Texas Low Cost Health Insurance

Texas Low Cost Health Insurance

Archive for May, 2010

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Fast food is a “mainstay” in the fabric of United States culture. There is no doubt that fast food is convenient and often times just down right good! Here is a list of fast foods and the calories that go along with them. Additionally you’ll see the sodium in each of the items. This will be especially helpful for those who suffer from high blood pressure and wonder, “how much sodium is in that?”

Macdonalds:

A deluxe breakfast with a large biscuit and no syrup or margarine:

Has 1140 calories and the daily nutritional sodium value is 94 percent.

A sausage egg and cheese Mcgriddle :

Has 560 calories and the daily nutritional value for sodium is 57 percent.

Large Macdonalds fry:

Has 570 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 14 percent.

Big Mac:

Has 540 calories and a daily sodium value of 43 percent.

A bacon egg and cheese biscuit:

Has 450 calories and daily sodium value of 57 percent.

A quarter pounder with cheese:

Has 510 calories and a daily sodium value of 50 percent.

Subway:

Tuna sandwich foot long:

Has 1060 calories and sodium daily value is 84 percent.

A chicken bacon ranch foot long:

Has 1160 calories and daily sodium value is 116

A spicy Italian foot long:

Has 960 calories and a daily sodium value of 138 percent.

A regular Tuna sandwich:

Has 530 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 42 percent.

Chick-Fil-A:

Chick-Fil-A biscuit:

Has 420 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 53 percent.

A Chick-Fil-A sandwich:

Has 410 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 54 percent.

A biscuit with gravy:

Has 330 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 40 percent.

Waffle fries:

Has 270 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 5 percent.

A char grilled chicken club sandwich:

Has 380 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 52 percent.

A Chick-Fil-A southwest char grilled garden salad:

Has 240 calories and a daily sodium nutritional value of 32%.

Taco Bell:

Fiesta taco salad:

Has 840 calories and a daily sodium nutritional value of 74 percent.

Nacho bell grande:

Has 770 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 53 percent.

A Mexican pizza:

Has 530 calories and a daily sodium nutritional value of 42 percent.

A Nacho supreme:

Has 440 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 33 percent.

A Seven-Layer Burrito:

Has 490 calories and a daily sodium nutritional value of 56 percent.

A beef burrito supreme:

Has 420 calories and a daily sodium nutritional value of 56 percent.

A soft taco:

Has 200 calories and a daily nutritional sodium value of 26 percent.

Hopefully the list provided above can give you some insight and make you knowledgeable about some of the fast foods that you may be ingesting. Please note that many of the items (burrito supreme, Seven layer burrito, Nacho bell grande, fiesta taco salad, char grilled chicken club sandwich, bacon egg and cheese biscuit, sausage egg and cheese mcgriddle) have sodium nutritional values that exceed 50% of what should be ingested daily. Those of you who eat fast food twice daily should be leary! At the minimum, incorporate more potassium supplements and foods with potassium.

Stay tuned and stay informed!

The above values were taken from fact calories .com and there is a list of many other menu items from many other restaurants (as well as additional menu items from the restaurants listed). Now you are in the know! Watch your diet and stay healthy!

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Depression is a serious illness. Running the risk of taking high blood pressure’s “glory”, depression could be considered the silent killer. Clinical depression is not simply being “down” or “n the dumps”. Clinical depression is a severe condition that affects a person mind and can ultimately cause a plethora of issues. A popular misconception is that a person should be able to simply “snap out of it”. In fact, clinical depression must be fought by appropriate medical treatment or it can have effects that last for months or even years.

Here are a few complications or issues that are common to those who suffer from clinical depression:

1) Alcohol abuse – It’s no secret that alcohol abuse leads to a multitude of issues including liver problems, brain damage, neglecting responsibilities and general impaired judgment.

2) Substance abuse – Substance abuse due to any reason is dangerous. However, it is a common path to take for depressed individuals.

3) Anxiety – Anxiety can lead to many issues including difficulty swallowing, breathlessness and chest pains.

4) Heart disease

5) Problems in work environments or school environments.

6) Relationship issues

7) Familial issues.

8) Isolation

9) Suicide

How do you know if you are depressed vs. sad?

First, it is not a simple process for an individual to diagnose himself as being sad vs. depressed. Always consult a physician in regard to ANY medical issue that seems abnormal. You should not base normality on your own life experience as many individuals suffer from depression for years. Assessing your current mental state and comparing that to your mental state 2 years ago may not be enough. You should simply look around you and determine if your coping process seems different than most. Also ask your friends and family. That being said, sadness is reactive. You may be sad because you lost a friend or family member. You may be sad because you lost your job or you may be sad because you received some troubling information. You can actually understand WHY you are sad based on the situation. Depression on the other hand is not necessarily tied to a specific event. You may experience depression out of the blue with no specific issue to tie it to. There could be times that stressful circumstances can trigger the depression and other times that the depression is seemingly there for no apparent reason.

Keep a log:

Keeping a journal may be beneficial to individuals who may be experiencing depression. Start by logging the way you feel when you wake up. Rate it from 1-10. 1 =feeling great and 10 = extremely depressed. Throughout the day, as your mood changes…be sure to log the mood swing and if there are factors that caused that mood swing vs. a mood swing with no apparent cause. Be sure to consult a physician as soon as you determine that there are mood swings without any apparent cause.

The Mayo clinic recommends exercise as an excellent way to ease depression. There are a few reasons cited:

1) Exercising releases feel-good brain chemicals and endorphins that ease depression.

2) Gaining confidence due to goals that have been met.

3) Exercise takes your mind off of issues that you may have.

4) Last but not least it enables you to cope with your issues in a healthy way as opposed to drinking or substance abuse.

Finally, depression is a sickness! You should not consider yourself week or less of a person if you suffer from depression. Alternatively, you should consult a physician and closely follow his or her direction. Many times consulting a psychologist can help significantly and in some extreme cases medications may be prescribed that may also help. If you suffer from depression, know that you are not alone. Know that there is help available. Most importantly, know that turning to alcohol or ignoring the condition will only exacerbate the problem.

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Have you ever gotten a meal and immediately reached for the salt and pepper? There’s no question that salt can make your meal taste better. I am consistently amazed by people who “grab the salt” before they have even tasted their food to begin with.

The university of Maryland’s medical center has experts that have studied the affects of heavy salt diets. Dr. Stephen Havas was a guest speaker in a Washington conference. This came as a result of a report that revealed the fact that diets that are high in salt cause 150,000 premature deaths in the United States annually. The report was critical in the identification of sodium consumption trends and also provided policy recommendations that would target the reduction in American sodium intake.

Dr Havas, a representative of the American Public Health Association, states that a reduction in sodium intake would help to save 150,000 lives annually from illness such as stroke or heart attacks.

Dr. Havas was able to answer questions in regard to sodium intake. Although this information is widely known, there are many who have no clue.

Dr. Havas concluded that diets high in sodium are in fact a major cause of high blood pressure. When an individual suffers from high blood pressure he/she opens the door for heart attacks and/or strokes.

High blood pressure is considered the “silent killer”. Many suffer from the condition and have no clue, as you may not know that your blood pressure is high without regular check ups and self-regulation. Approximately 65 million people have hypertension and it’s no wonder due to our sodium filled diets.

There are more than 600,000 individuals who die annually due to heart disease and more than 130,000 who suffer from stroke. High blood pressure is a major cause of these conditions. The risk of many diseases stem from high blood pressure, as risk increase as blood pressure levels rise.

Many believe that obesity is the cause of high blood pressure. In fact, obesity is often times by product of a “tasty” sodium filled diet. Therefore, individuals are not only obese but also have high blood pressure. Typically, an individual could curb their diet to include lower sodium intake and ultimately lose weight as a result.

One of the reasons why there are so many suffering from high blood pressure is directly associated with our fast paced society. Unfortunately, with work, school, children’s ball games, family time etc there is very little time to cook a meal. Many resort to fast food at least 2 times weekly. Approximately 75% of sodium intake by Americans comes from restaurant food/eating. While enjoying foods prepared by restaurants makes life easier for many, people must understand that even if they are eating at what is considered a healthy place…restaurant food typically starts with preservatives so that the foods can last longer on shelves and in freezers. Those preservatives typically mean “high sodium”. Don’t take my word for it. Simply go to your local grocery store and head to the frozen section. Read the nutritional facts on your favorite frozen or canned foods. Keep in mind that your nutritional values will reflect the percentage of each item that you should have daily. For reference and for the sake of this article, a can of creamed corn (with a half cup being the serving size) contains approximately 15 percent of the recommended daily nutritional value. Now if you are anything like me, a half a cup will just be a teaser AND lets not forget about the other items on your plate! Oh, for those of you who “top it off” with a dash of salt…I think you get my point. One meal can easily contain your daily-recommended sodium intake. So without paying attention to your intake you could easily be at risk of high blood pressure and potential stroke or heart attack.

What can you do?

1) Prepare your own meals.

2) Check the nutritional values before you purchase. Be careful here. You could easily become depressed when you find out just how many foods are high in sodium.

3) Try alternative (low sodium) spices for your food.

4) Don’t use salt! There are alternatives to salt that are lower in sodium.

5) Know what you are putting into your body.

6) Find foods that are high in potassium. Potassium and sodium are like oil and water. The more of one that you intake, the more it pushes the other out.

Finally, I must say that I LOVE a good fast food hamburger. However, upon eating fast foods, I am immediately thinking of potassium foods that I can ingest to offset. A good diet takes thought and work. I certainly do not have the healthiest diet of folks that I know. However, I am fully aware of what I am eating, I monitor my blood pressure regularly and take appropriate action if it ever gets out of hand.

One last note: I have gotten at least an annual check up for many years. Approximately 5 years ago I was told that my blood pressure was slightly high (just over the limit). I shrugged it off for years of check ups. One day I noticed that I had shortness of breath when climbing my stairs. Now, at the time I had a cardio workout for 30 minutes at least 4 times weekly. I thought it strange that I would be out of breath by simply climbing stairs. Upon going to the doctor I learned that this was a possible result of my high blood pressure. The doctor gave me a 30-day supply of blood pressure meds and told me that I would likely have to take meds for the rest of my life. I took the meds for two weeks and decided to really take control of my eating habits, test blood pressure daily and do my part. After two weeks, I discontinued the meds and was able to maintain a satisfactory blood pressure level for the first time in over 5 years. DON’T SETTLE FOR TAKING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDS! Although you may need them, you may be able to simply make diet changes and take control!

Have you ever gotten a meal and immediately reached for the salt and pepper? There’s no question that salt can make your meal taste better. I am consistently amazed by people who “grab the salt” before they have even tasted their food to begin with.

The university of Maryland’s medical center has experts that have studied the affects of heavy salt diets. Dr. Stephen Havas was a guest speaker in a Washington conference. This came as a result of a report that revealed the fact that diets that are high in salt cause 150,000 premature deaths in the United States annually. The report was critical in the identification of sodium consumption trends and also provided policy recommendations that would target the reduction in American sodium intake.

Dr Havas, a representative of the American Public Health Association, states that a reduction in sodium intake would help to save 150,000 lives annually from illness such as stroke or heart attacks.

Dr. Havas was able to answer questions in regard to sodium intake. Although this information is widely known, there are many who have no clue.

Dr. Havas concluded that diets high in sodium are in fact a major cause of high blood pressure. When an individual suffers from high blood pressure he/she opens the door for heart attacks and/or strokes.

High blood pressure is considered the “silent killer”. Many suffer from the condition and have no clue, as you may not know that your blood pressure is high without regular check ups and self-regulation. Approximately 65 million people have hypertension and it’s no wonder due to our sodium filled diets.

There are more than 600,000 individuals who die annually due to heart disease and more than 130,000 who suffer from stroke. High blood pressure is a major cause of these conditions. The risk of many diseases stem from high blood pressure, as risk increase as blood pressure levels rise.

Many believe that obesity is the cause of high blood pressure. In fact, obesity is often times by product of a “tasty” sodium filled diet. Therefore, individuals are not only obese but also have high blood pressure. Typically, an individual could curb their diet to include lower sodium intake and ultimately lose weight as a result.

One of the reasons why there are so many suffering from high blood pressure is directly associated with our fast paced society. Unfortunately, with work, school, children’s ball games, family time etc there is very little time to cook a meal. Many resort to fast food at least 2 times weekly. Approximately 75% of sodium intake by Americans comes from restaurant food/eating. While enjoying foods prepared by restaurants makes life easier for many, people must understand that even if they are eating at what is considered a healthy place…restaurant food typically starts with preservatives so that the foods can last longer on shelves and in freezers. Those preservatives typically mean “high sodium”. Don’t take my word for it. Simply go to your local grocery store and head to the frozen section. Read the nutritional facts on your favorite frozen or canned foods. Keep in mind that your nutritional values will reflect the percentage of each item that you should have daily. For reference and for the sake of this article, a can of creamed corn (with a half cup being the serving size) contains approximately 15 percent of the recommended daily nutritional value. Now if you are anything like me, a half a cup will just be a teaser AND lets not forget about the other items on your plate! Oh, for those of you who “top it off” with a dash of salt…I think you get my point. One meal can easily contain your daily-recommended sodium intake. So without paying attention to your intake you could easily be at risk of high blood pressure and potential stroke or heart attack.

What can you do?

1) Prepare your own meals.

2) Check the nutritional values before you purchase. Be careful here. You could easily become depressed when you find out just how many foods are high in sodium.

3) Try alternative (low sodium) spices for your food.

4) Don’t use salt! There are alternatives to salt that are lower in sodium.

5) Know what you are putting into your body.

6) Find foods that are high in potassium. Potassium and sodium are like oil and water. The more of one that you intake, the more it pushes the other out.

Finally, I must say that I LOVE a good fast food hamburger. However, upon eating fast foods, I am immediately thinking of potassium foods that I can ingest to offset. A good diet takes thought and work. I certainly do not have the healthiest diet of folks that I know. However, I am fully aware of what I am eating, I monitor my blood pressure regularly and take appropriate action if it ever gets out of hand.

One last note: I have gotten at least an annual check up for many years. Approximately 5 years ago I was told that my blood pressure was slightly high (just over the limit). I shrugged it off for years of check ups. One day I noticed that I had shortness of breath when climbing my stairs. Now, at the time I had a cardio workout for 30 minutes at least 4 times weekly. I thought it strange that I would be out of breath by simply climbing stairs. Upon going to the doctor I learned that this was a possible result of my high blood pressure. The doctor gave me a 30-day supply of blood pressure meds and told me that I would likely have to take meds for the rest of my life. I took the meds for two weeks and decided to really take control of my eating habits, test blood pressure daily and do my part. After two weeks, I discontinued the meds and was able to maintain a satisfactory blood pressure level for the first time in over 5 years. DON’T SETTLE FOR TAKING HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE MEDS! Although you may need them, you may be able to simply make diet changes and take control!

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The top 10 diseases (leading to death) in the United States per the center for disease control are listed below (most recent CDC info is from end of year 2006):

1) Heart disease: Heart disease was the number one cause of death from disease and accounted for 631,636 deaths. Ways to prevent heart disease per the Mayo clinic are A) don’t smoke. Smoking is deemed as one of the most significant factors in developing heart disease. Mayo adds smokeless tobacco and low-nicotine products as risky as well as exposure to second hand smoke. B) Exercise. Adopting an exercise program that includes 30-60 minutes of cardio can be helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease. Mayo is careful to point out the fact that ANY exercise is better than none at all. So if you are unable to get 30-60 minutes in daily then do what you can. Things like Gardening, taking the stairs vs elevator and fun things like walking the dog can help to reduce risk. C) Obviously, a health diet also helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. D) Maintaining a health weight. E) Regular health screenings.

2) Cancer: Cancer was the second leading cause of death by disease with a total of 559,888 deaths. A few things that you can do to help reduce risk are as follows:A) Don’t smoke, B) Eat a variety of healthy foods including plant based foods. C) Stay active and ultimately maintain a healthy weight. D) Protect yourself from the sun. This is a difficult one for many who love to tan. Actually, exposure to the sun is directly associated with and the most common cause of skin cancer.

3) Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): Accounted for 137,119. Ways to avoid Stroke are as follows: A) control high blood pressure. Test blood pressure regularly as it is known as the “silent killer”. B) lower you cholesterol and fat intake. C) Don’t smoke D) Maintain a healthy weight E) Exrcise regulary F) Manage your stress.

4) Chronic lower respiratory diseases: Accounted for 124,583 deaths in 2006.

5) Accidents (unintentional injuries): Accounted for 121,599 deaths in 2006. Although this is not a disease, I found it intersting to see where accidents rank in regard to deaths.

6) Diabetes: Accounted for 72,449 deaths. Ways to control or avoid diabetes are as follows: A) Controllling your weight. B) Maintain an exercise program. C) High blood pressure has also been linked with diabetes. When High blood pressure is paired with obesity it has been associated with resistance to insulin.

7) Alzheimer’s disease: Accounted for 72,432 deaths.

8) Influenza and Pneumonia: Accounted for 56,326 deaths. Prevention includes: A) annual flu shots. B) washing your hands C) eat right and sleep well. Eating poorly and lack of sleep can lower your immune system which opens the door to sickness. D) Exercise (are you noticing a pattern?)

9) Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: Accounted for 45,344 deaths. Prevention includes: A) not using alcohol or drugs and B) closely following doctors recommendations in regard to managing chronicconditions that increase risk of kidney failure.

10) Septicemia: Accounted for 34,234 deaths. I must admit that I had no idea of what Septicmia was. So I am sure that there are others who don’t. The definition is a systemic disease caused by the multiplication of microorganisms in the blood. Over simplified, it is blood poisoning.