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The many benefits of healthy eating and exercise

The many benefits of healthy eating and exercise

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.

 

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The Rising Cost of Prescriptions

The Rising Cost of Prescriptions

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.

 

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The effects of energy drinks on the heart

The effects of energy drinks on the heart

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.

 

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The high price of eating healthy

The high price of eating healthy

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

 

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