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Food Allergies are Not Food Intolerances

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Having a food allergy triggers an immune reaction in your body called an immunoglobulin E (IgE) response. When the body comes into contact with a food item that you are allergic to, your body will make an antibody called IgE in an attempt to fight off the offending food. The IgE response includes the release of histamine and other chemicals that produce allergic symptoms such as digestive issues, hives, and swollen airways. The body does not need a large amount of the food to create an allergic response – even minute particles can trigger an allergic reaction. In fact, some people can get allergic reactions just from cross contamination of cooking tools, cookware or other food containers.

Most people with food allergies don’t know what type of reaction they will have – it can be mild or severe. If they had a mild reaction one time it does not mean they will continue to have mild reactions when they come into contact with the offending food. Therefore, the food needs to be avoided completely. Food allergies can cause life-threatening reactions such as anaphylaxis. Most people who are aware of their food allergies also carry an Epi-pen to use in the case of anaphylaxis.

Many children start life with a food allergy but will outgrow it as they get older. It is not known why this occurs except that it may be children have an immature immune system. It’s suspected that about 3% of the adult population has food allergies.

The most common food allergies are:

  1. cow’s milk
  2. eggs
  3. tree nuts
  4. peanuts
  5. shellfish
  6. wheat
  7. soy
  8. fish

If you suspect a food allergy, you can confirm it with a simple blood test. Order your discount blood allergy test at HealthOneLabs.com to assist with allergy analysis and it can also be a tool to help you avoid certain foods that create an allergic response.

It’s easy to confuse a food allergy with a much more common reaction known as food intolerance. Having a food intolerance is a much less serious condition that does not involve the immune system. Food intolerances can be painful and inflict discomfort but they are not life-threatening nor do they involve the immune system.

Take control of your health. Order your own discount blood lab tests online at HealthOneLabs.com.


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Blood Sugar and Dementia – a link?

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We all know to 1) read labels to check for sugar content, 2) minimize sugary drinks, 3) get our blood tested to be sure our sugar levels are within range and 4) increase real foods in our diet. Doing all of this will help keep your blood sugar levels under control is a proven practice to help prevent diabetes. A simple blood test can provide you with important information about your fasting blood sugar level, glucose levels, and your risk for diabetes. But there may be other uses for measuring blood sugar than diabetes alone.  Research shows that seniors that keep blood sugar levels low can help keep your brain healthy and prevent dementia. Among non-diabetics, those who develop dementia have higher fasting blood sugar levels. Those with higher glucose levels are 20 percent more likely to develop dementia. Among diabetics, the increase in risk of dementia is even higher – 40 percent higher in those with higher blood sugar levels. Whether you’re diabetic or not, adopting a lifestyle to help control blood sugar levels is good for the brain and may help you avoid developing dementia. Here are three proven ways to lower your blood sugar:

1. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, even losing 10 to 15 pounds can help lower blood sugar levels.

2. Get regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking for 30-plus minutes daily. The exercise helps burn up extra sugar in the blood in both diabetics and non-diabetics.

3. Choose healthy meals – high in fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and limit red meats and high-fat dairy products. Follow a low-glycemic diet by avoiding soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks. And limit potatoes, white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

If you are a diabetic, you should monitor your blood sugar levels daily and adopt healthy lifestyle habits to prevent complications from this disease. Your doctor may also adjust your medications to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, as measured by an A1C level of less than 7 percent.

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Discount Online Blood Testing for glucose and A1c

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Ch-Ch-Chia – Seeds to Incorporate in your Diet

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Chia seeds are healthy for you but most of us just remember the infamous Chia Pet plants and have not incorporated the super food in our diets. Chia seeds have been around since the Aztec and Mayan times. They are tiny black or white seeds that have 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, including omega-3 fatty acids, and include minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus (per one once).

Many nutritionists want their clients to consume chia seeds to give added support to the immune system, increase cardiovascular health and protect the brain. Why not add them to your diet? Everyday we are told to increase your omega-3s (get tested to see your results) and chia seeds can also be the answer for those that don’t consume a lot of foods high in omega-3s. Vegetarians should seriously consider adding chia seeds to their diet.

What other benefits might you receive from incorporating chia seeds in your diet?

  • high in antioxidants that fight free radicals
  • high in fiber and low in carbs
  • high in protein so may reduce appetite
  • high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein

There are some studies that how eating chia seeds can lower triglycerides, inflammation, insulin resistance and blood pressure.

How would you use chia seeds in your diet?

  • add to your morning cereal
  • add them to your smoothies
  • make chia pudding
  • add as a thickener to any food

Be wary, some people experience bloating and/or gas if you eat too many or eat them raw. Start with small quantities and put them in liquid to soften them into a gel/slurry. This may help digesting them properly.

Take control of your health! Order your own discount blood lab tests at HealthOneLabs.com


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Vegan Food – Is it Health Food?

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Go to the supermarket and you will be overwhelmed with all the vegan alternatives in the aisle.   There are vegan milks, vegan meats, vegan butters, vegan yogurts, vegan snacks and the list is endless.   For those that have been vegan or those that are trying to live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, it seems like there is a plethora of food options for you now.  Are all these options healthy for you?   Have you read the labels on some of these vegan foods?   The list of ingredients is important and it’s prudent to read all labels.  Many of these items have added sugar, some bad fats and other chemicals that may not be particularly healthy.

One example of a meatless entree recently reviewed has jackfruit listed in the ingredients.   This fruit is similar to fig but it does not contain much protein.    Jackfruit is mostly carbohydrates so it’s probably not the best substitute for meat if you are seeking protein.  Another issue is that some vegan foods are highly processed.  They may have some veggies listed as an ingredient but recognize that they may not be the whole foods you need for your diet.   Generally, if you want to have a vegan diet, it’s best to consume whole foods – the actual fruit, vegetable, nut, etc.

Also, just because it is vegan does not mean that it is great for you.   Oreos, gummi bears, Wheat Thins, even some pop tarts are vegan.

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Vitamin D is often associated with strong bones. The major biological function of Vitamin D is to keep the serum calcium and phosphorus concentrations within the normal range which maintains essential cellular functions and promotes mineralization of the skeleton. But more is not necessarily better. Research has found that those who take large amounts of vitamin D not only did not see any benefits in regards of bone density, but actually ended up with worse bone density in the long run.

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It has been found that high doses of vitamin D do not provide additional benefits for bone health. There are are a few instances where doctor’s believe higher doses of vitamin D are beneficial with those that have conditions that prevent the body from absorbing nutrients properly: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. But increasing vitamin D in hopes your bones will be stronger, is not recommended for most people.

There are simple tactics you should follow to maintain your bone health. It is safe and sensible to take small amounts of vitamin D, like 1,000 International Units (IU), if you believe that you are not getting enough of this vitamin naturally. Get tested to see if you have sufficient vitamin D. Supplements are best for those who consume a small amount of vitamin D in their diet but it is recommended that you get vitamin D through diet and sun exposure rather then supplements, when possible. Some good sources of vitamin D are cheese, milk, yogurt, fatty fish like tuna or salmon, and cereals. People that don’t spend a lot of time outdoors should also consider taking small doses of vitamin D supplement. This vitamin is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” as it is produced by your body after exposure to the sun. As you get older, your body produces less and less vitamin D. People that are over the age of 65 make about 25% of the vitamin D they did in their twenties. Doses of vitamin D 4,000 IU or higher should only be taken under the advice of your primary care physician. In rare cases, a high dosage can actually be toxic. It can even lead to hypercalcemia, which is a condition that causes high amounts of calcium build up in the blood. This condition could cause a formation of deposits in soft tissues or arteries. It could also cause a predisposition to kidney stones, which are pebble like masses, created when high levels of minerals in your urine begin to crystallize in the kidneys. Again, the preferable method of getting your vitamins and minerals is through your diet. You can check food labels on the back of packaged foods to see the amount of vitamin D they contain.

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What is the best nut butter?

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What is the best nut butter?

Peanut butter is the most popular nut butter, but it may have some competition. To name a few there is almond butter, sunflower butter, and cashew butter. Most of these provide protein, magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, and copper. It is becoming increasingly popular to add things like collagen, omega-3s, and coconut to nut and seed butters for added health benefits, but are all of these additives necessary? The answer is, it depends. The most important thing when determining if a nut butter is healthy is reading the label. Look for nut butters that have no more than 3 grams of added sugars, less than 3 grams of saturated fat, 6-8 grams of protein, less than 150 mg of sodium.

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A good rule of thumb when reading food labels is if you can pronounce the ingredients, then there is a good chance that it’s a good option. There are also options that are similar to nut butters for those that are allergic to nuts such as sunflower butter, soy and pea butter, and tahini. When looking for the healthiest versions of these nut-free butters look for options with minimal ingredients. Lastly, you should beware of spreads that resemble nut butters, but are actually spreads with more sugar than nuts. A few examples include cookie butter, chocolate spread, and granola butter. Overall, nut butters are a great snack option full of vitamins and nutrients, but it is important to select options made with clean and minimal ingredients.

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Does daily physical activity boost your mood?

It is widely known that regular exercise is key for overall good physical health, however, it is possible that it could prevent depression. A study done by JAMA Psychiatry found that there was a 26% decrease in chances for individuals to become depressed for each major increase in physical activity. It was even something as simple as replacing 15 minutes you would usually spend sitting with a 15-minute run. Before this study, it was unsure whether exercising improves mental health or if moving less is an effect of being depressed.

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The study found that exercise independently reduced the risk of depression. It was also found that everyday tasks and activities like walking to get coffee or taking the stairs to count towards your daily physical activity. This is great because it means you don’t necessarily have to exercise the conventional way every single day on a treadmill or Stairmaster, but simply making small changes like walking instead of driving makes a big difference. This also increases your chances of staying active daily because exercise doesn’t have to be daunting, but should be time to unplug and de-stress.To live a healthy active lifestyle you have to find what works for you, whether it’d be going to a group exercise class or going on a walk. Ensuring you exercise daily will help improve your mental well being, so go out there and find physical activities that are enjoyable to you.

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Why Low-Fat Diets Fail?

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Why Low-Fat Diets Fail?

One of the most common misconceptions people have when trying to lose weight is that they need to cut out fat or eat foods that are labeled low-fat in order to achieve their goal or live a healthy lifestyle, however by doing this you could actually be doing more harm than good. Reducing fat often leads to a higher intake of refined carbs, and cuts out healthy fats that your body needs. Research has found diets with high amounts of saturated fats are associated with a higher risk of heart attacks and high blood cholesterol levels.

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So, instead of taking an approach that completely eliminates or significantly reduces fat, you should opt to include healthy unsaturated fats in your diet. Healthy fats are actually an essential macronutrient because they help your body absorb nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K, and antioxidants. Omega-3 fats optimize heart, nerve, and brain function. You should include healthy fats into your diet like avocados, olive oil, nuts, and fish, and try to limit your consumption of “reduced-fat” fat foods that are high in refined carbs and added sugars. A healthy diet includes healthy fats, primarily unrefined carbohydrates, and protein.

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What type of water should you be drinking?

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What type of water should you be drinking?

There is no question that staying hydrated is key when it comes to your health, like reducing fatigue, preserving sensitive tissues, and keeping your immune system healthy. There are many options when it comes to your drinking water such as:

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  • alkaline,
  • spring,
  • purified,
  • mineral, and
  • artesian,

but does it matter which one you are drinking?

Mineral water natural water that contains at least 250 part per million total of dissolved solids. Artesian water is acquired from a well that taps a layer of rock or sand. Spring water is derived from an underground source in spring. Purified water is highly treated through distillation, and deionization in order to meet certain standards. Lastly, alkaline water just has a higher pH than tap water,  with a pH of 8 or 9 as opposed to tap water’s pH of 7. So with all of these choices, which one is the best one? There is not much evidence that one type of water is superior to others, however, there is proof that states everyone is drinking enough water. It is recommended that men drink 125 ounces and women drink 91 ounces. That’s about 15 cups of water for men and 11 cups of water for women. Your body is made up of water, so it is important to stay hydrated regardless of your choice of water.
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The Relationship Between Blood Sugar and Dementia

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control is a proven practice to help prevent diabetes. A simple blood test can provide you with important information about your fasting blood sugar level, glucose levels, and your risk for diabetes. But there may be other uses for measuring blood sugar than diabetes alone. Research shows that seniors that keep blood sugar levels low can help keep your brain healthy and prevent dementia. Among non-diabetics, those who develop dementia have higher fasting blood sugar levels. Those with higher glucose levels are 20 percent more likely to develop dementia. Among diabetics, the increase in the risk of dementia is even higher – 40 percent higher in those with higher blood sugar levels. Whether you’re diabetic or not, adopting a lifestyle to help control blood sugar levels is good for the brain and may help you avoid developing dementia. Here are three proven ways to lower your blood sugar:

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  1. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, even losing 10 to 15 pounds can help lower blood sugar levels.
  2. Get regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking for 30-plus minutes daily. The exercise helps burn up extra sugar in the blood in both diabetics and non-diabetics.
  3. Choose healthy meals – high in fiber from whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and legumes. Eat foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and limit red meats and high-fat dairy products. Follow a low-glycemic diet by avoiding soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks. And limit potatoes, white bread, white rice, and other refined grains.

If you are a diabetic, you should monitor your blood sugar levels daily and adopt healthy lifestyle habits to prevent complications from this disease. Your doctor may also adjust your medications to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range, as measured by an A1C level of less than 7 percent.
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