United Preference Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness tailored for the consumer


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Does Eating More Really Help You Lose Weight?

Most people assume that eating less is the most effective way to lose weight. As logical as it may seem, eating less is not the solution. Food is the fuel of the body and eating less depletes the body of essential proteins, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary to maintain a healthy diet. In fact, you should be eating about every three hours. As crazy as that sounds, there are several reasons why it is beneficial

-First, eating more speeds up your metabolism. Eating less sends a message to you’re brain that you are in starvation mode, which causes the body to store fat as a form of survival. Eating every three hours provides your body with what it needs to speed up your metabolism.

It enables to body to burn fat faster and more naturally. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly builds lean muscle and muscles eat fat as a source of nutrients. In other words, muscles burn fat in order to maintain itself. Coupled with resistance training, eating proteins builds muscle mass and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn.

It gives you the energy needed to exercise. Eating gives you the fuel you need to maximize your efforts in the gym in order to gain lean muscle mass. Depriving yourself of food can cause you to perform slower, more sluggishly, and decrease your stamina.

Certain foods eliminate toxins, as well as burn fat. Vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins are packed with fiber, which is very beneficial to the body because it helps eliminate toxins in the body. So not only will you see the results you have searching for, your body will feel healthier too.

Eating 5-6 smaller meals a day is much more beneficial than eating 1-3 normal sized meals a day. You do not have to depress yourself and eat less in order get to your desired weight. It’s what you eat, not necessarily how much you eat. So instead of just cutting back on portion sizes and decreasing your caloric intake, choose healthier options and eat away.


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Maintaining Healthy Vitamin D Levels During Winter

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Did you know Vitamin D helps the intestine absorb nutrients, including calcium and phosphorus. This ensures strong bones and a strong immune system.  Vitamin D provides calcium balance in the body that prevents osteoporosis and arthritis.  It regulates blood pressure, reduces stress, relieves body aches by reducing muscle spasms, reduces respiratory infections, helps in differentiation of the cells, helps fight depression and improves overall skin health.  On top of that it is believed to help fight several diseases!  These are just a fraction of the health benefits, but the focus of this post is on how to obtain healthy levels of Vitamin D during the winter time when you lack exposure to the sun.

The best natural sources of Vitamin D other than sunlight being absorbed by your skin include the following:

  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna Fish
  • Sardines
  • Milk
  • Margarine
  • cereals
  • Eggs
  • Beef Liver
  • Swiss Cheese


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Tips to Eating Healthy on a Budget

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You’ve all heard the excuse or even said it yourself that, “eating healthy is too expensive”.  At times it can be more expensive yes, but there are ways to shop more efficiently and break even.  I’m going to provide you with some ideas and tips on how to save a couple bucks and keep to your routine budget while improving your diet at the same time.  Even if you were to go over your typical budget, keep in mind that thinking long-term you are more likely to stay healthy and as a result save money for cutting healthcare costs.  Not only that, you will look and feel better because at the end of the day you are what you eat!

1) Swap fresh berries for frozen berries.  Since they are frozen they hold the same nutritional value as fresh berries, they last longer, and you do not risk the chance of having to throw out rotten food.  Therefore, you reduce the chances of having to throw money away too.

2) Buy Quick Oats instead of Instant Oatmeal.  Not only will you save money but you also skip the unnecessary amounts added sugar included in most Instant Oatmeal packets

3) Forget potato chips or even veggie chips for that matter.  Just spray washed kale with cooking spray, season with sea salt, and bake at 350° for about 15 minutes. They taste just like potato chips and are less than 50 calories per cup.

4) Buy canned fish instead of fresh fish and you will still get your Omega-3s.

5) Instead of buying pricey Whey protein give Tofu a shot to keep your protein intake high.

6) Plan your meals for the week before going to the grocery store.

7) Check to see what you have at home before making a list of what items you need.

8) If an item you eat often is on sale then take advantage of it and stock up on it if possible.


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10 Surprisingly Healthy Packaged Foods

  1. Canned Beans. Canned beans pack an impressive amount of fiber and protein and can be a quick addition to many meals.
  2. Oats and Flaxseed. Prepare to have a heart-healthy breakfast by combining old-fashioned oats and ground flaxseed, both found packaged in either cartons or bags. One cup of cooked oatmeal with 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed will give you 8 grams of much needed fiber, as well as a dose of omega-3 fatty acids.
  3. Frozen Vegetables.These can be nearly as nutritious as fresh and are conveniently prewashed and chopped. Steam or microwave your veggies rather than boiling them to make sure you’re not losing water-soluble vitamins.
  4. Frozen Berries. Many frozen berries do not have added sugar, but some do. Double check that the ingredients list contains berries to make sure you’re not getting extra calories from refined sugars.
  5. Granola Bars. This one can be tricky, as not every granola bar is good for you. Shop carefully and read labels to pick out the healthiest option. Flip the products over and check out the ingredients.
  6. Soups. Soup that comes in a can or carton can be a healthy choice if you shop carefully. Many are packed with plenty of fat and added sodium, but some brands are lighter in both.
  7. Cereal. Breakfast cereal can be a toss-up. Either you’re eating an overdose of sugar or you’re getting a good amount of fiber and vitamins. Pick the right cereal, and you’ll be supporting your heart and intestinal health with each bite. Look for at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and keep in mind the amount of added sugar.
  8. Brown Rice. For a boxed fare that is both versatile and nutrient packed, pick up brown rice on your next grocery trip. This fiber-rich grain is a great side for nearly any meat, bean, and vegetable.
  9. Tuna Fish Packed in Water. When it comes to getting a bang for your buck out of canned food, this is almost as good as it gets. This convenient food is high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, and also gives you a good amount of vitamins D and B-12, too.
  10. Yogurt. This tangy concoction found in the dairy aisle can be a great snack or breakfast staple. Many brands are advertising “natural” products that do not have artificial colors or sweeteners, but what you choose should depend on your own preferences and nutritional goals.


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Patients With Online Access Increase In-Person Visits to Doctor

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A study published in the Nov. 21 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association found that  patients who had online access to their physicians and other health care professionals increased their use of in-person and telephone clinical services.8

Online access included communicating with physicians through e-mails and the authors wrote, “The presumption is if patients could look up health information such as their test results, request prescription refills, schedule appointments, and send secure e-mail to clinicians, then their use of clinical in-person and telephone calls may decrease.”

The findings were not what the authors were expecting, in fact they were the complete opposite.  They came up with a few hypotheses to support their findings.  Palen, the physician manager for clinical reporting at the Institute for Health Research at the Colorado Permanente Medical Group in Denver, said the team already had developed several hypotheses for further investigation.   “One is that perhaps patients with online access may be more engaged in their health care and therefore use more clinical services initially. We want to see if that leads to better health outcomes for these patients down the road.” Eventually, that scenario could mean a diminishing need for in-person clinical services by some patients.

The authors also considered that perhaps online users had more severe illnesses and therefore required more clinical care. Lastly, “Another hypothesis that deserves investigation is that perhaps those who signed up for the patient portal did so because they anticipated the need for more clinical care,” said Palen.

The authors Study authors called for further investigation to explain why access to patient portals would increase patient use of clinical services.


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5 Natural Cold Weather Cures

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Prevent chapped lips and wrinkles Omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold water fish such as salmon and tuna, help skin retain moisture. Berries, especially strawberries, contain vitamin C, which promotes moist, healthy skin. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods rich in vitamin C was associated with fewer wrinkles.

Hydrate nails and hair The human body consists of about 60% water. Indeed, water is essential to life and certainly staying hydrated is necessary to maintain good health. Drinking enough water—about eight 8-ounce glasses daily—not only helps move toxins through and out of the body quickly, it also keeps skin cells plump with moisture to prevent hair and nails from becoming dry and brittle.

Protect against sun and wind burn Eating dark chocolate can protect your skin from damage. In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, dark chocolate, which is rich in flavonoids, appears to promote healthy skin and even protect against skin cancer. In the study, women who added flavonoid-rich hot cocoa to their breakfast during a three-month period had 25% less skin reddening after UV light exposure and doubled the flow of blood in the skin, raising moisture levels and reducing dryness. Beta-Carotene, found in foods such as fish liver oil, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, apricots, and peaches, can also help prevent dry, flaky skin.

Relieve dry eyes To soothe achy, puffy eyes, eat more vegetables that have natural cooling properties. Cucumbers, celery, and even sliced zucchini all have high water content, which can help moisturize eyes while reducing puffiness. Citrus fruits and berries rich in vitamin C help reduce inflammation around the eyes.

Breakout busters The mineral zinc is known to be a powerful acne fighter, as it may prevent the hormonal imbalances that lead to outbreaks. Zinc is also important for protein synthesis and the formation of collagen, which is fundamental to healthy skin and oil control. Foods rich in zinc include: Red meat, poultry, salmon, shellfish, almonds, peanuts, cashews, and sunflower seeds.


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Why avocados are one of the healthiest fruits on the planet

Avocados…

1) contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and raise ‘good’ cholesterol.

2) are a good source of potassium, an important mineral that helps protect against high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

3) help increase the body’s absorption of carotenoids, which are  powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free radical activity and strengthen the body’s immune system.

4) are an excellent source of iron and copper (which build red blood cells)

5) contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, K and they’re high in vitamin E (which slows aging).

6) are low in sugar, starch-free and are a good source of dietary fiber, perfect for slow burning energy without a sugar crash.

7) are a good food choice for diabetics or those with other sugar-sensitive conditions.

8)  improve your complexion because they are full of Vitamin E, which provides moisturizing assets through both consumption and topical use.