Choices

Health Care and Health Insurance Costs Can Be Controlled Through Lifestyle Choices

As you probably know all to well, the cost of healthcare and health insurance premiums continue to increase at levels substantially above the general inflation rate. The reasons given for these extraordinary cost increases are numerous and include: technological advancements in the medical field, increased demand for medical services and prescription drugs, the aging of the population, cost shifting caused by the uninsured and governmental reimbursement rates, state and federal mandates, and costs associated with medical related lawsuits.

As individual consumers, we have very little control over some of the factors contributing to the cost of healthcare. However, all of us have control over lifestyle related health insurance claims. A simple formula of eating a balanced diet, getting the appropriate amount of daily exercise, participating in annual physicals and other recommended routine care, limiting alcohol consumption, and eliminating the use of tobacco products will no doubt reduce our personal healthcare costs. In addition to reducing medical costs, the other benefits of following such a formula include more energy, self confidence, less stress, and increased productivity. If you are not doing so already, I encourage you to consider practical ways to promote a healthy lifestyle for you and your family. For example, one of the individual health insurance companies my organization works with has an option that will offset 25% of the annual cost of a health club membership. Simple things such as taking a walk, bike ride, or going swimming promote both a healthy body and mind. If you have a sweet tooth, consider limiting yourself to eating desert once a week. You will enjoy it more and your body will thank you.

Health insurance premiums will continue to increase as long as the cost of healthcare continues to go up. The best way to reduce the overall cost of healthcare is to decrease our need for healthcare. Healthy lifestyle choices and prudent use of the healthcare system are the best and easiest ways to get a handle on our healthcare expenditures. Perhaps the greatest benefit of a healthy lifestyle is our ability to enjoy our precious time here on earth to the fullest.

Source by Michael Ertel

Surprising Healthier Lifestyle Choices You Can Make

If you’re thinking about making healthier lifestyle choices, it’s could be time to be a case of out with the old and in with the new! So here are some surprisingly easy ways you can improve your well-being and make your habits the healthiest ones ever!

Drink Coffee to Boost Your Mood

We hear a lot about the negative health effects of caffeine, but let’s not forget that it has its good points too! There is a link between moderate coffee consumption and improved mood. So if you’re feeling like those dark clouds are setting in, try a cup of coffee or two!

Chew Gum to Make You More Alert

Most of us have fallen victim to that afternoon slump, especially after a busy morning in work. But did you know that chewing mint flavoured gum can help to make you feel more awake, reduce feelings of tiredness and improve your concentration levels? It can also work as a stress reliever too!

Stand More and Live Longer

Office workers, beware! Sitting for prolonged periods of time can put you at a higher risk of back pain, heart disease, diabetes and a host of other health problems. It’s simple, if you want to give yourself a better chance of a longer life, sit less and stand more! When you’re at work, try to introduce five minutes of physical activity every hour and make sure you take regular breaks away from your desk or workstation. Small changes like taking the stairs instead of the lift will also make a big difference to your health.

Stay Clean

Taking money out from a cash machine is something we usually do without thinking too much about it. But do you wash your hands afterwards? Cash machines have been known to contain the same sickness causing bacteria found in some public toilets. You wouldn’t touch a toilet seat without scrubbing your hands, would you?

Think Positive

The mind and body are very closely connected, so it’s important to think positive. The stresses of life can cause some people to suffer from a low mood, so make sure you do the things that help you to keep thinking positively. Join a class, visit friends, de-clutter the house – anything that keeps your mind in good spirits. The happier you feel, the healthier you’ll be!

It’s never too late to make healthier lifestyle choices. A few small changes can make a significant positive difference to your health and well-being.

Here’s to good health!

Source by Robert Finn

Making Healthy Life Choices At The Candy Store

As children, some of us might remember the trip to the candy store. While the old-fashioned candy stores that sold Snaps, Bun Bars, Horlick's Malted Milk tablets and Teaberry gum may not be around anymore, we can purchase the sweets we crave online.

As adults, most of us want to make healthy life choices but we don't want to give up our childhood candy-land dreams. A lot of us are nostalgic about candy. It represents a happier time in our lives when things were easy and life was carefree. But as adults we are watching our waistlines and trying to prevent Type II diabetes. The solution is to purchase sugarless, natural candies and chocolate.

Organic food trends

More people today are interested in organic choices for healthy living. It would be absurd to eat green algae, wheat grass and organic vegetables all day, only to snack on candy loaded with sugar and preservatives at night.

As part of a healthy lifestyle, select natural candy that contains no sugar. You don't have to be diabetic to enjoy the benefits of sugarless foods.

Chocolate is not the enemy

Some people think they need to give up chocolate as part of a healthy lifestyle. But the opposite is true. Chocolate contains magnesium as well as antioxidants. The fat in chocolate is made from cocoa butter, which contains a heart-healthy form of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.

Furthermore, chocolate contains healthy flavonoids that protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Finally, as part of your healthy lifestyle, don't just replace your regular candy with sugarless candy and chocolate. It's also important to eliminate carbonated beverages from your diet. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Select organic and natural whole foods whenever possible.

And when it's time for a sweet treat, savor every bite of sugar-free candy and luscious chocolate just like you did when you were a child.

Source by Fred Goldman

Healthy Food Choices – How to Avoid Heart Disease, Diabetes and Obesity

There is now strong evidence that carbohydrates are the baddies in the war against obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So where does this leave the well established theory about saturated fat and how it not only increases our weight but is also responsible for heart disease?

In a nutshell research is now telling us to do the opposite to what we have been told to do in the past in order to stay healthy. Back in the 70’s when the treatment of cholesterol became popular; doctors took a very simplistic view believing that dietary saturated fat led to body fat. You only have to look around you to see that the eating recommendations that occurred as a result of this theory have had devastating effects upon our health and the prevalence of diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Saturated fat was once blamed for heart, cholesterol and obesity problems and we were encouraged to eat less meat and more carbohydrates (e.g. bread, cereals). But now multiple studies are revealing that this was all wrong! One such 2010 study reviewed the evidence around this subject (Astrup, A. et al, Am J Clin Nutr:2011 Jan 26) and found that “replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates does not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and may even increase the risk”. (Dairy Nutrition News April 2011)

The fat that we do need to be concerned about is Trans fat that is found in margarine. The risk of coronary heart disease does is increased with the intake of Trans fatty acids. Trans fats have been made by a heating process that changes the chemical structure of the fat to make it solid but soft. As noted in a previous article, Trans fats are commonly found in commercially produced products especially bakery items.

As well as containing damaging Trans fats processed products such as breads, cereals, pastries, pasta etc. have other health related issues. Because these foods are nutrient poor, a person consuming these foods on a regular basis is likely to be deficient of the important antioxidants. We know that these antioxidants are important for overall health, but they are also significant in the fight against heart disease. This is because it is not the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol that is the problem, but the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol.

As evidence comes to light about the effects of oxidized LDL, and the problems associated with excess carbohydrate intake, we will no doubt see the list of ingredients in products such as bread, muesli bars and cereals, modified to ensure the continuing sales of these products. Some companies are already adding protein, vitamins and minerals to their products, in the hope that the public will perceive them as “a healthier food choice”. An example of this is new cereals that are coming out with added protein. Given that proteins primarily come from animal sources and that cereals are carbohydrates, the reality is that this will make little difference to our health.

For good health my advice is to:

  • Stick to a fresh, whole food diet. This means avoiding processed carbohydrates such as breads, pasta, processed cereals, pastries and cakes.
  • Aim to achieve the ratios of 40% carbohydrate (including vegetables & some fruit), 30% protein and 30% good fats with each meal.
  • Good fats should include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, rice bran oil to name but a few. Adequate fat will reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Protein sources should include eggs, meats, fish and small amounts of dairy and nuts. If you are vegetarian you may need to assess whether you are getting adequate protein and consider using a protein shake.
  • Ensure you are getting adequate antioxidants such as vitamin E and C as this is another key to avoiding heart disease and the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
  • And if a product says “low fat” read the label carefully as you will more than likely find that it has had sugar added to enhance the flavor was lost when the fat was removed.

By adhering to a fresh, whole food diet, much like that eaten by our ancestors, you will achieve better control of your weight and the markers of heart disease and diabetes.

Source by Vivienne C Savill

Healthy Food Choices in the Restaurants

You may have a quick bite from any where you see a food outlet. But, have you wondered how much of nutritional value it has? Even restaurants have a variety of options which offer nutritional value, it is up to you to choose the one which contributes to good health. Avoid food with heavy dressing, instead you can make use of light dressing.

If you are in a Chinese restaurant, you must understand that excessive use of ajinomotto or any other taste maker is harmful. You must make sure that you stress on ‘avoiding the ajinomotto’ when you order for food. Special care must be taken when you have kids along with you. Chinese food may be nutritious enough with lot of greens in it. Make a right choice of the delicacies you order at the food outlets. It is we who make wrong choices and contribute to bad health.

Paneer and cottage cheese have plenty of proteins in them. If you are calorie conscious then you can order for low fat cheese. The same can be used as topping or grated well into your gravy. Egg is a rich source of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates and fat. Anything made out of eggs will be invaluable for growing children. Prepare different delicacies out of egg and provide sufficient nutrients to your children. Do not deprive yourself of it too.

For those calorie conscious, you can choose the one which has low fat and grease in it. Cut down on the fat content and replace lot of greens. You can make your food nutritious and supplement your body with essential proteins and minerals.

By doing this, you are not sacrificing any of the flavors you love and still getting the same health benefits that you would from a health food store.

Source by Kirthy Shetty

What Are Simple Healthy Lifestyle Choices?

Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can add a few extra years onto your life. Healthy lifestyle choices involve more than just a better diet and exercise. It is a whole new lifestyle choice, one that will make you more energized and feel better in general. Listed below are some tips on healthy life styles choices.

Aside from eating better, it’s a good idea to give up smoking and drinking too much alcohol. A glass of wine with meal or a drink every so often is okay but try to give up the daily drinking binges. Smoking and drugs are going to affect your body and brain so now is the time to quit.

Work towards a healthy weight. You can talk to your doctor about healthy weights for your age and height and it’s not going to be a size 0. You should figure out what your average, healthy weight needs to be and then get there. You need to be at a healthy weight, too thin and your body works hard to compensate. Too heavy puts too much extra strain on your body. Hitting your average weight give you the balance the body needs to function correctly.

Take time out for yourself. Laugh loud, laugh often. Too much stress can kill you, and it makes you a bummer to be around. Stress can weaken your immune system, so smile and have fun when you can. All work and no play, makes a sick, tired person no one wants to be around. Relax on the weekends, take vacations, and take care of yourself first and foremost.

Healthy lifestyle choices give you more energy and the motivation to get things done. They get you off the couch and out enjoying your life.

Source by Ursula G-K

Healthy Food Choices: How To Choose Healthy Foods in a Junk-Food World

Healthy food choices can be difficult, especially when we are surrounded by junk food everywhere we go: fast food drive-thrus on every corner, treats at the office, social events with unhealthy foods, and everything in between. But, with a little bit of practice, you can make healthy food choices! This article is going to outline 3 steps to take next time you are faced with a food choice.

1. Look at the Ingredients

The most important aspect of eating healthy is to pay attention to the ingredients that are used for the foods that you are eating. Stay away from foods that include sugar, white flour high amounts of unhealthy fats, preservatives, chemicals, and high levels of sodium. Focus your eating on foods that are in their most natural form, because they contain higher levels of nutrition.

2. Always Keep Healthy Food On Hand

You never know when you are going to need a snack, so it is a good idea to keep healthy options available all the time. Store some non-perishable treats in your car, items such as nuts and dried fruit are great. Have healthy snacks available in your desk drawer and the fridge in the break room. Take an apple with you when you leave the house.

3. Remember That It’s OK To Say No

Many people find themselves eating unhealthy foods because the food is free or they are in a social situation where everyone else is eating unhealthy food. If you find yourself in one of these situations, remember that it is OK to say no. Most friends and family will understand why you are eating other foods, just explain why you are eating healthy and they will be supportive of your decision.

One of the best defenses to keep you on track with your healthy food choices is to have a plan put together ahead of time. Remember the 3 steps that you need to follow, and stick to the plan next time you are faced with a difficult food choice.

Source by Becki Andrus

Time to Live, Healthy Lifestyle Choices

A great thought is a living arrangement called SHARED HOUSING.

Shared housing is a living arrangement among two or more unrelated people. The home owner who has a home can be matched with a person who needs a place to call home.

Professional organizations which specialize in these arrangements can be found and will match the two parties based on needs. Most organizations that do this are non-profit and supported from sources other than those seeking their help.

How old is a senior citizen who would feel comfortable sharing their home? This type arrangement can be a beneficial choice for senior lifestyle housing.

Consider REMODELING YOUR HOME. There are a number of items to consider when remodeling a home. Consult a professional early in your evaluation process.

Senior mobility should be a focus. if you already know a family member legs are failing, focus on modifications that eliminate stairs or likely hazards. If someone has arthritis that impairs mobility, develop modifications that are designed to anticipated increasing mobility limitations.

Search for ways to modify your home economically to obtain full use of all the rooms. If you are going to update a room for a teenager maybe consider putting in a 36 inch room entry door instead of thirty inch. The reason being when the teenager leaves the home now this room becomes an office and perhaps later a room for an elder person needing wheelchair access.

HOW ABOUT SOME SENIOR FUN? Relive the golden age of radio today! Hear your favorite old time radio shows and discover amazing broadcasts from yesteryear.

Contact the local or state senior governmental agencies, read local newspapers, Craigslist, Senior Centers and elsewhere for Senior Living Ideas.

Seniors have a colossal collection of living choices just let the mind open up. A consideration is joining a senior gardening club.

Working part time or full time again, depending on circumstances, may be a consideration. Socializing and meeting employees is a method of maintaining an open mind. Focus on searching the internet for sites where social engaging is the business. Join forums and other discussion groups.

Another senior lifestyle choice is DATING. Do not let your age define who you are. Prepare yourself to enjoy those moments. Plan ahead, set some time up for meeting others. Try visiting a senior center or join a senior dating service or spend more time at the grocery store! Focus on your healthy lifestyle choices and enjoy getting prepared, planning, and following through with those decisions.

Source by Wayne Hartunian

Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Food Choices – What Are The Dirty Dozen of Fruits and Vegetables?

We often hear if we choose to exercise and eat properly, our pancreas will thank us by functioning better and reduce our chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. Many of you watching your health will have heard of a list of produce referred to as the "dirty dozen." What is this list and how do the contents impact your life and your body? The dirty dozen is a term used to describe certain fruits and vegetables, maybe even some of your favorites, impacted negatively by pesticides. The produce listed as the "dirty dozen" are thought to be more heavily contaminated by pesticides than other produce and, as such, it is wise for you to steer clear of them if you are hoping to maintain good health.

Researchers have also connected the ingestion of pesticides as a risk to the developing brain of the fetus during pregnancy and even into early childhood. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report recommending limiting foods containing pesticides in children as much as possible. While it is unfortunate to have to "avoid" fresh fruits and vegetables as they are considered to be very healthy for the body what you do need to remember is when they are contaminated due to the use of pesticides, they will not be doing anything positive for your health. These chemicals will be entering your system, and they may be doing more damage to your body than benefiting your health.

So what are the "dirty dozen list of fruit and vegetables?" The following are the current list to steer clear of …

  • strawberries (these are considered to be especially harmful. Researchers found over one-third of the berries tested contained 10 or more pesticides),
  • spinach,
  • nectarines,
  • apples,
  • peaches,
  • pears,
  • cherries,
  • grapes,
  • celery,
  • tomatoes,
  • sweet bell peppers, and
  • potatoes.

While you can purchase conventional varieties and then focus on washing them well, it has been found a high amount of pesticide residue remains. Therefore, it can be best to make sure you purchase organic produce, provided your budget allows. If your budget does not allow you to buy organic products, then you may want to avoid them entirely.

Many other "conventional" options offer a healthier choice and are deemed to be the "clean 15." These include …

  • avocados,
  • sweet corn,
  • pineapples,
  • cabbage,
  • onions,
  • frozen sweet peas,
  • papayas,
  • asparagus,
  • mangos,
  • eggplant,
  • honeydew melon,
  • kiwifruit,
  • cantaloupe,
  • broccoli, and
  • cauliflower.

As you can see, there are a variety of tasty options to choose from if you want to continue to maintain a healthy intake of fresh produce but limit your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and pesticides. While we do not instantly notice the side effects and symptoms from taking in damaging chemicals; over the years it does add up and can increase your risk factor for many diseases including cancer. Shop smart, and you will have no problem avoiding this issue!

Source by Beverleigh H Piepers