Healthy eating and exercise have more benefits that just managing your weight.
They are two paramount factors in preventing, or reducing the impact of certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular problems, and type 2 diabetes.
A healthy balanced diet and exercise can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 60%. This disease, once developed can often be maintained or controlled when the person follows a healthy eating plan and exercises.
Exercise and a proper diet have also been shown to slow the aging process. Physical activity is the most effective tool to improve quality of life and functional abilities in age related problems.
Exercise and healthy eating have been shown to prevent normal memory loss as well as Alzheimer’s. A lower caloric intake is seen to decrease a genic cause for Alzheimer’s and reduce plaques in those who have the disease.
Obesity, high cholesterol and hypertension, which are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease, can all be controlled with healthy eating habits and physical activity.
Generally stated, a healthy diet consists of a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean meats such as skinless poultry and fish, and whole grain carbohydrates. Try to avoid sugar, saturated fats, and always monitor the serving size.
Have you ever heard of this one? The white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is supposed to help you lose weight by blocking the absorption of starches. Unfortunately, its effectiveness is questionable. Some studies have shown a 3-4 pound weight loss but this was not considered to be statistically significant when compared to placebo. Although thought to be safe, the most common side effect is gassiness. Long term safety is unknown.
Please be aware that there is no such thing as “A FAT BLOCKER”. The only way to lose weight is to change your lifestyle with diet and exercise. Sometimes it may be necessary to use FDA approved drugs to help, but beware of the next great diet fad.
Many patients complain about the high costs of their prescriptions. We always try to prescribe generics when possible, but sometimes the brand name actually is better. Other times, there are NO generic equivalents to treat certain illnesses. I believe the main cause of the increased cost is due to the hidden premium increases in your health insurance. Not only have drug deductibles gone up but many insurance plans have limited how much they are going to pay for drugs.
Many pharmaceutical companies have hardship programs where they will supply medications at a greatly reduced cost to the patient. Also, almost every branded drug utilizes various coupon and voucher programs to help pay for the medicine.
ALL patients can use the vouchers-which usually allow you to get a 30 day supple for free from any pharmacy. The coupon program works differently. There are many BRANDED MEDICATIONS that will cost the consumer only $5-$10/month BUT these programs are only valid for commercial plans only. This means that the government forbids the use of coupons for any patient on a federal insurance program-including MEDICARE. Also please be aware that NOT every pharmacy or insurance company will let you use these coupons and that ALL drug deductibles must be paid before the savings are passed along to the consumer.
Several years ago the sleeping pill, LUNESTA came with a $0 copay coupon but most patients could not use it because of insurance company formulary policies which require the patient to BUY a “preferred” drug instead.
ENBREL, which is a wonderful treatment for psoriasis would cost most commercial patients less than $25/month but seniors would have to either pay whatever MEDICARE PART D would cover or the entire price of almost $3000.
If you are upset about these policies, I would recommend that you call your Senator or Congressman and ask them why.
Beginning in October of this year, the government is changing the diagnosis codes that we presently use. It’s hard to believe that we currently have 17,000 codes at our disposal, but the new coding system, which every medical practice will have to use, consists of 68,000 codes! If we have to spend all of our time learning this, how can we possibly keep up with what is really important—like continuing medical education!
This is important, because in an era of higher health care costs and LOWER payments to physicians, the average small medical practice is expected to spend between $56,639-$226,105 to implement this. Unfortunately most practices don’t have this kind of money and it is projected that as many as 40% of ALL medical practices will be forced to close by the first quarter of 2015. This is on top of a projected shortage of 45,000 primary care physicians by the year 2020.
The funny thing is: this new coding system will not improve your healthcare.
This futuristic surgery is being done right now.
Picture cancer surgery, hysterectomy, Parkinson’s, tumors – treated non-invasively!
InSightec, a company which is headquartered in Tirat Carmel near Haifa, Israel and draws 80 percent of its staff from Technion graduates, has developed a surgical system to treat tumors inside the body that perhaps can cure many different illnesses electronically without having to cut open the human body. This Israeli innovation has the potential to transform how medicine will be practiced internationally, enabling many patients to recover from various illnesses much quicker than they presently are able to do utilizing traditional surgery. Indeed, it can perhaps replace the hospitalizations that follow surgery with out-patient care.
Click on this link to see this technology – including the amazing transformation of a Parkinson’s patient.
Reprinted with permission from the PRESCRIBERS’ LETTER
About two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. So it’s easy to see why so many people want to lose at least a couple of pounds, and sometimes more. Losing weight is not easy. We have such fast-paced lives. Time for exercise and preparing healthy meals can be hard to come by. But if you put your mind to it and stick to your goals, you can have success.
Keep in mind that for losing weight, slow and steady is best. Small changes can have big results. Crash diets, gimmicks, and weight loss supplements are not the way to go and can sometimes be dangerous. In fact, people who lose just one to two pounds each week have the best chance of keeping it off. Consider that one pound is equal to 3500 calories. To lose one to two pounds in one week, you’ll need to reduce your calories by about 500 to 1000 per day. You can do this by eating fewer calories, burning more calories through physical activity, or a combination of both.
Here are some practical tips you can use to help with your weight loss plan:
Set goals. Be realistic.
Write down the reasons you want to lose weight. Post this list somewhere you can see it often to help you stay motivated.
Write down everything you eat for a few days so you have a realistic idea of what and when you are eating.
Try to avoid bad habits that can cause weight gain, such as eating too fast, eating when you’re not hungry, skipping meals, and always having dessert.
Don’t feel like you always need to “clean your plate.”
Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
Eat less food with high fat and sugar content.
Read nutrition information on food labels. Pay attention to serving sizes.
Bake or grill foods instead of frying or breading them.
If you indulge in a high-calorie food, make sure to limit yourself to only a small portion.
Set specific goals for exercising, such as the amount of time you will spend and how many times you will exercise each week.
Choose an activity you enjoy. Walking is a good place to start.
Pair up with an exercise buddy, friend, or family member, to help you stay motivated.
Consider working with a dietitian or trainer or joining a gym or health club if you need more structure. (We have our own registered dietitian and gym in OUR OFFICE)
Don’t get discouraged by setbacks. Keep moving forward toward your goal.
As you lose weight, your dress size or pants size is likely to drop as well. But you will also feel better and have more energy. Plus, keeping a healthy weight can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. Keeping these numbers in check lowers your risk of serious health problems like diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes.
There are medicines that can help people lose weight, but they aren’t for everybody. Even with the medicines, you’ll need to stick with a healthy lifestyle to see good results. If you have questions about these medicines, talk to your health care provider.
A recent study from the University of Bonn in Germany showed more forceful heart contractions in students one hour after ingesting energy/caffeine drinks.
The amount of caffeine is up to three times higher than in other caffeinated beverages like coffee or cola. There are many side effects known to be associated with a high intake of caffeine, including rapid heart rate, palpitations, rise in blood pressure and, in the most severe cases, seizures or sudden death.
However, the research team advised that children and people with an irregular heartbeat should avoid the drinks.
These energy drinks can also interact with medications, especially those used in ADD, to cause unwanted cardiac side effects.
There are many reasons people do not eat healthy, but one of the most important may be due to the HIGH costs of eating healthy. According to the British Medical Journal, it costs the average American family more than $2000/year to eat a more nutritious diet.
The next time your are at the food store, check out the prices for junk food like potato chips, cookies or pretzels versus the price for fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. The costs of whole grain bread can easily cost 4x the price of a loaf of white bread!
People should be able to make their own choices when it comes to buying food, and we do not believe the government has any right in taxing junk food, but it would be nice if the price of healthy choices wasn’t so expensive.
If you would like to learn more about healthy eating, please call our dietitian, Julie Calmes at the MaxHEALTH Kaizen Total Wellness Center nearest to you at 941-315-6182
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (November 3 ,2013) reviewed a number of studies linking the usefulness of PSA screening to prostate cancer. This is important because the government has suggested that there is limited or no benefits to this test. However there were many studies that DID show a connection and benefit to PSA screening. Since ambiguity exists, our recommendation is to continue with yearly PSA screenings for men at risk. It is more important how we interpret the test rather than lump everyone into one unified group (the old “shades of gray rather than black or white).