hairy tongue, mouth bores, delaying wound healing, shifting teeth, jaw bone loss among others.

Dental care in an important part of general health and proper oral health gives a sense of overall well-being. By performing daily care of your mouth, gum diseases and tooth decay will stay at bay.

Answer Your the Eldercare Questions Online

Finding the right way to care for aging members of the family can be tough job. There are a variety of online resources for researching your options so you can make a choice that will benefit everyone.

The aging of America has led to a booming industry providing for the care of our seniors. It has also led to difficulties with Medicare and dire threats of the collapse of Social Security. What is important however is that the medical establishment has responded in a variety of ways to support the special needs of people in their final years.

The omnibus site provided by the Department of Health and Human Services is. This site provides a thorough selection of choices for locating eldercare services in your community. The site is multilingual and provides both online support and phone numbers that can be utilized.

A sponsored site with good information can be found at. It is sponsored by QuietCare, a security warning device for seniors living at home. Nevertheless, the site has a good collection of “how to” articles for both seniors and those family members who feel charged with guiding them through the lifestyle changes leading to eldercare.

An extremely well organized site that provides the same guidance and a library of other online resources is at. This site takes the caregiver from first steps right through facility selection and legal issues. Perhaps the most valuable portion of the site is a list of related online sites, broken out by category. Divisions include Assisted Living; Food and Nutrition; Legal Issues; Equipment and Personal Health Supplies; Financial Issues; and several others. For each of these categories the site provides a dozen or more major web sites as references. A few are commercial; more of them, however, appear to be sites put up by professional associations in the industry or non-profits that give unbiased recommendations on resources.

There is a National Long Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (ORC) established and supported by the Federal Government. This organization is an excellent starting point for localized resources. You can click on a map on their web site and select a state where you’ll find listings for such offices as the State and Regional Ombudsmen, Office of License (where you can check on Long Term Care facilities); Medicaid Fraud Control; and so forth. The site is located at.

Ancillary issues facing our senior population today is what sort of long term care insurance is best for them, and the question of whether or not they should pursue home equity conversion, a “reverse mortgage,” to finance their final years. There are increasing numbers of online resources relating to both these areas.

One site that covers both issues and several other related matters – such as wills, trusts and powers of attorney; assist technology and remote monitoring – is the National Care Planning Council’s Guide to Long Term Care Planning at. The site includes 35 in-depth chapters totaling over 670 printable pages covering virtually all areas of long-term care planning. It also provides numerous lists of care providers, advisers and specialized services in four categories of care needs. For the role of Medicare in Long Term Care, go to the government site at.

Finally, the AARP provides some basic information on reverse mortgages at. HUD has a reverse mortgage program that is insured by the FHA and is outlined at. Reverse mortgages are expensive, and not without complications. The FHA insists that reverse mortgages on loans they’ve insured not be provided without a counseling session between an FHA or HUD professional and the homeowners.

Family Medicine And Family Physicians

To become a family physician, men and women go through a four-year degree program, they study in an accredited family medical medicine residency program, and an additional three years of training before becoming board certified. A family physician is your one-stop healthcare expert. They treat everyone in the family and they exam, research, and diagnose medical conditions from head to toe. This type of care is called integrated care where a family doctor devises individualized health plans to treat mom, dad, and children of all ages. Family doctors treat a wide range of health conditions and they can be your primary care physicians at any point in your life. Unlike other specialties, family medicine involves coordinating all types of healthcare issues, from a common cold, pregnancies, to treating an acute or chronic illness.

Family physicians must practice at the highest level of medical care throughout the world. They are required to become re-certified around every six years, through American institutions like The American Board of Family Medicine, The American Academy of Family Physicians or the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, all of which have reciprocity agreements throughout the globe for family medicine training. A few of the advantages in being seen by a primary care physician, includes the following:

• family doctors have all of your personal and family medical history because they have been treating you for years.

• physicians that have seen generations of family members can help in researching various genetic diseases, like cancer, if it appears more than once in a generation.

• doctors involved in family medicine environments can perform minor surgical procedures without the added cost of seeing a specialist.

• they improve the lives of the under served in America and abroad.

Research and clinical studies have proven that U.S. and worldwide primary care physicians have been responsible for lowering the world mortality rates in diseases, such as in cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, low birth weight issues, obesity, and many other illnesses and health conditions. The statistical results associated with the care provided by family physicians, have proven that they help to increase life spans and control diseases from spreading. Their participation in healthcare has reduced healthcare expenditures, they help to lower hospital admissions, emergency room admissions, and they help to reduce surgical costs.

A family doctor focuses on preventive care, community oriented care, global health, plus they diagnose and manage a wide range of health problems to improve the quality of care in local, rural, urban, and large city health. Even if people are generally healthy, patients benefit by keeping a relationship with their primary care physicians. The physicians support individuals to stay healthy through dietary programs, they encourage their patient’s to exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy.

One of the main reasons that family medicine works, is the relationship that patients have with their doctors. This specialized and confidential relationship is great for individuals who feel comfortable in talking about their medical health with their physicians. Physicians around the world, are available to answer their patient’s questions in a way that forms a trusting bond. This bond creates a trusting relationship, whereby patients will listen and follow their healthcare provider’s advice and directions, thus decreasing chances of spreading contagions.

Family medicine is all about treating the whole person, not just their symptoms. A family physician has a profound effect on the physical, mental, environmental, emotional, and spiritual health of each of their patient’s. Physicians with an intimate knowledge of their patients can help introduce the healing power of hope, love, faith, and trust, as life presents challenges that can evoke depression, fear, grief, and anger. Also, if a physician’s patient requires the need to see a specialist, a family doctor will help coordinate your care. Patients can often feel frustrated and confused when they have to manage the healthcare system on their own. With a family healthcare provider on your side, the whole medical care journey is made easier and less frightening of the unknown.

Refugees have always fled to foreign countries, including the U.S. for a chance of better opportunities for themselves and their family. The present global news events are following refugees today, who are fleeing from their native countries for various reasons. Before being accepted for resettlement, all refugees must pass medical screening examinations, which is often performed by primary care physicians. The physicians perform a thorough examination of a variety of health problems that involve the mental and social health of the refugees. The family doctor’s check for infectious diseases, chronic illnesses, the refugee’s overall musculature system, and parasites, thus providing immunizations. The information that they gather is shared with that country’s main health agency, which in the U.S. Is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

You Have Been Declined for Health Insurance in California, Now What?

If you are reading this then you probably have been declined for health insurance in the recent past. When you get declined for health insurance it probably has something to do with your medical history. Since California is one of the underwritten states health care companies have the right to declined people for health insurance. Who health insurance company might decline and who it might not all depends on risk assessment using actuarial tables. Anytime when you fill out individual application for health coverage and answer yes on one of the medical questions your application might be manually reviews by one of the underwriters. It is a person who is responsible to reviewing application using actuarial tables. Actuarial tables are statistics done by the insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, researchers that predict the cost of insuring some one with a specific medical history.

Some states like New York, New Jersey and Washington require insurance companies to insure everyone. Those three states do not have medical underwriting and everyone is automatically approved for health coverage. In order to insure everyone with medical history insurance companies increase rates to the point where it becomes not affordable to most people. What keeps the average monthly premiums low is low utilization of health care. If there are more people with high medical insurance utilization with a specific health insurance company they have to raise the rates for everyone in order to keep up with paying medical claims. That also drives people who do not use health insurance that often to drop health insurance all together and yet driving rates even higher. This leaves no choice for insurance carriers but to drive rates even higher. New York, New Jersey and Washington have highest premiums for medical coverage and a lot of families find health care out of reach.

In California if you have been declined for health coverage you have options. If you out of job or currently on low income you can qualify for Medical and if you have kids they can qualify for a program called Healthy Families. Most states including California have high risk pools that are designed for people who have been declined for individual health insurance. In California this program is called MRMIP. Just the quick search on the Internet will guide to a government website. MRMIP is a program that is managed by the state and your big name medical insurance providers participate in it. Chances are you will be able to keep the same health insurance company if you are already use to them. MRMIP program has limits and it might have a waiting period.

One of the best options might be when it comes to getting the most coverage for your money is through a group plan. In the state of California all group plans by law are required to be a guaranteed issue. That means that there is no medical underwriting. This options requires more work from you. Insurance companies are not just going to let you set up a group plan if you have been declined for individual health insurance. Since insurance companies are required to insurance everyone who is part of the group state requires insurance companies to have rules when it comes to setting up a group plan. Some of the basic requirements change from the insurance company to the insurance company.

The best way to find out is talk to insurance broker. The basics that insurance companies are going to be looking for are that you have to have a reason for starting a group plan other then getting medical insurance. It is illegal to start a group plan just to get health insurance. That means that you have to have a business and that could be anything. To have a group plan you obviously have to have more then just yourself It takes at least two people to start a group plan. All the people that are going to be on the group plan are either have to be the owners of the business or have to be on the payroll. Some insurance companies require either a DE-6 form or six weeks of payroll records. If every one if the owner then you will be required to provide proof of the ownership listing everyone that is going to be on a group plan as the owner. This might not be simple but is is certainly doable and it is definitely worth it if you do not have any coverage and cannot get it on your own.

It is always easier to just blame the insurance company that they have declined you for health coverage. If you have been declined and are looking for health insurance you just have to be more proactive in getting your coverage. Once you work with a broker on getting on the requirements on setting up a group plan then it is forever yours and no one can take that coverage away from you unless you stop paying for it.

Obesity and Fast Foods

Before we discuss obesity and fast foods, let us have some definitions first.

o Obesity: A person is termed obese when his or her Body Mass Index exceeds 30
o Body Mass Index (BMI): A unit of measurement used to define the state of a person’s body weight. It is derived by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of his or her height in meters.

Underweight BMI = less than 20
Normal BMI = 20 to 24.9
Overweight BMI = 25 to 30
Obese BMI = greater than 30

o Fast food: there is no standard definition for it, but generally taken to mean foods that are prepared in very large quantities using standard kitchen utensils, following standardized recipes and repetitive preparation procedures and served rapidly in standard designed restaurants known as fast food restaurants. They usually advertise their services through electronic and print media and generally target children and young people. The rapid spread of such restaurants is usually made possible through the franchising system.

The key to good health through eating nutritious foods needs no explanation. As the saying “we are what we eat” goes, our physical well being is largely dependent on the type of foods we take. Cases of diet related diseases are well documented. They include the likes of diabetes, overweight, obesity, hypertension, heart diseases and certain types of cancer.

The link between obesity and fast foods has been well documented. It has been recognized that excessive consumption of fast foods is a leading cause of obesity due to the high content of fat, sugar and salt in fast foods. They are typically low in complex carbohydrates.

Another area of concern is that advertisements of fast foods are generally targeted towards children. Children, particularly the younger ones, are generally unable to discern through food and nutrition information. It is no coincidence that there are increasing incidences of the rise in obesity in the younger people.

Countries around the world are getting more and more alarmed at the rate of increase in obesity particularly in the younger people; they are well aware of the link between obesity and fast foods.

However, it is unfair to put the entire blame squarely on fast foods. Kids nowadays spent more time on computer games and television than their parents’ generation; they are less likely to part take in robust physical games.

Seeing the need to address the danger of the link between obesity and fast food, many countries around the world are taking action to enforce tighter control on television and print media advertisements, because the younger people are usually the targets of fast food companies.

Of particular concern is television advertising, an extremely influential and effect medium of advertisement for children. Among some of the restrictions adopted are:

o Prohibition of TV advertisements of fast foods during the airing of children’s programs
o Prohibition of TV sponsorship by fast food companies for children’s programs
o Prevention of misleading food information which may confuse consumers
o Fast food companies are prohibited from any form of advertisements that encourages excessive consumption
o Fast food companies are prohibited from promoting fast foods as healthy substitutes for a complete or balanced meal

The link between fast foods and obesity has prompted many governments to take affirmative action to prevent excessive consumption particularly by the younger people. It is a step in the right direction to reduce the overall burden of health care costs provided by governments around the world.

Healthcare – When You Lose Your Healthcare

If health care is important to you, you may feel devastated when you lose your healthcare. With the downward spiral that the economy has been experiencing, companies are trying to do everything to stay in business. For some corporations, this can mean lay-offs and a reduction in work force. For others, this means cutting costs in other areas, including healthcare. It can seem like a scary thing to be without benefits for you and your family, but you have options.

#1 – Purchase your own individual and family healthcare. There are important things to consider when purchasing individual and family health care plans. Do you want to choose your own doctor, or are you okay choosing from a pre-screened network? Do you have any pre-existing conditions that may prevent you from getting insurance? Circumstances like these may affect your decisions and monthly premiums. You will also want to look at whether there is a deductible – a fee that is paid before your coverage starts. If you choose a plan with a high deductible, your monthly premiums may be much lower. Just be aware that should you need medical attention, your deductible amount must come out of your pocket before your insurance benefits kick in. Choose a plan that has a deductible you can handle as well as monthly that are premiums within your budget.

#2 – Purchase a discount health plan. This is a health care option that is not technically “health insurance” but with this type of plan, you are offered discount prices on medical procedures, office visits, emergency room visits, etc. The administrators in a discount program bargain with your physician and come up with a reduced fee for their services. Then, you only pay the discounted fee instead of the full priced fee that is charged to the general public. Most times these discount plans offer a 20-40% savings. Even though this is not traditional insurance, it is a way to save money with reduced costs so that you do not have to come up with the full payment when you need medical services.

#3 – Visit a participating pharmacy. Some pharmacies offer physical exams, vaccinations, and treatment for a number of medical conditions for an affordable price. They may also offer diagnostic testing for common ailments as well. If you are uninsured, be sure to check with pharmacies in your area to see if they offer any of these services. Try to be proactive and check for these services before they are needed so you will know the offerings and prices before you purchase a health care plan.

So the bottom line is, should you lose your insurance, do not feel like there is nothing you can do. Although it may be devastating when you lose your healthcare, there are other avenues you can take and options that are available so that you are covered. Take charge of your situation and start shopping around now for the best option for you and your family.

Drug Abuse in College – How to Get Your Loved Ones Back

Violence is breaking out due to gang wars over drug territory. Are your kids in college safe from this?

Over 75 college students were arrested in San Diego State University in May 2008, for drug dealing on campus. 2 kilograms of cocaine, ecstasy pills, marijuana, illicit prescription drugs, meth, psychedelic mushrooms, guns etc were seized by police.

One half of all college students binge drink, abuse pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs. (ref: National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse or CASA).

College can be a great place to get an education, but if a loved one has drug abuse problems, you should be planning their rehab program 1st. I’ve sent many college students to long-term drug rehab programs that use the social / educational model of recovery after drug abuse was discovered to be ruining a young person’s life.

College students seem to do very well with social / educational methods of rehab as they aren’t expected to admit they are powerless over their addiction. In fact the opposite is true. Social / Education rehab models consider a drug abuser is completely responsible for their drug abuse – but their lives are simply out of control.

What Drugs Of Abuse Should You Be Concerned About?

College students abused pharmaceuticals at higher rates than drugs like cocaine and ecstasy. Pain killing pharma had a 343% increase in abuse amongst students. (ref: CASA)

Anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax and Valium had a 450% rise in abuse in the college crowd.

Often drugs like Xanax are used to mask the after effect symptoms of meth and cocaine. So again, Rx use can be a visible indicator of other drug abuse as well.

Drug & Alcohol Abuse Damages The Mind

Drug abuse creates inabilities to differentiate between actuality and delusion. Drug users are purposefully imposing delusion into their lives with drug use. They only get upset when they no longer know the difference between reality and illusion. The line of reality slides over gradually, rarely all of a sudden.

What are the indicators of drug abuse?

The biggest indicators of college drug abuse are slides down of GPA and inability to handle course loads anymore. Communication level and frequency changes when people move from use to abuse. It often looks like depression or apathy or loss of goals in life. Those are symptoms of drug / alcohol abuse as well.

However, the biggest indications of drug abuse is lack of communication, lying and avoiding specific questions from parents or family members. Do your kids resist coming home or having you see them on campus? All these types of behaviors are indications of drug abuse.

Does Drug Rehab Work For College Students?

Yes, absolutely and work well. But if a rehab program hasn’t worked for you in the past, meaning they’ve relapsed, you need to re-evaluate the types of programs available. There is more than one way to achieve success in life and more than several ways to end drug addiction.

But be sure the goal of the program and your loved one is to end their drug addiction for real.

Determining the goal of the drug rehab model as well as the goals of the college student goes a long way in starting on the road to straight living and often straight A’s.

Eldercare Solutions For the Sandwich Generation

Ava has flute lessons at 4:00. Dad has a doctor’s appointment at 5:00. And you have no clue what you’re going to whip up for dinner. As a member of the sandwich generation-those who care for both their children as well as their aging parents-you’re in a unique situation. You’ll feel stress in your mind, your body, and even your pocketbook. This guide will help you assemble an eldercare solutions team that can make you feel a little less sandwiched.

Non-medical in-home care
In-home care providers are a favorite solution for many children caring for aging parents. These companies offer a wide variety of services designed to enhance to help your parent in the tasks of everyday living. Professional in-home care can provide assistance with bathing or toileting. They can also perform light housekeeping, such as changing linens or unloading groceries. What’s more, these companies offer companion eldercare solutions services. That means Dad has someone to play checkers with while you’re at a day-long conference.

Adult day care and other senior activities
From day trips to the local tourist trap to water aerobics, you can find a number of local services to keep Mom or Dad active. Church groups and social service agencies are two good sources for activity-related eldercare solutions. Your local agency on aging can also provide a list of resources for you to contact.

Family and Friends
Many of us have a circle of family and friends-and when it comes to caring for aging parents, it’s important to tap into that resource. Have a family meeting to decide how each person can help. Maybe your retired Aunt can become Mom’s taxi service. Perhaps your spouse can take over cooking one night a week. Teens can take on responsibility, too, by picking up prescriptions or taking over one of your typical household chores.

Even if your family consists simply of you and your aging parent, you can still find solutions to make your life less stressful. For instance, ask a neighbor to watch a movie with Dad while you slip away for dinner. If help with household stuff will help make caring for aging parents easier, ask a church youth group if they’d be willing to trim the fire bushes. Have a neighbor with a ladder? Exchange a home-cooked meal for clean gutters.

Professional Services
Caring for aging parents comes with a price tag, especially if you’re part of the sandwich generation. Experts estimate it costs more than $16,000 a year to pay for child care and elder care. That’s why it’s important to enlist the help of professionals who can help guide you through the numbers. Consult a financial advisor who has experience in eldercare solutions.

Remember to ask your parents about getting legal advice regarding living wills and medical powers of attorney. Putting these documents into place now, when your parent is still relatively health, can save the family future heartache and conflict when a serious illness strikes.

Don’t let the stress of raising children and caring for aging parents take its toll on your life. By planning and finding the right kind of help, you can find an eldercare solution you and your aging parent can live with.

The Secret to Getting Your Aging Parents to Accept Eldercare Services – Start With Their Pets

Your parents need more help than they’re willing to admit. They bristle at the thought of elder care services and independent living programs, and they have fired all the in-home helpers and housekeepers you’ve hired for them. How might you prevail upon them to accept some assistance? Ask them about their pets.

They surely want the best for their animals and might be willing to let somebody take their dog for an occasional romp or change the litter box a couple of times a week.

Pet owners often make decisions about their own health and circumstances based on the impact the decisions would have on their pets. “I can’t go into the hospital over night for the test the doctor ordered-who would feed and walk Fluffy?” Your parents might welcome assistance that would make it easier to keep the animal at home and in good health and spirits. And, accepting help for the pet is easier than admitting you need help yourself. Still, help is help, and accepting help for the pet is a face-saving way to ease in to help for oneself.

There are various dog walking and pet sitting services, and some are fully bonded and insured. Local animal shelters and veterinary practices have referral lists. Neighbors with pets probably have recommendations too. A responsible teenage neighbor looking for pocket money might also be a good resource.

When was the last time your parents’ pet went to the vet for an exam and shots? Getting an animal into a carrier is hard enough for many pet owners in the prime of their-and their pet’s-life. It may well be impossible for your parents to catch the cat, put it in the carrier and carry the carrier to the car they shouldn’t be driving anyway.

The way to make assistance tolerable is to get clear and detailed information about what your parents want help with and how they want to be helped. Starting with a topic they’re willing to consider, help with a trip to the vet, you can follow this good experience with others like help with shopping and eventually with in-home help.

Do your parents want help with:

• Walking the pet
• Feeding and watering the pet
• Cleaning up after the pet, inside or out
• Getting the pet ready to go to the vet
• Taking the pet to the vet
• Staying with the pet if your parent is out of town or in the hospital?

No matter how experienced the provider of eldercare services is, he/she cannot anticipate each client’s preferences and may not ask in sufficient detail to get adequate information. Use these questions to help your parents get clear on exactly what they want help with and how they want to be helped, and to train the helper so he/she can provide elder care services they will accept.

Natural Health Treatments Are Most Effective When Using Homeopathy

Natural health treatments are best treated when the whole of you is taken into consideration. Typical health treatments isolate parts of you, dealing only with your eye, your big toe, you digestion, etc. But how can this make sense, bearing in mind the whole of you is all connected?

Let’s look at a more efficient way of considering the whole of you in your treatment.

Consider shock. Initially this can cause an increase in your heart rate, make you sweat more, make you extremely anxious, agitated and restless. Your body is preparing you for flight – to flee from a potentially dangerous situation. However, often shock comes after the danger has passed, such as in a bad accident. Fleeing is no longer necessary, although it would have resolved the shock.

This unresolved shock remains in your system forever, unless it is energetically treated. This can lead to ailments such as high blood pressure, panic attacks, heart conditions and other serious health issues.

But by resolving the shock with an energetic health care modality such as homeopathy, the related health issues are also resolved.

Homeopathy works at an energetic level, which is highly appropriate given that you are an energy being. Many people find this concept hard to understand, in this current climate where the focus of ill health is on the physical, or outside forces. However, natural treatments as a whole, and homeopathy in particular, understand that this is a very limited way of looking at health. And normally, an ineffective one.

It does mean a change of mindset. But given the fact that worldwide health is at an all time low even, or perhaps especially, in those countries where medicine has never been more available, it may be a long overdue change.

Fast Food Statistics – Choices Matter

Fast food statistics let us know that fast food can be an unhealthy option. A quickie burger is a popular choice among people who don’t want to cook, or who are under time pressures and don’t have time to cook. But instead of buying takeout why not make your own fast meals at home?

What’s in a Fast Meal?

Here is a quick statistic on a fast food meal. A cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake have around 1,000 calories. About 17% percent of those calories are from protein, which is not too bad. But around 39% of those calories are from saturated fat and that’s not good. And around 44% are from refined carbohydrates, which is constipating and fattening.

Too much saturated fat in the diet causes high levels of cholesterol in the blood and risk of heart disease. Children may quickly burn up calories from fat in a typical fast food meal, but for most adults those calories quickly turn to body fat and cellulite.

Nutrition of Fast Food

A regular portion of fries has about 210 calories and 10 grams of fat. A 4-ounce hamburger, without the cheese has around 420 calories and 20 grams of fat, plus a whopping 690 grams of sodium! Yikes that is a lot of sodium for a small hamburger. A medium soft drink boasts about 210 calories and 50 of those calories are from sugar.

Eating fast food is a convenient way to grab a bite, but fast food in undeniably unhealthy in many ways. Fast food does not have any fiber whatsoever, which leads to constipation that can later develop into colon cancer. The saturated fat content of fast food is not healthy for the heart. It’s never a good idea to eat fast food more than a couple of times a month, and for some people, never.

Making Your Own Fast Meal

If you enjoy eating hamburgers once in awhile, the alternative is to make your own. Mix ½ pound ground meat with ½ pound ground turkey. Add seasonings of your choice. Form into patties and broil in the oven. Take two whole potatoes and wash and scrub thoroughly. Cut potatoes into French fry wedges. Toss some olive oil, sea salt and paprika on the potatoes and bake for 45 minutes at 400-degrees.

Time Saving Tips

The rush, rush mentality of society has made many people flock to the nearest fast food joint for meals. But there are healthy eating alternatives. Here are a few tips:

If you live close to your work, simply go home for lunch. If you don’t have the luxury of working close to home, bring lunch to work with you.

If you have to eat out, choose a salad bar, soup, or light sandwich. Bring your own salad dressing with you instead of using those fattening creamy dressings.

Have a well-stocked pantry at home full of healthful foods such as beans, brown rice, pasta and other whole grains. When you cook, make more than you will need and freeze the rest in individual servings for work or when you don’t feel like cooking.

Be prepared. Make lists of what you are going to eat throughout the week. On the night before going to work do most of the prep work, so when you come home from work all you have to do is cook the food.

Cook in your crock-pot. The crock-pot does the cooking for you.

3 Big Reasons To Avoid Digestive Health Medicine

Due to our unhealthy western diet and it’s highly processed foods that many of us eat too regularly, we now have more disease and digestive disorders than ever before in known human history. This downward health spiral has worked out well for the medical industry and pharmaceutical industry. They have a digestive health medicine that can treat every problem you have.

The operative word here being “treat”, not cure. Our health industry is not interested in finding a cure for anything, that’s not what brings in the business.

Let’s take constipation as an example

Constipation is one of the most common digestive disorders we have. If you search for a medicine for it you will be prescribed or guided to several products like:

  • bowel cleaning solutions
  • bulk-forming laxatives
  • fecal softeners
  • stimulant laxatives
  • 5HT4-receptor agonists
  • peripheral opioid-receptor antagonists

All these categories have many products that are all made with drugs. Most of these problems can not only be treated by most people by diet, but most likely cured for good. There are several problems with treating these symptoms with drugs;

1. Drugs can never cure your problem, they can only provide temporary relief for the symptoms until they hit you again.

2. All drugs come with the possibility of negative adverse side effects.

3. Drugs will cause other symptoms unrelated to the symptom they were made to treat, causing you to seek out yet another prescription for another drug that will create another problem.

This is happening everywhere. There are more people on medication now than ever before. Many people are and will be, many unnecessarily, on medication for the rest of their lives. Your doctor is more than happy to prescribe a medication as long as you need it, and once you start, you will always need it.

Natural treatments door digestive health problems

Let’s look at the above list again. Do you really want to take a drug as a bulk-forming laxative? Over-use of laxatives can lead to serious side effects;

  • they can cause kidney stones or failure
  • they can body dehydration and rob it from vitamins and minerals
  • they can damage bowel function
  • pro-longed use can eventually make them stop working altogether

How about dietary fibers we can get from eating all-natural grains such as unrefined oats, barley and the best one of all; bran. Not only will these build up bulk in the intestinal tract, but will also leave your body with digestive enzymes, vitamins and minerals. Consume plenty dietary fiber and you won’t need stimulant laxatives or fecal softeners, or bowel cleaning solutions.

Affordable Dental Care – Top 3 Ways Of Having Affordable Dental Care

The lack of affordable dental care has cause people to go without seeing a dentist. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. These types of problems can lead to other health care problems like infections if untreated. It can also be painful and costly if dental problems continue to go untreated.

By getting the proper affordable treatment it can protect you from tooth decay and gum disease. There are a lot of procedures that can help you save money. By practicing basic dental care it can save fewer trips to the dentist office. An excellent way to start would be to develop healthier dental hygiene.

Affordable Dental Care-Checkups

Routine checks up can help make dental care more affordable by getting your teeth examine and clean. It is recommended to see a dentist twice a year. A dentist can detect any oral health problems in the early stage. A routine checkup may include cleaning, polishing, prevention, and X-rays.

Affordable Dental Care- Good Brushing

Brushing is an additional key to keeping affordable dental care because it prevents cavities and reduces the chances of tooth decay. Brushing can prevent bad breathe too. Regular brushing can help slow down the time spent with visiting a dentist. Besides making your teeth last forever, you can save money by preventing dental problems and reduce any other dental procedures. Overall it is important to have proper oral health care.

Affordable Dental Care – Dental Discount Plan

A good quality discount dental plan that is not insurance can be a perfect way to getting affordable dental care. A membership fee is usually paid by a consumer who wants to receive dental treatments for a discount. There are no insurance companies involved with a discount dental plan. The discount plan will cut down the cost. If you can’t afford dental insurance then this may benefit because it beats having nothing at all.

Suffering From Drug Abuse

Many people do not realize that they suffer from drug abuse problems. There are many different substances that count as drugs. Abusing these substances might only mean using them to a degree more than they were intended.

For instance, caffeine is a drug. There are many different ways that a human being can take caffeine into their body. In this day and age there are like five different kinds of energy drinks at any gas station market. Each of these energy drinks will contain a high amount of caffeine. If someone were to drink many of these energy drinks in one day, then they would be suffering from drug abuse. Still, if someone asked them if they had a problem with abuse, they might not think that they do.

There are definitely harsher forms of abuse than caffeine abuse. Hardcore drugs have the potential to wreck the human body a lot more than the lesser drugs. Still, the lesser drugs can harm the body quite a bit as well.

The problem is that some people associate drug abuse with illegal drugs. There are many drugs that are very legal to buy. These drugs can be abused. What it all boils down to is that everyone has to be careful about what they take into their body. The government isn’t going to make everything that’s bad for the body illegal. Instead, they are going to leave some decisions up to the people. That means that people need to be learned enough to figure out what they should or shouldn’t take into their body.

Sometimes people are having an illegal abuse problem without even knowing about it. When a doctor prescribes a certain amount of medication, it is illegal to go beyond the prescribed amount. There are many people who don’t seem to think there is a problem with this. In fact, there are some doctors who make a living on over-prescribing people medication. They are actually helping people with their abuse.

I feel that part of thing that drives abuse in middle class society is the fact that moderately wealthy to extremely wealthy people don’t think that they can have a drug abuse problem. They think they are somehow above the entire drug abuse situation.

That’s just not true. Anyone who has access to drugs can have an abuse problem. Drugs are incredibly addictive, and so everyone is subject to having a problem with them. The sooner high society admits that they suffer from drug abuse as much as everyone else, the sooner we can all start solving this problem together.

Still, this won’t happen until drug abuse is more clearly defined for people. Simply put: drug abuse is abusing drugs. Legal drugs that are overused are being abused. It’s as simple as that. The problem with most types of drugs is that they are so addictive that people can’t help but take more of them than they should. This is why abuse is even a problem.

Healthy Eating – Three Super Reasons to Start Drinking Lemon Water Today

As you go about your healthy eating program, one thing you will want to ensure you are doing is drinking enough fluids. Staying hydrated is key to keeping your…

  • energy level up,
  • your hunger down, and
  • your blood sugar levels stable.

If you want to make the most of your hydration, there is one way to do it: lemon water. Why is lemon water so beneficial? Let’s look at the reasons…

1. Detoxification. First, lemon water is excellent for detoxifying your body. Water on its own is ideal for flushing toxins out of your system, but the added lemon helps cleanse your digestive tract and make sure everything is functioning optimally.

It is important to remember when you become overloaded with toxins, which you are exposed to on a daily basis, everything in your body performs less than optimally. You have to deal with this toxic load, and that can be very taxing and energy draining.

Once you remove those toxins, your energy level will increase, and you will start feeling noticeably better.

2. Low-Calorie. Next, you will benefit from lemon water because it is so low in calories. Lemons contain just mere calories per whole fruit, so the juice of a few slices of lemon may amount to two or three calories at most.

Consuming calorie-containing beverages is one of the leading causes of weight gain for many people, so the more you can swap this out with calorie-free drinks, the higher your chances are of reaching your body-weight goals.

Furthermore, the light flavor of this water will also encourage you to drink more. Thus it will be easier to get your hydration needs met.

3. Balances pH Levels. Lemons outside of the body are extremely acidic, but inside the body, it is a whole different story. When they move through the digestive tract, they become alkaline, so are great for keeping your body where it needs to be.

When you become very acidic, this can set you up for problems such as…

  • fatigue,
  • headaches,
  • sleepiness,
  • a lack of appetite,
  • an increased heart rate,
  • lightheaded, and
  • have difficulty concentrating.

Most of us are regularly in an acidic state due to consuming so much meat, dairy, and grains.

There you have three super reasons to drink lemon water today. Try putting a few slices of lemon in a pitch of icy cold water along with some fresh mint leaves for a great tasting drink you will look forward to having.

Can Plant Foods Be Bad For Your Health?

Plants appeared on land about 450 million years ago, long before the first insects arrived 90 millions years later. Until the insects turned up, plants could grow and thrive in peace. But when insects and eventually animals arrived, plants had to fight for their own survival; otherwise, they could very well become someone’s dinner.

For this reason, plants have since evolved an array of strategies to protect themselves or their seeds from insects and animals, including humans. They may use an assortment of physical deterrents, such as color to blend into their surroundings, an unpleasant texture, a gooey substance such as resins and saps that entangle insects, a hard outer shell such as coconut, or spine-tipped leaves such as artichoke.

Additionally, plants have developed biological warfare to repel predators by poisoning or paralyzing them, or reduce their own digestibility to stay alive and protect their seeds, enhancing the chances that their species will survive.

One common defensive plant chemical is lectin. Insects become paralyzed when they eat these plants. Since humans are much much bigger in size, we may not notice any harmful effects right away. However, we may not be immune to the long-term effects of eating such plant compounds on a continual basis. Research in recent years have associated a number of illnesses with lectins in the diet. They include arthritis, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

What Are Lectins?

Lectins are a type proteins that bind to carbohydrates. In fact, lectins are present in varying amounts in pretty much all forms of life, such as plants, animals including humans, bacteria, and viruses.

Not all lectins are harmful to humans, some are actually beneficial and may even have cancer prevention properties, such as those in avocado, bitter melon, garlic, and herbs such as astragalus and licorice. But here, we are only going to focus on the potentially harmful plant lectins.

Lectins are especially concentrated in seeds because seeds are the plant’s babies, the future generation. There are two basic types of seeds:

Seeds that plants want predators to eat –

  • These seeds are encased in a hard coating designed to survive a trip all the way through the predator’s gastrointestinal tract. Fruit trees are a good example of this type of seeds. The objective is to have the fruits eaten and wind up a distance away from the mother plant. This way, they will not compete for sun, water, and nutrients and have a better chance of survival.
  • The plant often uses color to attract the predator’s attention. When the fruit is unripe, it is typically green. When it turns yellow, orange, or red, it signals ripeness and is ready to be eaten. By the way, animals that eat fruits also have color vision. Unripe fruits are often high in lectin, a message to the predator that it is not ready to be eaten yet. When the hull of the seed hardens, the fruit becomes ripe, the color changes, and the lectin content goes down.
  • Nowadays, we tend to pick the fruits premature so that they can survive long travel distances. When they arrive at their destination, they are then given a blast of ethylene oxide gas to the make the fruits appear ripe. Unfortunately, the lectin content of these fruits remain high because the protective hull of the seeds have yet to be fully developed.
  • Furthermore, the plant chooses to manufacture fructose in its fruits, not glucose. The reason is that glucose raises blood sugar and insulin, which initially raises leptin, a hunger-blocking hormone that signals fullness. But fructose does not do all that, so the predator never receives the “full” signal to stop eating and the plant achieves its purpose.

Seeds that plants do not want predators to eat –

  • These are naked seeds that plants do not want insects or animals to eat them and transport them elsewhere. Hence, they contain one or more chemicals that will weaken the predators, paralyze them, or make them sick so they will not make the mistake of eating them again.
  • These chemicals are generally referred to as anti-nutrients. They include phytates (prevent absorption of minerals in the diet), trypsin inhibitors (hinder digestive enzymes from working), and lectins (cause gaps in the intestinal lining or leaky gut). Whole grains and beans contain all three of these substances!
  • Other chemicals include tannins (which gives a bitter taste) and alkaloids (nitrogen compounds) found in the nightshade family, including eggplants, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes. These delightful vegetables can be highly inflammatory for certain individuals.

Potential Harmful Effects Of Lectins In Humans

Lectins are plant proteins. Gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, is a type of lectin. In humans, lectins bind to sialic acid, a sugar molecule found in the gut, in the brain, between nerve endings, in joints, as well as the blood vessel lining. This binding process can potentially interrupt the communication between cells and trigger inflammatory reactions in the body.

Cause leaky gut –

Our intestinal lining is one cell thick. The intestinal cells allow only vitamins, minerals, fats, sugars, and simple proteins to pass through. When the intestinal lining is intact, lectins which are larger proteins cannot get by. However, lectins can pry apart the tight junctions in the intestinal wall by binding with receptors on certain cells to produce a chemical compound called zonulin. Zonulin opens up the tight spaces between the cells and allow the lectins to get into our circulation. Once there, it sets off the immune system to attack these foreign proteins, creating a cascade of inflammatory responses.

Cause autoimmuity –

This is when the body’s immune system gets confused and begins attacking its own cells. Through evolution, plants have created proteins like lectins that resemble the critical structures of their predators, such as our organs, nerves, and joints. When lectins get through the intestinal wall, they activate the immune system to attack both the lectins and our critical structures that resemble these lectins.

Cause disruption in cellular communication –

Lectins can mimic some hormones and disrupt the transmission of signals between cells. For example, the hormone insulin enables muscle cells to allow glucose to enter, providing fuel for the muscles. This is done by insulin docking at the insulin receptors on the muscle cells. However, certain lectins can also bind to the insulin receptors. When this happens, the insulin cannot do its job. Blood glucose stays high and the muscles do not get their fuel.

Why Now? What Changed?

Not everyone is sensitive to every lectin. The longer our ancestors had been eating a certain leaf or plant part that contains a lectin, the more opportunity our immune system and gut bacteria had to evolve to tolerate that lectin. However, the time frame for this evolution is not years or decades, but millennia. Since our modern day diet is so significantly different from our ancestral diet, it is no surprise that our bodies are unable to catch up and cope.

Agricultural revolution –

In the hunting and gathering days, humans used to eat primarily leaves, tubers, and some animal protein and fat. With the advent of the agricultural revolution about 12,500 years ago, grains and beans were introduced. Till then, the human immune system and gut bacteria had never encountered these lectins.

A slew of new plants and new lectins –

  • About 500 years ago, Europeans started exploring the Americas and brought home a whole array of new plants and lectins, including the nightshade family (eggplants, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes), beans (legumes, peanuts, and cashews), grains, pseudo-grains (amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa), the squash family, chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  • Moreover, in the last 50 years, we introduced GM (genetically modified) soybean, corn, and canola. These plants have never existed in the history of mankind.

Our system is overwhelmed by lectins-

  • These days, we unknowingly consume substantially more lectins than a few generations ago. The processed foods and fast foods that we eat are heavy in corn, soy, and wheat, all packed with lectins.
  • Corn and soy have become the typical feed for cows, chickens, and fish in industrial farms. As a result, the lectins in the corn and soy fed to these animals also end up in their flesh, milk, and eggs. Even so-called organic animals contain lectins because they too are fed corn and soy, though organic and not genetically modified. Pasture-raised animals, on the other hand, will not contain these corn and soy lectins.
  • Another problem with corn and soy is that their fat profile is mostly omega-6 fats. Remember omega-6 is inflammatory and omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. So, the fats in the corn and soy-fed animals are are also higher in omega-6 fats and more inflammatory than animals fed their natural diet. For example, grass is high in omega-3 fats, so grass-fed beef is high in omega-3 fats as well.

NSAIDs cause leaky gut –

Scientists found that over-the-counter painkillers, particularly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) damage the lining of the small intestine. Individuals who regularly use aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Celebrex, or Naprosyn are prone to have leaky gut, creating the opportunity for lectins to get into the circulation and cause havoc.

What Are The High Lectin Foods?

People who are struggling with inflammatory conditions, autoimmune diseases, thyroid dysfunction (especially Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity need to be particularly careful with high lectin foods. Those taking NSAIDs should also watch out as these drugs have been shown to increase leaky gut, which allows the toxic lectins to enter the bloodstream.

Whole grains –

  • These days, everyone believes that whole grains are healthier than refined grains, but is it really?
  • For thousands of years, the privileged classes always opted to eat white bread. Brown bread was reserved for the peasants because white bread is easier on the stomach.
  • Similarly, white rice has always been the staple grain in China, India, Japan, and other Asian cultures. The hull is always stripped off to make white rice because the hull is where the lectins are.
  • All grains, except millet and sorghum, have hulls and hence, lectins. Removing the hull and fermenting the grain will reduce the lectin content (for instance, sourdough bread), however, fermentation will not completely remove all the gluten.

Beans and legumes

Beans and legumes such as black beans, soybeans, lima beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, and cashews contain high amounts of lectins. However, a substantial amount can be neutralized by proper cooking methods.

  • Soak the beans in water for at least 12 hours before cooking, frequently changing the water. Adding baking soda to the soaking water will boost the neutralization of lectins even further. Rinse the beans well before cooking.
  • Cook for at least 15 minutes on high heat. Cooking beans on too-low a heat will not be able to reduce the lectin toxicity. Avoid any recipe calling for dry bean flour, as the dry heat of the oven will not effectively destroy the lectins.
  • The best way to destroy lectins is to use a pressure cooker.
  • Sprouting and fermenting will also dramatically reduce the lectin content.
  • Avoid peanut oil and peanut butter. Avoid soybean oil, soybeans, tofu, edamame (green soybean), soy protein and textured vegetable protein (TVP). The only exception is fermented soy, such as tempeh and miso.

Nightshade vegetables

  • Nightshade vegetables are high in lectin content, they have the tendency to promote inflammation and leaky gut for certain individuals. They are particularly problematic for people with joint pain.
  • Eggplants, potatoes (not sweet potatoes or yam), tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers (not black pepper), and goji berries all come from plants in the nightshade family.
  • Removing the skin and seeds of tomatoes and peppers will reduce the lectin load.

Vegetables with seeds

  • Any vegetable with seeds is actually a fruit and will have higher lectin content.
  • Examples include cucumbers, pumpkins, squashes (all kinds), zucchini, melons, peas, sugar snap peas, and green beans.
  • Removing the skin and seeds will reduce the lectin load.

The Healthy Plant Foods

  • All kinds of leafy greens, especially those from the cruciferous family, such as arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, and watercress.
  • Vegetables and fruits that are high in resistant starch are very beneficial to the friendly bacteria in the gut. They include celery root, Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), jicama, parsnips, plantains, taro root, turnips, and unripe fruits like green bananas, green mangoes, and green papayas. (These three green fruits are exceptions – they are low in lectins.)
  • Other vegetables that help your gut bacteria are artichokes, asparagus, beets, Belgian endive, celery, carrots, garlic, hearts of palm, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, and radicchio.
  • Nuts particularly macadamias, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
  • Fruits (except avocados) should only be eaten in limited quantities due to the high fructose content. Eat local and in-season fruits.

Do You Make These Diet Mistakes?

Mistake #1 – Meal Skipping

Research has shown that those who skip breakfast actually weigh more than those who eat three meals a day. Skipping a meal usually causes you to eat more calories during the day, and skipping a meal also slows done your metabolism. Frequent meals control craving and binge eating. So aim to eat three (or more) meals a day.

Mistake #2 – Over-sized Portions

Just because restaurants load your plate with a mountain of food doesn’t mean you should eat that much at home for a normal meal. Remember that your stomach, like your heart, is the size of your fist. Don’t think you could fit much food into your fist? You’re right.

To eat a little less, use smaller plates and eat slower so you know when you’re full. As a little side hack for when your craving more food – you can pretty much eat as much veggies as you want. What I like to do is blend a variety of fruits and veggIes into a delicious healthy smoothie.

Mistake #3 – Blaming Your Genes

Many people give up on dieting or think there’s no hope when it comes to meeting their weight goals because of their genes. Just like you may share your father’s hair color or your mother’s eye color, there is a small chance you also share your parent’s body type.

However, this is no excuse for doing nothing about trying to lose weight. Stick to your diet and exercise plan and you should definitely see results.

Mistake #4 – Eating Without Thinking

It happens to everyone. You’re tired after a long day and you just want to snack in front of the television or read a good book. Unfortunately, mindlessly eating is often involved.

Now you may think that since it’s not on a plate it doesn’t matter, but every bite you take counts. When it comes to a successful diet, make rules for appropriate times to eat. And don’t always feel the need to eat when relaxing.

Mistake #5 – Eliminating All Treats

Guess what?

Here’s some great news – you don’t have to stop having treats! Ya! You see, dieters often become over-zealous in their plan and completely rid the house of all the food they enjoy, whether chips, sweets, or snacks.

This commitment may last a few days until they can’t tolerate it any longer and over-indulge on what they deprived themselves of. A better plan is to allow yourself a treat every once in a while.

Healthy Eating – Three Reasons To Rethink Including Milk in Your Diet

Are you a fan of cow’s milk? If so, it may be time to rethink the inclusion of cow’s milk in your diet. While milk is an excellent source of calcium, many drawbacks you need to be aware of can come from cow’s milk.

Milk contains several different carbohydrates including:

  • lactose
  • glucose
  • galactose

and other oligosaccharides containing a small number of simple sugars. Lactose gives milk a sweet taste and gives rise to approximately 40% of the total calorie count.

Let us take a closer look at what some of the drawbacks are and how they may be negatively impacting you:

1. The Sugar Content. Let us begin with the obvious – the sugar content. Taking in too much sugar from any source is never good for your body, and milk is full of it. With over 10 grams of sugar per cup, it adds up quickly.

If you drink the standard recommendation of three glasses of milk a day, that is a whopping 30+ grams of sugar you are consuming. This much sugar is more than anyone needs, especially if you are looking to prevent or manage Type 2 diabetes.

2. The Lactose Content. The next issue is the lactose content. Lactose is the sugar found in milk, but it also causes other problems. For many, lactose leads to…

  • gas
  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • stomach cramps, and many other undesirable digestive symptoms. While you can take lactase to ease your discomfort, this is far from ideal. Most people tend to do better on a lactose-free diet plan.

3. The Hormones. Finally, there may be hormones in the milk you are consuming. Many farmers are using hormones as they want to raise large cattle: these hormones may then be transferred to your body as a result of this.

The hormones given to the cattle can lead to problems with your hormonal levels if you are not careful. They may also be responsible for inflammation and other health concerns for you.

As you can see, cow’s milk is not exactly ideal. Will the odd glass here and there hurt you? Likely not. But drink a few cups a day, and you could be looking at having a few health problems if you are not careful. Instead, try unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Both are superior choices, contain no sugar, and are lower in calories as well. They will comfortably fit into your diet and can be used in recipes in place of the usual cow’s milk.

Ease the Holiday Stress of Family Meals

Will you be visiting your family for the holidays? Do you have any concerns that you’ll fall back into old, familiar eating patterns that work against you and sabotage your health?

Most people say their stress climbs during the holidays, and weight gain is one of the stresses. The food and alcohol that are everywhere during the holidays can too easily become part of the coping strategies used for dealing with the other stresses: long lines, crowds, expenses, family conflicts, and so on.

What did food patterns look like in your early family years? Family patterns may affect your eating behaviors during your family visits this holiday season and add to your stress.

In many families, eating is part of the family dynamic, but in some families it’s the major part. Overeating is accepted, expected and encouraged – and overweight is simply ignored.

In other families, food involves power games and control issues:

  • who can get whom to eat what (and how much)
  • who can get whom to gain weight during the visit
  • who pushes others to eat dessert just to feel better about eating it her- or himself.

Sometimes one family member is the “food pusher”; sometimes there’s group pressure.

All of this is rather crazy stuff, but it can affect us. And some folks appear to have few defenses against these behaviors. Here are a few strategies to help.

One-Meal Strategies

If you’re visiting for only one meal, eat healthful foods before you go. It will be easier to turn down unhealthful items if you’re not starving, or even not very hungry.

Even better, eat protein before you go. That will stabilize your brain chemistry so you can avoid temptations and stay in control with ease.

Work out before you go. It’s a reminder of who you are now, and another way to stay on track. Why undo the benefits of your workout by overeating unhealthful foods?

Bring a healthy dish with you – even if you’re not asked. Heck, ESPECIALLY if you’re not asked. Take food you’d feel good about making a focus of your meal, and bring plenty for everyone.

Organize a group walk after the meal, even if there’s initial resistance. The walk will help you, and turning it into a family event will make it social. It needn’t involve every family member. When you return, it will be easier to make wise decisions about further eating.

Extended-Stay Strategies

If you’re visiting for a few days, take healthful foods with you and eat them as snacks or part of your meals during the visit.

Take along some reminders of your present life. Stay connected in a few ways to your present life to remind yourself that you’re no longer the child who grew up in that toxic food environment.

If you’re asked to help with meal preparation, use that perfect opportunity to make something healthy and delicious for everybody.

Find ways to work out while you’re there. Even a 10-minute workout can help if you do intense intervals.

Follow the other suggestions above, as well.

Does this mean you can’t indulge at all for the holidays? Obviously not, but be in control. If you do indulge, be sure you have decided when to do so, what you’ll eat, and how much. Have a plan – and follow it – for getting back on track, preferably right after your indulgence.

Reading Food Labels – Ignoring Them Is Bad for Your Health

Food labels can help us make better health decisions. But yet, most people seldom give them much attention in any respect. Whether you’re attempting to shed weight, or just wash your diet, in case you’re not reading the food labels in the shop you can not possibly know just what you’re putting into your system. You are basically flying blind!

Here’s how reading food labels can impact your health in a positive way.

It’ll Give You the Information You Need To Make Smart Choices

If you are like most people if you do examine food labels the very first thing that you likely listen to is how many calories listed. But calories are really all about circumstance and do not tell the entire story. You have to be paying attention to the serving size these calories are predicated on. A fast glance at the food label of a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream recorded at 270 calories may not seem like very much. But that is not the entire story! The Serving Size is really 1/2 cup and also for 4 servings. This means that you’ll just eliminate consuming 270 calories should you restrict yourself to just 1/4th of the pint. Yes, that also means that one night once you opted to complete a whole pint in once you ate over 1000 calories!

Food Labels Help You Hit Nutritional goals

Many Americans are not getting numerous crucial nutrients that they want. Among the most typical reasons why is simply because plenty of people don’t have any idea what exactly they are eating. As an instance, are you getting enough fiber in your daily diet? Many Americans aren’t. 1 way to change this is to first determine how much fiber you are already eating daily and subsequently adjusting your diet plan so. Begin with assessing the quantity of fiber to the food labels of everything you are already eating. When you’ve figured out exactly what your present average daily consumption is, you may start selecting foods with high fiber content to raise this figure.

Whilst food labels may supply you with lots of the info you want to make healthy food selections, it may frequently be beneficial to utilize an expert to help you ascertain what nutritional targets you need to try for. Why don’t you operate with a free gym trainer and think of a strategy together? If it sounds like something which may assist you.

Healthy Eating – What You Should Know About Biological Value

As you go about planning your menu, one thing you will want to take into account is something called biological value (BV). Most people are quite good at staying on top of research so they can figure out which foods hold the most nutrients and which ones will help optimize health the best. Where many go wrong, however, is forgetting because if a food is nutritious, it does not mean it will be fully utilized by the body. That is where the biological value (BV) comes into play. Biological value refers to protein-rich foods and discusses how well these foods will be utilized after they are consumed.

Here is what you need to know…

Factors Impacting Biological Value. While BV is a static number, keep in mind there are some factors able to influence the natural biological value of the food you are eating.

These factors include:

  • the frequency in which you consume your protein. Eating protein every few hours throughout the day can help increase the BV more than eating one or two large meals with a higher serving of protein in each meal. This is one reason to space your calories out into six mini meals rather than three large ones.
  • the speed in which the amino acids hit your bloodstream. Generally speaking, the slower the amino acids hit your bloodstream, the better they will be absorbed and utilized, so do what you can to slow them down.
  • The best way to do this is to ensure you consume some dietary fat with each protein serving as fat slows the rate of digestion.
  • whether or not exercise has been performed. Exercise will naturally increase your ability to utilize the nutrients you feed your body immediately following a workout, so do whatever you can to eat a post-workout meal in within minutes of finishing.

A post-workout protein shake is a must for optimal results.

So as you can see, a biological value is not black and white. Factors do impact the value. Still, it can serve as a general guideline.

The Biological Value Of Foods You Are Eating. So this said, below is the listing for the BV of a variety of foods you have likely included in your menu. The higher the rating, the better the protein will be utilized:

  • eggs (whole) – BV = 100
  • eggs (whites) – BV = 88
  • chicken/turkey – BV = 79
  • fish – BV = 70
  • lean beef – BV = 69
  • cow’s milk – BV = 60
  • whey protein isolate – BV = 159
  • casein protein – BV = 77
  • soy protein – BV = 74

Keep these values in mind as you plan out your meals. For optimal protein retention, choose foods with the highest biological value whenever possible.

Nuts Are Protein? The Myth That Won’t Die

When will people stop calling nuts protein? Recently, I wrote an article by request for what you might call a high-end crowd: the social and education circle of a doctor-turned-nutrition-educator.

The article topic I suggested was too ordinary for this doctor’s group, so we went with how alcohol can sabotage weight management during the holidays. It gave me room to add some science to the article to accommodate the higher standards of the audience. ‘Nuff said.

Regarding holiday parties or dinner buffets, I suggested the readers eat before the event, particularly protein. Because the doctor’s crowd includes many vegans, I felt compelled to let them know what is and isn’t protein.

Not surprisingly, the editor/doctor informed me that nuts are protein, as is quinoa. The good thing is I had my research ready, so I pass it along to you.

The Nut Numbers

Almonds, for example, are over 78% fat, mostly monounsaturated. The remaining 22% of calories are almost evenly split between protein and carbohydrate, with protein only slightly ahead (by 2 grams, or 8 calories, per cup).

Macadamias are over 95% fat, mostly monounsaturated. Out of the 962 calories in 1 cup of macadamias, carbohydrates provide about 76 calories, and protein only 44.

Cashews, another healthful nut, are 70% fat, 19% carbohydrate and 11% protein.

Pistachios are about 72% fat, 19% carb and 14% protein. These values are just approximate.

Nuts are wholesome, but the numbers clearly don’t substantiate the myth that they’re a protein food. No one calls them a high-carb food because they’re not, but the carbs in 3 of the above 4 nuts outshine the protein.

Let’s Face Fats

Let’s start calling nuts what they are – healthful unsaturated fats. They’re good to eat, but not for their protein content. Get protein a better way – and not from quinoa! One cup of quinoa has only about as much protein as a medium-sized potato. Potatoes are not usually considered a protein food(!).

Vegans who won’t eat animal products might consider using unsweetened hemp or vegetable protein powders as a viable source of protein.

Reducing Inflammation – The Less Inflammation You Have Is Better for Your Health

Inflammation is a process within our own bodies which it utilizes to protect us from disease and injury. Like all these things in life, a lot of even a fantastic thing can be bad for all of us. Any nutritionist or health coach will inform you that the typical American diet is filled up with foods which increase inflammation inside our own bodies. These include sugars, processed grains and bad fats which are all so typical in most junk foods. Only a couple of the issues connected with such a diet are muscle or joint pain, asthma or allergies, higher blood pressure and blood sugar issues. This type of diet also saps our energy that you need to make it through daily.

A Healthier Diet to Lower Inflammation

In case you’ve been eating a diet high in sugars, then you will soon sense a lot of benefits from the adoption of a diet consisting of foods that reduce inflammation. The following types of foods will help you in this regard:

• Fruits
• Nuts
• Leafy green vegetables
• Fatty fish
• Fresh herbs and spices

You may attain tremendous anti-inflammatory advantages from cutting out fried foods, sodas, processed carbohydrates and processed meats and incorporating these healthy foods into your daily diet. The fat in fish and nuts is a healthy form which also can help nourish your mind. Fruits and greens feature lots of essential minerals and vitamins that help keep you healthy in general while also fighting inflammation especially. When coupled with taking spices and herbs, which are full of antioxidants, you provide your body exactly what it requires to feel relief from the aches, aches, lack of energy and other indicators of a poor diet.

You’ll Thank Yourself

Adjusting your diet is among the most difficult prospects for many people. Most of us hear about creating New Year’s resolutions which are left a couple of weeks after and fitness center memberships of those trying to enhance their health through exercise heading unused after a couple of trips. You want to do anything is required to make this change occur on your own.

Educate yourself on nourishment on the internet and through publications and eBooks, and also combine forums on health-related sites and programs to get in touch with like-minded folks that will assist you to persevere. Should you will need a gym trainer to keep you on course, then that might be the wisest investment you ever make. The anti-inflammatory added benefits of a nutritious diet will provide you the energy and health to handle your daily life with a vigor which you might not have the ability to envision at the moment. When you’ve got this power to be living the life you always wanted, you will not ever need to return to the way you was.

Is Nutrition Really 70% of Your Fitness Success?

General sayings and quotes are pervasive within the fitness community. Some do a great job of giving the public some guidance, while some in my humble opinion lead to more confusion. I address one of these sayings in this article which has to do with nutrition being the key to fitness success for everyone.

The real answer is one that will irk some.

It depends:

Without a doubt, for some people, eating a diet which includes plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean cuts of meat and poultry and healthy fats from oils, legumes and nuts. But for others, consuming a diet which is less “healthy” by nutritional standard, but exercising 5 to 7 days per week, produces the exact results they wish to achieve.

The point is, every one of us should be eating as healthy a diet as we can for general health, to try to stave off any dis-ease, and for optimal performance. The degree to which the diet or exercise becomes the primary focus of a person’s plan is really a matter of experimentation to find the right balance between the two long-term.

The key is long-term

Listen, it is difficult to eat meticulously 100% of the time for most people. Long-term health is not about exercise vs. nutrition, it’s about making consistent choices which promote well-being and optimum performance. Work is going to get in the way sometimes. School will get in the way. The kids may get in the way. There are many, many factors which will come up that have the potential to knock you off balance on occasion. The goal is though, to try to make sure that 90% of your meals are contain the foods we talked about above, and to take it easy on yourself when you have to eat a meal which isn’t quite so nutritious.

If you focus on this and not whether exercise or nutrition should consume your energy and focus, you’ll generally achieve any goals you may have and live a healthier lifestyle.Begin by getting in plenty of vegetables with each meal. Colors matter! So, try to get in all the colors of the rainbow maybe not each day, but certainly each week. The colors of fruits and vegetables come from specific phytochemicals and phytonutrients which not only give the food its color, but also provide us with nutrients and intermediaries to serve as catalyst to many bodily functions.

Whether you are a Vegan or not is a matter of personal choice form most people. There can be food allergies and intolerance to both meats and certain vegetables and seeds and nuts. You do though, want to make sure you are getting in enough protein over the course of the day to satisfy you unique bodily needs primarily from whole fresh foods, and secondarily from protein supplements if you are unable to get them in via whole fresh sources.

Also get in healthy small amounts healthy fats and drink plenty of water and non-sugary drinks and you’ll do quite well.

If you are doing all of this and weight loss is still a problem, then further digging into the proper amounts of foods being consumed and possibly hormone dysfunction may need investigation.

Experiment and find the right balance for you.