QHDHP’s – Money-Saving Qualified High Deductible Health Plans

QHDHP’s, or qualified high deductible health plans, are a type of insurance plan that has a higher-than-average medical deductible and costs significantly less than a traditional health plan.

What does “qualified” mean?

Qualified means that the health plan can be used with a health savings account (HSA’s) to lower your tax liability each year.

There two main reasons why QHDHP’s cost so much less;

  • They come with higher-than-average medical deductibles. This means that you will have a deductible between $1,200 and $5,000 per year if your plan only covers you. If two or more people are covered on your plan, the deductible options range from $2,400 to $11,900 per year. The higher the deductible you choose, the more affordable the plan is.
  • They are “deductible-first” plans. This means that they cover your medical expenses after you’ve paid your deductible for the year. The exception to this rule is that they pay 100% of your preventive care before you’re required to pay toward your deductible.

Where can I get a QHDHP?

QHDHP’s are available in the private market to individuals, families, and self-employed individuals who don’t have access to health insurance through an employer. They are also available to employers wanting to provide affordable coverage options to their employees. A health insurance agent in your local area can help you sort through the options available to you.


Pricing for QHDHP’s varies depending on the state in which you live, the insurance company and plan deductible you choose, and what percentage of medical expenses your plan covers after you’ve met the deductible.

As a health insurance agent, I’ve personally seen families lower their health insurance premium by $200 – $500 per month, which equates to between $2,400 and $6,000 in savings per year!

A money-saving health plan package

QHDHP’s are a popular and effective solution to high health insurance costs. They allow you the opportunity to save a large portion of your premium if you remain healthy during the year (as opposed to giving it to the insurance company whether you remain healthy or not). Also, if you do need medical care, the combination of QHDHP’s and HSA’s allows you to pay for your medical expenses with pre-tax dollars.

Health savings accounts make QHDHP’s even more attractive

Because QHDHP’s are qualified to be used health savings accounts (HSA’s), you can reap significant tax benefits in addition to your monthly savings. Any qualified medical expenses you or your family have can be paid with pre-tax money, increasing your savings each year!

Source by Jared J. Balis

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What Is the Tennessee Plan for Medicare Supplemental Policies?

When you retire, you are faced with some important personal decisions. That is why the State of Tennessee and POMCO are working together to make one of those decisions (Medicare supplemental healthcare) easier for you. As a retiree, you may be eligible for The Tennessee Plan. This Plan is designed specifically for retired state employees, teachers and local government employees and their eligible spouses and dependents. The Tennessee Plan Can Help Fill the Medicare Coverage Gap If you have Medicare coverage, you likely need The Tennessee Plan to help cover some of the expenses that Medicare does not. The Tennessee Plan helps fill most of the coverage gaps that Medicare creates.

If you are eligible, you can enroll in The Tennessee Plan coverage, commonly known as Medigap Coverage. The Tennessee Plan is a standard Medicare supplemental policy designed to fill in the coverage gaps in your Medicare Part A & B coverage.

What Kind of Gaps Do  Medicare Parts A & B Have?

In 2010, some of the charges Medicare requires you to pay include the following:

•  A $1,100 deductible out of your own pocket each time you are hospitalized.

•  Then $275 a day for the 61st to the 90th day in the hospital and $550 a day thereafter up to a 60 day lifetime reserve maximum.   Plus a $155 deductible for approved doctors’ bills and outpatient expenses and then you must pay an additional 20% of the Medicare approved charges after that.

You may be responsible for any amount over the Medicare approved charges from providers who do not accept Medicare assignment. Even with Medicare coverage, your out- of-pocket expenses can add up fast and cause financial difficulty. Coverage under The Tennessee Plan can help fill some of these gaps. There are 10 standard approved (by federal law) Medicare supplemental policies that can be offered. The Tennessee Plan offers benefits comparable to the Medicare Supplemental Standard Plan D.

Who is Eligible to Enroll?

Any retired State of Tennessee employee or Local Education certified teaching staff receiving a monthly retirement allowance from the Tennessee Consoli- dated Retirement System (TCRS), or higher education optional retirement plan who is eligible for Medicare Part A may apply for coverage under this Plan. Retired Local Education support staff and Local Government participants eligible for Medicare Part A who receive a monthly retirement allowance from the TCRS are also eligible to apply for coverage. Your legal married spouse and eligible dependents may also apply. If you qualify and enroll for coverage within 60 days of your initial eligibility, you cannot be denied coverage because of your age or health.

Who Administers  The Tennessee Plan?

The Tennessee Plan features Medicare supplemental coverage sponsored by the State of Tennessee with claims administered by POMCO. The Plan offers you quality coverage at lower group premium rates. Since the monthly premiums are not based on age, they will not increase just because you get older. Premium rates may increase due to increasing costs, which would happen with any plan. Best of all, if you have more than 15 years of service as a State of Tennessee employee or teacher, the State of Tennessee will pay part of your cost for your Plan coverage.

Less Paperwork – Because  Providers File Claims With The Plan, you don’t need to worry about paperwork! Most claims are filed for you by your doctors and hospitals if they have your Medicare and The Tennessee Plan member identification numbers. Claims are then sent directly to POMCO after Medicare has completed their part. This works out well for everyone. The providers are paid quickly and you avoid all the paperwork.

Of course, you should compare Medicare Supplemental Insurance quotes in Tennessee at Insuriffic.com.

Source by Jeb Blank

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How to Come Up With Effective Clinic KPI

There is a truism that goes “anything that cannot be measured is unmanageable”. And it has never been truer today. In a world of fierce competition, every company that runs on profit should measure the effectiveness and success rate of every aspect in the business. This statement holds true also for clinics, hospitals, and other medical facilities. The same strategy that helped manufacturers and common businesses thrive has now become a major business operational tool for the medical industry, particularly for clinic management and customer service evaluation. The use of key performance indicators and metric systems for medical facilities is not for revenue purposes only, but also for clinical standards. Indeed, the use of clinic KPI is fast becoming a standard for medical business operation.

At a glance, one might say that it is easy to measure the performance of a clinic through sanitation and involvement in charity projects. In reality, there is more to just measuring cleanliness and active participation in community works. Government health authorities require clinics to comply with the national standards or accreditation tests. One purpose of clinic key performance indicators then is to see how compliant the clinic is towards obtaining government accreditation. Facilities, which do not have sufficient equipment, will not receive accreditation from the government. The government pursues this so that all clinics will provide the same health care quality across all markets.

And since government health authorities mandate stringent compliance to the accreditation tests, most clinics base and refer their key performance indicators on the accreditation levels. There are also other accrediting bodies, which are independent of the government. They may provide KPI basis for clinics. Either way, clinics should align their services and products satisfactorily to the requirements of the accreditation bodies.

Safety should always be at the top priority of clinics. This is precisely why clinics should provide not only clean but also conducive environment for the patients. There should also be sufficient and well-qualified clinic staff that will attend to the needs of the customers. Safety also covers medical prescription and administration. A sample KPI in this subject may include the evaluation of cases when patients suffer from over dosages. A review of medicine administration, dosaging, and successful treatments, is another possible KPI.

Interviewing present and previous patients may also help provide possible key performance indicators. Even questionnaires, surveys, and evaluation forms are resources that will help clinic managers come up with practical KPIs. Complaints like late administration of drugs or unaccommodating staff may call for a few changes in the clinic.

The clinic manager may also draw possible key performance indicators from the facility itself. Questions like “is there enough space for every patient”; “does the clinic sufficiently allow patient visitors”, “and is the clinic properly ventilated” can provide hints on what the clinic can do to improve its services.

Sales and accounting may be the least metrics that managers can include in the clinic KPI. Nevertheless, clinic managers should give importance to these financial aspects since this is where the blood of clinical operation runs. Clinic operators, therefore, should consider safety, accreditation compliance, and financial administration in order to come up with a balanced, functional, and results-driven scorecard system.

Source by Sam Miller

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Are Horse Liniments Safe For Humans?

For over a hundred years horse liniments have been used to treat horse ailments such as muscle aches, joint pain and even arthritis. Horse seem to suffer from many of the same conditions that human do.

Since humans descended from mammals eons ago and horse are mammals their body structure are somewhat similar. Obviously a human will not be mistaken for a horse but with ligaments, tendons and joints they will suffer from pain associated with strains, sprains, muscle aches and joint pain.

This is especially true with horse that are used for jumping, racing and even the ranch horse that spends a lot of time on the trails. Human who are very athletic are also prone to injuries that horse get! The muscles and tendons work the same on both species and when over worked react the same resulting in pain.

Most of the pain is caused by inflammation of the particular ligaments & tendons that have suffered the injury is minor in nature and can be treated with ice, rest and stretching when the inflammation has subsided.

If the injury is of a minor nature then many breeders and racing horse owners will apply liniment to the affected area to speed the healing process. The key point for humans is to read the label of any equine liniment before using it. Make it a point to read the ingredient label on the horse liniment container.

Always look for equine liniments that contain natural botanical based herbs and essential oils and. Do not use any horse care products that contain DMSO which is an ingredient found in many horse liniments and is not approved by the FDA for human use. DMSO absorbs through the skin into the bloodstream, carrying with it any chemicals and synthetic preservatives that are contained in the horse care product.

Since the horse is obviously a larger animal that humans it can tolerate higher concentrations of DMSO even though it may cause adverse health effects to horses and I myself would stay clear of any usage of horse care products that contain DMSO.

In fact, my recommendation would be to use only an all natural equine liniment that has no synthetic compounds or artificial preservatives that may compromise your horse’s long term health.

The only effective all natural horse products are those that have herbal compounds and essential oils as their main ingredients. These oils and herbal compounds are effective for minor strains, sprains, muscle aches and joint pains. The differences in the various products on the market will be the exact type of botanical compounds and essential oils and their concentration.

Some companies that make all natural equine products are Equine Natural Horse Liniment, Chapman’s Premium Horse Liniment & Dr. Fleming’s Miracle Horse Liniment.

All of these companies adhere to the all natural approach in terms of ingredients which can include arnica, capsicum, eucalyptus, menthol, witch hazel and even sweet birch. Look carefully at the labels to see what is in each horse care product.

The equine care product with the most all natural ingredients seems to be Dr. Fleming’s Miracle Horse Liniment even though the nae conjures up the image of some type of snake oil. It seems to be a very viable horse liniment despite its catchy product name.

Now if a human wants to use one of these products I would suggest diluting the liniment down to the individual tolerance of the user. The easiest way to dilute a horse liniment is to add a carrier oil to the mixture such as grape seed oil, safflower oil and even a high grade olive oil. These oils are light enough to mix well with the horse liniment and not affect the liniment itself. The liniment should be thoroughly mixed before using it and it may be necessary to dilute it several times before it can be used.

The main point is that humans can use horse liniments but the recommendation would be to use only all natural horse care products.

Source by William Cianelli

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Great Things Happen When The Conscious and Subconscious Minds Work Together

The mind is something that many of us understand as the seat of human cognitive power: our thinking, feeling, and perceiving. When you study for an exam, you are using your mind. When you feel happy or sad, you are using your mind. When you interpret facial gestures in your conversation partner, you are using your mind. In fact, your mind is being used every second you are alive-but, you may not always aware of it.

Awareness is a key term here, because the mind can be divided into two parts: the conscious and the subconscious. Your conscious mind is something you are very familiar with-it is responsible for all thoughts, feelings and perceptions that you are aware of. But the subconscious mind is more mysterious-and yet unlocking its mysteries can help you gain deeper insight into who you are and why you are the way you are.

The Conscious Mind

Simply defined, the conscious mind is everything that we are aware of; all thoughts, feelings and perceptions that we can evaluate rationally. For example, when you are having a conversation with a friend, you are aware of the things he or she is saying and thus you can give advice because you have, with awareness, evaluated the things they have said rationally.

The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is like a vast space containing all the memories, feelings, thoughts, perceptions and desires that you have ever had-you just aren’t aware of them anymore. But even though you are not aware of the contents of your subconscious mind, you are still influenced by them daily. They are what form your habits, beliefs, attitudes and responses to people and the world around you. Sometimes, your subconscious provides you with a positive reservoir of beliefs, attitudes and emotions to draw from. But sometimes, unfortunately, your subconscious is filled with negative thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, very often because of early traumas or bad experiences.

So why understand the nature of your conscious and subconscious mind? Because doing so will allow you to find healing, happiness and peace in your life. Once your conscious mind is aware of the contents of your subconscious mind-something that can be achieved via hypnotherapy-you can then make intentional changes to your subconscious thoughts, beliefs and attitudes. Making changes can lead to a variety of positive outcomes: you can quit smoking, lose weight, and even fight off anxiety and depression. When you let the conscious and subconscious parts of your mind work together as a team, great things happen. And you deserve to have great things happen to you.

When you allow the conscious and subconscious parts of your mind to work together, great things happen. Great things like quitting smoking and losing weight. Do you agree? We’d love to hear your thoughts and get to know you better, so don’t forget to like us on Facebook. And if you want to give us a shout-out, let the world know via Twitter!

Source by Maureen Hamilton

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Health and Nutrition During Pregnancy


Pregnancy is a nine month journey… It is a time in your life to feel happy, excited, serene and joyful. However it is also quite normal to experience anxieties about the birth and worrying about whether you are nourishing yourself properly, exercising, keeping, calm, positive, loving thoughts and emotions within your being.

Pregnancy lasts 39 weeks or nine months from conception and is looked at in three stages.

Health & Nutrition During Pregnancy

To ensure that your baby develops in a healthy environment, you should keep your body as fit and well nourished as you possibly can. Do not think in terms of devising a special diet for pregnancy, it is more to do with eating a good variety of the right foods which are those that are rich in the essential nutrients.

Weight Gain

The amount of weight put on by women in pregnancy varies between 9 – 16 kilograms, with the most rapid gain usually between weeks 24 and 32.

Don’t “eat for two”. Some 46 percent of women gain too much weight during pregnancy.

Diet During Pregnancy

You ARE What You Eat therefore Your Baby Is What You Eat!

What You Eat affects your baby’s future. What you eat in the following nine months can impact your baby’s health, as well as your own, for decades to come.

A good diet is vital to health during pregnancy, and to the normal development of the baby. The time to pay attention to diet, and if necessary change it for the better, is several months prior to conception and not when pregnancy is confirmed.

During the critical early weeks the normal, healthy development of the embryo depends on the mother’s state of nutritional health and also her toxic state.

Mineral and vitamin imbalances which would probably go unnoticed in a child or adult can have a disastrous effect on the developing baby.

This is because the cells in the embryo are growing at such a rapid rate, causing an exaggerated response to any harmful influences.

A natural, organic, whole food diet is the only one which will adequately serve during pregnancy.

A high quality diet is needed to maintain your own health and the best possible conditions for the baby to develop.

As our environment becomes more polluted and the soils more depleted of nutrients, going 100% organic, if possible, is the best thing you can do for oneself, and for a developing fetus, and last but not least; the environment.

Pesticides, herbicides, and other forms of pollution interfere with the metabolic pathways of many nutrients and thus indirectly interfere with the development of the immune, endocrine, and neurological systems.

Eating as many of our foods in their live, raw form preserves 70 to 80% more vitamins and minerals, 50% more bioactive protein, and up to 96% more bioavailable vitamin B12.

Grains, nuts and seeds are the most potent health-building foods of all. Eaten raw or sprouted if possible (some grains need to be cooked), they contain all the essential nutrients for human growth, sustenance, and ongoing optimal health.

A well balanced diet is based on whole cereals and grains (brown bread, rice, pasta, buckwheat, rye, oats), nuts and seeds, pulses and beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, pure unrefined oils such as cold pressed olive oil, with some fish and eggs if required.

Fruit and vegetables are all excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and trace elements provided they are eaten in the right way.

They should be fresh, either raw or quickly cooked, steamed or stir-fried, and preferably consumed immediately after they are harvested.

Salt is needed to maintain the extra volume of blood, to supply enough placental blood, and to guard against dehydration and shock from blood loss at birth, (except in cases of kidney and heart problems) Suggested form of salt is Himalayan Pink Salt.


• Form the basic building blocks of all our body tissues, cells, hormones, and antibodies.

• Food must fuel the growth of the uterus, which can grow to 30 times its original size over the nine months gestation period Add the development of breasts, placenta, development of breast milk, the baby’s body.

Proteins are divided into complete and incomplete:

Complete proteins contain significant amounts of all the essential amino acids, you find them in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and soya bean products.

Vegetable proteins are incomplete and contain only some of the essential amino acids. Some vegetarian sources of complete protein are: buckwheat, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and almonds.

Plant proteins are easier for our bodies to digest and produce less toxic waste than animal proteins. The fiber in plants also has a very beneficial effect on the bowel; it ensures healthy bowel movements and the correct bacterial population in the gut, and prevents the buildup …

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The Most Effective Herbal Treatment For Infertility

Infertility problems today are raging. A lot of couples today seek medical attention but to no extent. They have given so much time and effort, not to mention the expense, but still they couldn’t find the best herbal treatment for infertility problem. Still there are a few medical practitioners who advice their patients to try the use of herbal medicine that these couples don’t know the most effective treatment for the disorder.

Herbal medicine is the study or use of medicinal herbs to prevent or treat diseases or to promote health and healing. It may be a drug or preparation that is made from plant or plants that is used for treatment or promotion of health. Moringa Oleifera is considered as the most effective herbal treatment for infertility.

Moringa Oleifera is also called ben oil tree, horseradish tree, drumstick tree or sahijan is a short, slender, perennial tree about twenty five to thirty feet tall. It is also called “The Multi-Purpose Wonder” because of it usefulness. Every part of the tree can be used either for a dish to taste better or other things or a lot of nameless benefits.

Moringa Olfeira contains nutritional values such as:

Vitamin C – is the safest and most effective nutrient for the body. Not only that it helps the maximum absorption of Vitamins A, D, E and K but it is also an effective cure for the common colds and helps improve the immune system. The benefits of vitamin C also include the protection against cardiovascular diseases, prenatal health problems and eye disease. It is also promotes healthy skin.

Vitamin A – is also called retinol and a fat soluble vitamin and helps your eyes adjust to light and keeps your body’s mucous membranes moist. Vitamin A also has antioxidant properties which help neutralize free radicals in the body that cause tissue and cellular damage.

Calcium – is good for your bones and teeth. Most people do not have or fail to include Calcium in their diet which results to Calcium insufficiency. It is important to include calcium in the diet because it helps to strengthen the bones and teeth. In addition, Calcium plays a great role in the sperm motility.

Potassium – helps neutralize fluid and electrolyte balance in the cell. It helps prevent high blood pressure, promotes regular contraction, regulates transfer of nutrients to the different cells in the body and maintains the water balance in the body tissues and cells.

Protein – is essential to the structure and function of all living cells and viruses.

The Moringa Olfeira leaf contain 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges, 4 times the Vitamin A in carrots, 4 times the Calcium in milk, 3 times the potassium in banana and 2 times the protein in yoghurt. All of which significantly help a man or a woman’s fertility level. You not only can achieve a well and sound healthy body but you can also treat your infertility problem with this herb.

Source by Eddy K Elysia

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How to Get a Medical Billing and Coding Job Promotion

Medical billing and coding is one of the hottest medical professions in great demand with a great deal of job opportunities and rooms for promotion. Promotion will come with increment in pay and added benefits. It always helps to open up a lot of new and excellent opportunities as your value is highly recognized with this promotion.

However how can anyone be in the rightful position to earn for the promotion? What are the key criteria for one to be upgraded to the next level? What are the prerequisite for the job promotion? Here are a few key guidelines for anyone who hope to get a medical and coding job promotion in the near future.

a. Get yourself into the medical coding and billing educational program, preferably from a renowned University with world-wide recognition in the medical billing and coding field. Target for at least one associate degree in this field to create a good opportunity for yourself.

b. Get yourself a specialized certificate in medical coding and billing to sharpen your medical billing skills. Do not be contended with just an associated degree, instead you should try to out shine yourself whenever you can because there may be hundreds of medical coding and billing graduates just like you who are also seeking for related medical jobs in the market. Even if you are already working as a medical biller and wish to increase your proficiency as a medical biller or coder, seeking for this professional course will definitely help to enhance your competency in every component of the medical billing and coding process.

c. Equip yourself with the necessary computer skills to increase your computer proficiency because having good computer skills especially in MS Office is one of the pre-requisite of this profession. Being computer savvy will definitely increase your chance to get the promotion that you have been waiting for.

d. Gain great experience by trying your hands in all elements in medical coding and billing field by exposing yourself to any of possible opportunities in learning new stuffs even if they are not what you are responsible for officially in your current work place. In some case, you may proactively volunteer yourself to replace your colleagues if need to be away from the office for a short duration and is looking for someone to replace them for the mentioned period.

e. Register yourself in the RHIT examination (Registered Health information Technician), employers are more likely to hire and promote someone which had passed this exam.

f. Always stay acquainted with the latest career news by reading weekly career publication articles and news, and be attentive and conscious with your company news and its competitors at the same time. Keep high awareness on the company’s new directions, strategies or market opportunities; always look out for possible ways to improve the company’s image, reputation, and brands in the market.

g. Other than equipping yourself with the knowledge and skill-sets in medical coding and billing, you should also review some of those areas, such as: how to improve your leadership skills, how to improve one’s communication skills, how to be of career competency, how to handle internal conflicts among team members conflicts and a lot more. This is to make sure you are always be prepared if there are any good promotion opportunities for any team leadership role.

Source by J.J. Yong

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The Health Benefits of a Simple Egg Sandwich

This is the typical conversation most mornings and sometimes at weekends during snack time, between my wife and my 4 year old daughter.

“Mum, I’m hungry.” “What would you like to eat?” “Egg sandwich.”

She wants a fried egg, cooked in a small dab of virgin olive oil over moderate heat with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper in a sandwich of freshly baked wholegrain homemade bread. I introduced her to eggs when she was a toddler. Eggs are easy to chew and should be part of a daily diet given to any child of one year old or older. I remember when my daughter as a toddler would eat the egg white first and then pop the whole yolk of a hard-boiled egg straight into her mouth. I still remember when I was a child and my mother used to give me a hard-boiled egg whenever I was hungry. What happened to the good old fashioned days when eggs were given as snacks?

Today, we live in an addiction-prone society. Of all the addictions out there, one of the most deadly is one that is most often overlooked: Junk food. We feed our kids junk food everyday without realising it. We are all guilty of doing this. It is easier to pull out a bag of crisps when a child is hungry rather than have them suffer pangs of hunger. This practice is acceptable for the rare occasions but the problem with our society is that we use this kind of junk food as a common everyday snack.

Did you also know that processed food is junk food? The first image that comes to mind for most people when they hear the term “processed food” is a wrapped burger and a sleeve of fries served over a counter at a fast food joint. But the truth is the very food you have in your cabinets is processed if it’s boxed, bagged, canned or jarred, frozen or dehydrated and has a list of ingredients on the label. Processed foods have been altered from their natural state for “safety” and convenience reasons. Processed foods are more convenient, it’s so much easier to bake a cake by opening up a box, pouring out a dry mix, and adding an egg and some oil than starting from scratch. Instead of making a dish with fresh ingredients, why not pick up a ready-made meal from the store? Isn’t it easier to just pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes? No pots and pans, no mess! But processed food are laced with colours, those are often inedible, carcinogenic and harmful to the body. Studies have found that food colouring can cause hyperactivity and lapses of concentration in children. Chocolates, colas, flavoured drinks and snack are full of artificial colouring. These are not the only additives in processed foods. Don’t forget the refined salt, sugar, preservatives, flavour enhancers and other so called “beneficial supplements”. Children are especially vulnerable to these unnatural ingredients. Poor diets can slow growth, decay new teeth, promote obesity and sow the seeds of infirmity and debilitating disease that ultimately lead to incurable disease and death or worse make life insufferable.

Did you know that approximately 80% of mothers, who is usually the main parent controlling their child’s diet, considered that their child’s diet was ‘very good/good/healthy’ hence overestimate the quality of their child’s diet. This is extremely worrying, since mothers who do not perceive that their children follow an unhealthy diet will not make the appropriate amendments to improve their child’s dietary habits. Do not be one of these mothers, feed our children correctly and this can only be done by reducing your introduction of processed junk food into their diets. If you think you are one of these mothers who have already done this, think again. Do you feed your child bread from the bakery? Do you give them bottled “freshly squeezed” juice? Do you give them fruit yogurts? Do you spread their toast or sandwich with commercial butter or margarine? Do you use canned tomatoes to make your sauces? Do you feed them frozen sweet corn or peas? Worst of all, do you give them apples that you have not washed? This line of questioning could go on but if you answered “yes” to most of these questions already, your child has an unhealthy diet! (If you want to know more about the foods described above and why they are considered unhealthy read our research in “Is Your Food Killing You?”).

How can a simple egg sandwich contribute to a healthy diet? A fried egg sandwich for instance, consists only of bread, egg and possibly butter and the oil used for cooking the egg. The benefits of homemade bread are described in our article “Wholegrains and their …

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Remote Patient Monitoring Using Mobile and Cloud Computing


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next paradigm shift, where sensors are connected to the Internet, which collect data for analysis to make our planet more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent. A typical person carries on average one or two mobile devices nowadays. Hence, by leveraging the increasing presence of mobile devices the cost of equipment can be reduced significantly in many industries.

A. Motivation

The ECG iOS application presented in this paper focuses on the health care domain of IoT. With the advancements in embedded information and communication technologies, we can provide intensified healthcare support of senior citizens at homes and retirement homes. This type of technology would be helpful to be providing ECG monitoring facility to senior citizens, athletes and common people. By providing the facility to use these technologies in the home, citizens would be able to live independently for a longer period of time, helping to reduce costs of medical equipment Healthcare is currently facing the challenge of large amount of data that is unstructured, diverse and growing at an exponential rate. Data is constantly streamed through sensors, monitors and instruments in real time that is faster than the medical personnel can keep up with. The advanced techniques and high capacities of cloud computing, processing of a large amount of data can be performed more efficiently support big data analytics.

B. Problem statement

In the healthcare domain of IoT, patients will not have to make as many trips to the doctor anymore, since they can upload the collected data from the sensors to the cloud. This can be achieved for an ECG monitoring application on the mobile device, which will collect the bio-signal data using sensors and then upload to the cloud for keeping a record of the unstructured data. This will reduce the waiting time for the triage at the hospitals and minimize visits and reducing the cost of personnel and administrative operations. This convenience increases the quality of life for the patients as they can enjoy other activities instead of spending time commuting to the hospital/clinic and waiting in long triage queues.

C. Proposed solution

In addition to medical knowledge, various SSE Technologies are involved in IoT based healthcare applications, including microcontroller and sensor technologies, signal processing, communication protocols, system and software design (using well documented design patterns), DBMS, web services, data analysis, and cloud techniques. Such an infrastructure should not only satisfy the basic functional requirements, but also address some key non-functional quality requirements, such as Performance, privacy/security, portability, scalability, flexibility, and cost. Using the idea of IoT and cloud techniques, this paper presents a solution to use an ADC and microcontroller board, which obtains the bio-signal data from a person using sensors and sends it to the mobile device wirelessly using Bluetooth technology. When monitoring the ECG of the patient, the monitored data associated with the ECG waves being displayed on the mobile app is stored in the form of a binary file on the secure digital (SD) card of the device and the user has the ability to upload it to a structured query language (SQL) Server private database. With the proper hardware components like the ADC and microcontroller and the sensors, the solution can monitor the ECG of a person in any environment at low costs, without having to purchase any costly ECG monitoring devices.


A. Mobile-Based Healthcare Service:

Mobile devices are evolving at a rapid pace in the deployment of healthcare services. Our system is mainly based on real-time long-term health monitoring, catering to the demand of assisted living and health fitness information provider. Thus, the deployment of mobile devices into the mobile healthcare system focuses on several significant features for a medical healthcare system.

B. Communication between Mobile Device and Web Server:

Bluetooth data transmission is applied into the system because Bluetooth facilities are available in numerous smart devices, including portable tablet devices, laptops, personal computers, and even smart TVs. Conceptually; Bluetooth is a open wireless protocol operating in the 2.4-GHz band designed for a medium data rate that averages approximately 2 Mbps.

C. Web Server Cloud Healthcare Service:

Using a Web server healthcare cloud computing system, immediate access to the healthcare tracking system is possible anywhere. The ECG data are displayed in real time on the mobile device. To ensure a seamless and continuous health tracking system, a Web server cloud computing system is implemented into the healthcare service

A. System Architecture

The end-to-end system architecture for this IoT based project involves the hardware, the mobile a application and the cloud. The application has three sub layers named as follows:

Service layer, Platform Application layer and The File Transfer and Writing layer shows how the multiple layers in the system architecture interact with one another. The hardware layer contains the ADC, microcontroller and …

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Reasons for Putting an Elderly Parent in a Nursing Home

Many people find the decision of relocating their parents into a nursing home to be difficult and emotional. It is important to understand the reasons for parents living in centers for the aging because, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than half of the adults older than age 65 require some form of long-term care in their lives.

Lack of Caregivers

Many aging parents find it difficult to live alone. In addition, their families may not be able to move into their homes with them, and the cost of hiring a caregiver may not be affordable. Aging parents that are unable to drive or leave their homes unassisted may find it difficult to pick up medications and groceries.

Cognitive Problems

Placing your aging parent in a nursing home may be a great option, especially if they have cognitive problems such as dementia, memory loss, confusion, disorientation, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Daily Activities

Many elderly individuals need assistance with various daily physical activities. This may include bathing, eating, dressing, and caring for incontinent episodes.

Temporary Placement

Placing your parent in a center for the aging is a temporary solution, especially if the parent is recovering from surgery or a sudden illness. This offers your parent enough time to mentally and physically rehabilitate to the point that he can return home.

Around the Clock Care

The most notable advantage of placing a loved one in an elderly facility is that it provides them with an opportunity to get continual care on a 24/7 basis. This type of care may be practically impossible to provide at home. Caring for an elderly person requires a high level of attentiveness, which means that the caregiver in the family never gets a real break. Elderly centers have trained health workers who monitor and provide care and intervention to help your loved one.

Advantages to the Family

Placing your parent in an elderly facility gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your parent is in a safe and reputable place where he is fed and given medications on time. This allows you and your family to return to a normal life. In addition, if the elderly facility is near your place of residence, you can make regular or daily visits to maximize your time spent with your parents.

Social Advantages

Elderly centers provide many options for aging residents who are able to participate. These centers provide families with the opportunities to do crafts, play bridge, attend concerts, and play games with their aging parents without having to leave the facilities. Some elderly centers even have swimming pools to allow their residents to swim whenever possible.

It is important to consider placing your parent in a nursing home when he requires more care than you can provide. However, it is important to do your homework before placing your parent in an elderly facility to ensure that it will be a positive move. Although you may not spend many hours together, the time you spend together will be of better quality.

Source by Anna Woodward

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3 Natural Supplements to Improve Sexual Performance – Could Also Improve Your Relationships Too!

There are some natural supplements that are connected with improving the sex drive and in some cases sexual performance as well. These are things which have been used for thousands of years by all different cultures. However, scientific research is still inconclusive. Still, the fact that other cultures and peoples using these tricks to improve sexual performance for that long is suggestive that there is at least something that is beneficial.


According to a Men’s Health magazine survey, men who had taken 300mg. of Avena Sativa (Green Oats) had an increase of 54% of sexual activity and increased libido. This sex hormone, which stimulates the drive for sex, becomes bound to a number of compounds within the body at an increasing rate as people age. Both male and female subjects reported, in an experiment, and increase in sexual drive and performance after taking the Green Oat Avena Sativa.


Also, Bee products such as Bee Pollen, Honey, and Royal Jelly are centuries old natural vitamins and minerals used as sexual benefits. Honey is packed with calcium, Zinc, and vitamin B which are known to boost sexual libido and performance. This honey was also used to relieve anxiety as well as enhance and improve sexual performance. Bee Pollen and royal jelly are both sexual stimulants that are naturally produced by bees and can then be processed into supplement form.

However, royal jelly is not inexpensive or easy to come by and can lead to asthma attacks and severe allergic reactions. So it stands to reason that when trying these,( or anything else for that matter) use caution and common sense.

3.MUIRA PUAMA Other wise known as MARAPUAMA

This medicine has been used to cure erectile dysfunction and intensify sex drive. Which may be where it gets the nickname “Potency Wood”. Male subjects taking muira puama daily reported better erections as well as a boost in their overall sex drive and performance. One consumer survey suggested that 51% of men taking 1to 1.5 grams of this extract on a daily basis reported better erections and 62% claimed an overall boost in libido.

So, there are the three natural supplements that have been used to improve sexual performance in cultures all around the world for many many years. There is no miracle drug or food that will flip the switch forever and cure all of our sexual needs has yet to be discovered. Even when using natural supplements, exercising common sense and good judgment is always recommended.

Source by Addison Prescot

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Stay Young With Andorra’s Secrets For a Longer Life

Is it any wonder that the natives of Andorra have the longest life expectancy in the world? Clean air. Take your breath away mountain views. Well off, with nearly non-existent levels of crime (one prison with 50 inmates for the whole country), over 700 years of peace and a temperate climate of cold snowy winters and warm, dry summers; this tiny nation may indeed hold the secret to stay young, live longer and better.

At just 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C., the country sits tucked between France and Spain, a landlocked nation of narrow valleys surrounded by the staggering Pyrenees mountains.

With a population of just over 82,000, Andorra has been a democracy since March 1993. Tourism accounts for 80% of the income of this well-to-do country, the banking sector; with its “tax haven” status also contributes to the prosperity of the country.

And if all this makes you want to pull up stakes and move… this next bit of news will surely tip the scales. Andorrans live longer than anyone else in the world according to the World Health Organization. The average life expectancy for natives in this almost hidden little country is 83.5 years – compared to U.S. life expectancy of 78.14 and the United Kingdom’s 78.85. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from these people.

Recently BBC reporter Paul Henley made a brief visit to this mountainous country recently to try and find out what sets them apart from the rest of the world. And what he found were plenty of reasons for the long, healthy lives of Andorra’s population.

For starters, there is a great emphasis on staying physically active. These people do hard, active work well past the age we’d retire. Every one of the seven parishes of the country has state of the art public (free to use) leisure centers.

It’s not uncommon to see people in their 80s and 90s very active – either taking fitness classes at the centers, taking care of cattle in rough terrain or in some other active occupation.

Another important difference is the diet…

In Andorra people tend to eat the classic Mediterranean diet – lean meats, fresh veggies, fruits, olive oil is used in cooking.

People know what’s healthy and seek it out. Restaurants offer delicious healthy foods as well. Interestingly, Andorrans do drink a good deal of red wine (even in the hospital), and continue to smoke cigarettes – completely unexpected considering their longevity numbers.

One other key to living longer here is the quality of the health care the citizens receive. The World Health Organization estimates that Andorra has the third best public health system in the world. The same report ranks the UK as 24th, Canada at 35th and the U.S. 72nd.

The hospital appeared to reporter Henley more like a private clinic, and the doctor’s there are now used to performing surgery on people in their eighties and nineties.

“They go back to their normal lives. And a very frequent question, before the operation, is ‘how soon will I be able to walk in the mountains again, to tend my garden, to go into the woods and gather mushrooms?” says Luis Pallares, an Andorran consulting surgeon.

Centuries of peace and a lack of violent crime complete the picture, giving Andorran citizens a peace of mind and ability to compromise that may well be part of the secret that allows them to stay young and has them living so much longer.

Source by Kirsten Whittaker

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Medicare & Medicaid Doctor Directory – How to Find Doctors Who Accept Medicare and Medicaid

If you are receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid, it can often be difficult to find a doctor, be it a general practitioner or specialist, who will accept your insurance. Unfortunately the payment schedules set up by the government have resulted in many doctors opting out of the system because they simply cannot afford the substantially lower payments for Medicaid/Medicare services as well as afford to pay for the substantially greater paperwork involved in taking such patients.

Sadly, government has had a tendency to reduce reimbursement payments, not increase them, and do not seem to be interested in covering the actual cost of providing services.

Not only that, but private insurers are not longer willing to “subsidize” public patients by paying higher rates, so doctors cannot shift the ever-increasing costs to them.

As a result, at a time when more and more doctors are opting out of the system, those doctors who still take Medicare and Medicaid patients generally limit the number they will serve, so finding a doctor who will take your Medicare or Medicaid insurance is not as easy as simply opening the phone book and making a phone call. Indeed, it probably will take some real time and effort on your part.

There is not, and never has been, any requirement that doctors treat patients insured by Medicare or Medicaid. Therefore, people with Medicare or Medicaid are increasingly turning to federally funded clinics, or even to emergency rooms that cannot, by law, turn them away. Sadly, using emergency rooms for non-emergency health care is unbelievably expensive, making the lower reimbursement Medicare/Medicaid rates not financially wise in the long run.

So, how do you find a doctor that will take new Medicare/Medicaid patients?

Well, first of all, do not expect to find a doctor or, should you find one or a clinic taking Medicare/Medicaid patients, do not plan on getting an appointment quickly. Sadly, that will not happen very often. Indeed, if you need quick care, the emergency room is likely to be your only recourse.

To track down Medicare/Medicaid providers, you can contact your local health department or social service agencies to find out more information and there are a number of Medicare and Medicaid doctor directories online. While they cannot guarantee you an appointment, they do have access to information about current providers.

You can also go to the Medicare website at Medicare.gov or call them at 800-633-4227 (TTY 877-486-2048) to find Medicare providers in your area, although there is no guarantee they will be accepting new patients. It is worth a try, though.

Also, managed care is probably a better bet than private practice. HMOs organized by private insurers have a practical interest in having HMO doctors taking government-insured patients, while Prepaid Health Plans (PHPs) are generally run by hospitals or medical schools, and often only accept Medicaid patients.

Source by Jackie Jones

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Mcdonald’s Nutrition Vs Homemade Nutrition

How Does Mcdonald’s Nutrition Stack Up?

Fast food is a huge part of our lives whether we eat it or not. We see dozens of ads every day on TV, billboards, buses, emails, mobile ads, and many more. We are constantly reminded of the convenience, affordability and improved “healthy” qualities of various fast food items. But how healthy or unhealthy is fast food really? Is it worth saving a few minutes of cooking to eat that double cheeseburger or hard shell taco? I’d like to start a series of posts comparing the nutrition facts of various fast food chains vs their homemade counterparts. Today I’ll show you some of Mcdonald’s nutrition facts compared to the nutrition facts of a healthier, homemade option, then you can be the judge on whether saving a dollar or a few minutes is worth the nutritional differences.

Mcdonald’s Nutrition – Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese


Homemade Version – Quarter Pound Burger w/ Wheat Bun and Cheese

Mcdonald’s Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese:

Calories: 520

Calories from fat: 240

Total Fat: 26g

Saturated Fat: 12g

Trans Fat: 1.5g

Cholesterol: 95mg

Sodium: 1100mg

Total Carbs: 41g

Dietary Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 10g

Protein: 30g

Vitamin A: 10%

Vitamin C: 2%

Calcium: 30%

Iron: 25%

Homemade Quarter Pounder w/ Cheese on Wheat Bun

Calories: 401

Calories from fat: 118

Total Fat: 15g

Saturated Fat: 7g

Polyunsaturated Fat:.6g

Monounsaturated Fat: 4.5g

Cholesterol: 93mg

Sodium: 723mg

Potassium: 469mg

Total Carbs: 31g

Dietary Fiber: 4g

Sugars: 7g

Protein: 35g

Vitamin A: 16%

Calcium: 57%

Iron: 3%

There you have it. The nutrition facts for a fast food joint and a homemade burger. Let’s take a minute to discuss the differences in Mcdonald’s nutrition and the homemade version. We will start with the fat content. the Mcdonald’s version has more saturated fat and trans fat (the bad fats) while the homemade burger has higher amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fat (the OK fats). The Mcdonald’s nutrition shows higher amounts of cholesterol, sodium, sugars, and Iron. The homemade burger shows higher amounts of fiber, protein, vitamins and potassium.

It is no surprise that the homemade version is healthier than the Mcdonald’s version. The real surprise is how much healthier it actually is. By avoiding the Mcdonald’s nutrition and taking a few extra minutes to make your own burger, you’ll be taking in less fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar, and more fiber, protein potassium and vitamins. In other words, you turn Mcdonald’s nutrition into muscle building nutrition. A homemade burger with 35g of protein, 4g of fiber, some good fats and much less starch makes for a muscle building, delicious dinner.

Keep an eye for my next fast food comparison coming soon!

Source by Ryan M York

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Why Semen Color, Smell and Even Taste Varies Widely

Semen quantity and quality varies not just between different men, but with the same man over the course of the month, the year, and over his whole life. Variances in color, viscosity and smell from month to month are normal, depending on stress levels, vitamin and mineral intake, hydration levels and hormone fluctuation. However, some changes in semen may reflect an underlying pathology such as a prostate disease or an STD. Learning more about penis health, nutrition, and going to the doctor when necessary, are all important factors for men to consider.


There is a right way and a wrong way for semen to look. In healthy men semen appears, normally, as a milky white color. But when semen color changes, it can mean many different things. Pink or brown semen occurs because blood has mixed with the seminal fluid. According to Dr Rob Hicks on the BBC Health website, most often pink or brown semen occurs because of an infection, either in the urethra, the prostate or the seminal vesicles. Other causes include trauma, urethral polyps, prostate cancer and prostate surgery. Yellow or green semen may be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are two STI’s known to cause yellow and/or green semen. Other possible causes of yellow/green semen include the presence of high-dose vitamins, jaundice, and even urine.


Semen has a distinctive smell which could be described as metallic. This odor comes from the high concentrations of zinc found in semen. Zinc is an important mineral in the human body for cell growth, wound healing and immune function. For men zinc also plays a very specific function in protecting male fertility and sexual health. Zinc concentrates in the prostate tissue and acts as a local regular for healthy cell growth, helping to prevent benign prostate growth and cancerous changes. Zinc also acts as an antioxidant and antiseptic for both the prostate and the sperm. Though this micromineral is important for male health, it is not found in a huge variety of foods — the best food sources being oysters, scallops pumpkin seeds, oats, sesame seeds and chia seeds; not foods that men would eat in huge quantities every single day. Increasing these foods in the diet, or taking dietary supplements containing 15-30 mg of zinc daily, may cause a man’s semen to intensify in smell. If the semen smell changes to become malodorous and foul-smelling, it may be a sign of an infection and should be checked out by the doctor.


Semen volume can vary a lot in men, especially as they age. The WHO states that semen volume tends to fluctuate between 1.5 ml to 7 ml in most men. Anything less than 1.5 ml may be a sign of infertility, as well as possible health problems. Often how much semen a man produces is not something he thinks about very much until he is not producing enough of it. Reasons for this can be as simple as dehydration, or as complicated as heart disease, cancer, blocked seminal vesicles and prostate disease. Researchers from Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland, found during a clinical study that men with diabetes were more likely to suffer from low semen volume and poor sperm motility. Obesity, a high-soy diet and normal aging also contribute to low semen volume, due to increased estrogen levels which affect semen production.


Whether your semen tastes like fruit or foot might not make that much difference to you, but it might to your partner. The flavor of semen varies quite a lot between different men, and women indicate that if a man’s spunk doesn’t taste nice, they are less willing to perform oral sex. In fact, as many as 85% of women do not enjoy the taste of their partner’s semen and the reason for this may have a lot to do with his lifestyle. Male ejaculate isn’t just made up of sperm — only 2-5% of it is. The other 95-98% is comprised of water, amino acids, vitamins (ascorbic acid), minerals (zinc, selenium, potassium, magnesium), hormones, enzymes and sugars (fructose). Hence, not getting enough nutrition in the diet each day may affect the way that semen tastes. In addition, smoking tobacco, eating red meat, taking drugs and a high alcohol intake are known to make semen taste bitter or sour. Natalie Ingraham, M.P.H., states on The Kinsey Institute’s blog that oranges, pineapples, grapefruit, parsley, wheatgrass, celery and some spices may have specific functions in improving the taste of a man’s spunk.

Penis Health crèmes

Health crèmes designed specifically for the health of the male reproductive system can provide needed nutrition and support that cannot be gained from the diet. Specialist penis creme formulas (most professionals recommend Man1Man Oil) provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can be absorbed …

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What Everybody Ought to Know About Food Additives

Every day we are bombarded with information about food products that are healthy, all natural, have no artificial ingredients, no preservatives, low fat, no fat, no cholesterol, sugar free, vitamin fortified and provide 100% of your daily vitamin requirements. Are these foods as healthy as the advertising tries to make us believe they are?

Let’s look at the facts. There are more than 3000 different chemicals added to our food. The company that wants to produce the chemicals or use the chemicals in the foods they produce usually does the testing for safety. Safety testing has only been done for individual additives, not for combinations of additives. Nobody knows the effects of the many different additives used in the thousands of different combinations. To make matters worse, because of political pressure, the FDA allows manufacturers to add small amounts of cancer-causing substances to our food. So, not only are many of our foods not healthy, they’re unsafe.

The FDA has even approved, as safe, additives it has known to be unsafe. Take, for example, Olestra, the fat substitute which was approved by the FDA over the objections of many leading food scientists. Olestra can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramping and may even contribute to cancer, heart disease and blindness. Foods containing Olestra must have a warning label on the package.

Then there’s the artificial sweetener aspartame, also known as Nutrasweet. Aspartame was approved and claimed safe by a specially appointed FDA Commissioner after his own Board of Inquiry that investigated aspartame claimed it unsafe. Aspartame can cause birth defects, central nervous system disturbances, menstrual difficulties, brain damage in phenylketonurics, seizures, death and a long list of other reactions too numerous to mention. It may cause irreversible health damage over the long term.

Fats are another story. A certain amount of the right kind of fat is necessary for your nervous system, your immune system, the formation of cell membranes, and the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins. The problem is that over 90% of the food produced today contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, which contributes to heart disease, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, non-insulin dependent diabetes and cancer. Research even shows an association between attention deficit disorder and hydrogenated oils.

The next time you grocery shop, look at the label of every item before you buy. Unless you already buy all organic and natural foods, almost every item you pick up will contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Instead, choose products that say no hydrogenated oils. Use raw organic butter instead of margarine, and extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil or flaxseed oil (flaxseed oil should never be heated).

If you’re eating more chicken, turkey and fish, because it’s healthier, you may be surprised to learn that sliced chicken and turkey from the deli contains nitrites. And nitrites cause cancer. Nitrites are found in almost all processed meats, including luncheon meats, hot dogs, sausages and bacon. Then there’s tuna, a healthy choice if it only contains tuna and water and is only eaten occasionally. But, most tuna contains broth or hydrolyzed vegetable protein, which contain MSG. And MSG is not required to be listed on the label because it is an ingredient in the broth, not directly added to the tuna. This is the way food manufacturers hide MSG in the food they produce. And hidden MSG can be a very serious problem to those who are sensitive to it. MSG can cause a wide variety of symptoms including migraines, numbness and tingling, asthma, seizures, diarrhea, panic attacks and heart problems.

Other sources of hidden MSG include autolyzed yeast, boullion, stock, malt extract, malt flavoring, barley malt, maltodextrin, natural flavors, pectin, seasonings, carrageenan, soy sauce, soy protein, whey protein, anything enzyme modified, fermented, protein fortified, or ultrapasteurized, fast foods, chips, condiments, salad dressings, lunch meats, sausages and soups. In fact, most processed foods contain MSG according to Kathleen Schwartz of the nonprofit group NoMSG.

So, buyer beware! Even if the label says “all natural ingredients” and “no preservatives,” the product could contain harmful additives. So, how do you know which foods are really safe to eat? You need to read the labels and know how to interpret the information on the label.

Here’s a few hints on what to eat and what to avoid: Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, good quality protein and healthy fats. Avoid these additives:

Aspartame or Nutrasweet


MSG and Free Glutamates

Artificial colorings

Nitrites and Nitrates



Brominated vegetable oil or BVO

Olestra or Olean


Here’s a general rule of thumb: If the list of ingredients is long, there are probably a lot of chemical additives in the product, and you’re risking your health by eating it. If the list of ingredients is short, it may or may not have harmful …

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