The American Lifestyle and the Diabetes Diet

Keeping your diet on track isn’t always easy for a person with diabetes. It’s especially difficult if, like many Americans, you’re the type of person who tries to cram 25 hours worth of things into a 24 hour day. For those with a hectic schedule, grabbing a meal on the go is a routine part of life. But how do you maintain your lifestyle while still keeping your diabetes under control through proper diet?

Making Plans for Your Diabetes Diet

The most important task a person with diabetes can perform is to create a daily meal plan. This plan is a guide that helps you monitor your diet. It tells you what types of food you can eat and how much you can eat in a day. Make sure your plan fits in with your busy schedule and “on the go” eating habits.

If you aren’t comfortable creating your own meal plan, talk to a doctor or dietitian. Not every person with diabetes has the same diet needs.

Tips for Monitoring Your Diabetes DietWhile on the Go

1. Gather information from local restaurants. You can easily find out what is put into your favorite meals if you just ask. Many restaurants can give you specific nutritional information, such as fat content and calories. After you have accumulated all of your information, create your own meal plan that fits best with your diabetes diet.

2. Many people with diabetes make the mistake of believing that their diet is under control if they always order a salad off the menu. This isn’t always true. In fact, a salad has the potential of being a bad diet choice for someone with diabetes. We are often tempted to pile on dressing, bacon bits, and other high fat products.

Guide to Healthy Eating

Mesothelioma seems to appear only in people who have had exposure to certain hazardous materials, generally in a workplace setting. So, unless you worked for a number of years in certain fields, mainly related to manufacturing and construction, it is unlikely that you have to worry.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is caused by inhalation of microscopic asbestos fiber particles, which are released in the manufacture of items such as insulation, roofing shingles, etc. The particles are too tiny to see, odorless and tasteless. The particles accumulate in the mesothelium, an internal membrane surrounding your inner organs, and can cause a rare cancer of this area. Of the approximately 2000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed per year, 70-80% had known exposure to asbestos.

Will Mesothelioma Make Me Sick Immediately?

No, most cases are not diagnosed until after many years . The time period can vary from 15-50 years before mesothelioma symptoms appear. Once mesothelioma is diagnosed (usually by a biopsy) it can be treated.

There are several options for treatment including surgical removal of affected areas, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. If you should be diagnosed with mesothelioma, your doctor can advise you as to which type of treatment is recommended in your particular case.

Why Do I See So Many TV Ads Relating to Mesothelioma Lawsuits?

The fact is many lawyers see this disease as an opportunity to sign up lots of people and make lots of money. There are many ethical lawyers working in this field trying to get settlements for individuals who are disabled due to mesothelioma and are owed recompense. Unfortunately, there are also quite a few lawyers who are not this ethical. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, and you wish to pursue a lawsuit, always check with the American Bar Association for lists of reputable lawyers in your area.

Hair analysis results have been admitted as evidence of drug use and exposure by federal and state courts.
Hair drug tests and other forms of drug screening are highly controversial. With new U.S. government guidelines that seek to expand drug testing, analysis of the accuracy of hair drug tests are being analyzed by a wide range of legal and medical professionals. Workplace drug testing is being criticized on general terms as there is controversary over whether a positive drug test result has any meaningful relationship to work performance and it encourages lifestyle discrimination, is an invasion of privacy and smacks of an Orwellian “Big Brother” attitude In government and the workplace. In spite of misgivings about the efficacy and accuracy of hair drug tests and other drug screens, millions of people now or will be subject to random drug testing at work and home. Putting aside the implications of the new federal drug tests that have been proposed, hair drug tests are becoming more common in business settings, public and private schools, and at home. (more…)

Laboratory testing of urine has become commonplace. Urine drug tests are administered by a wide range of private companies utilizing laboratories of varying quality and technicians with a wide variety of skills. Many things can skew urine drug tests. One obvious problem is the way an individual laboratory monitors the correct collection of the person being tested.
Another is the quality of the urine specimens that are collected, contamination, the effect of transportation delays and variables including the issue of having multiple people handling and storing the specimen. Problems of dilution or adulteration of samples of urine drug tests cannot be underestimated. Follow up testing should be part of the procedure so that adulterated urine samples can be detected.
These private companies that administer urine drug tests are in business to make money. They have a vested interest in participating in a concerted effort by certain government agencies and certain politicians and religious leaders to foist drug testing on as many people as possible. They have sold this intrusive and dubious plan through scare tactics often involving the fear of lost workplace productivity or workplace safety. (more…)

Recently there has been extensive research on the use of saliva in drug testing. A person’s saliva has certain advantages and certain disadvantages when comparing the use of urine in testing for the presence of drugs. The most obvious advantage is simply that the collection procedure is easier and less prone to possible efforts to beat the drug test by substituting a clean drug test sample as is sometimes the case in urine drug testing. The ease at which a person’s saliva can be tested make saliva drug tests less invasive than other forms of drug testing. The collection of saliva for saliva drug tests is easier and safer when compared to urine or blood. (more…)

Drugs

WASHINGTON - Television drug advertisements rely heavily on emotional appeals rather than comprehensive disease information to attract consumers’ attention, according to one of the first studies to analyze such commercials.

The study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine Monday, investigated dozens of TV drug ads for some of the nation’s top-selling drugs at those times when most viewers tune in.

Researchers analyzed the ads based on how they portrayed the medication and disease, emotions and lifestyles changes. They found companies used various tactics to appeal to viewers with limited facts that could oversimplify their decisions.

“The benefits of prescription drugs are rarely that black and white,” lead author Dominick Frosch, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, told Reuters.

“Choosing the wrong prescription drug can cause serious health problems and it can also be very costly to the larger society,” he added.

While such strategies are frequently used for other consumer products, they raise questions when it comes to pharmaceuticals, Frosch and other researchers wrote.

“Our findings suggest the need to reconsider the distinction between selling soap or other consumer products and selling prescription drugs,” they said.

In their review, researchers analyzed 38 commercials that aired over the course of four weeks of prime-time television in mid-2004. They coded ads for common themes such as humor or product information, then rated how often each was used.

While all the ads met regulations, they often made vague claims, the researchers said. About one-quarter offered details on the cause of a disease or who was at risk.

They also found that nearly all ads relied on characters who seemed happy after taking a drug or otherwise showed positive emotions. Some mentioned changing habits in addition to medication, but none offered such change as an alternative.

Print drug ads have been analyzed before, but this study is one of the first aimed at televised versions and comes as Congress prepares to consider allowing drugmakers to pay U.S. regulators to have their commercials screened before airing.

Prescription drug ads have raised concerns since the Food and Drug Administration loosened restrictions on them in 1997.

Since then critics have charged both TV and print ads are misleading and encourage consumers to seek drugs they don’t need. Companies and other supporters have said they can educate consumers about possible treatments.

Industry lobbying group the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) released voluntary guidelines in 2005 to address the concerns, but some say they fall short.

PhRMA criticized the study for using ads that aired before its guidelines were implemented. Early indications show “that advertisements airing since the Principles took effect have tended to be more educational and informative,” said the group’s senior vice president, Ken Johnson.

Still, Frosch said the guidelines don’t offer specifics and avoid the issue of emotional appeals. “I don’t think prescription drug advertising needs to be banned, but it does need to be more responsible,” he told Reuters.

This spring Frosch will launch a related study on consumers’ reaction to TV drug ads, with results expected next year.

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Diet

We’ve all heard the joke: Whole Foods, whole paycheck. The humor seems exaggerated, until you shop there or at some other natural foods market. Before you know it you’ve spent $70 or more when all you were after was Fair Trade coffee, a fresh baguette and a few excellent cheeses.

Sound familiar? One man recently admitted it costs him $800 a month to purchase his groceries from Whole Foods, and he’s only buying for himself, his girlfriend and an average-sized dog that he feeds like a human. That’s $200 a week—between $28 and $29 a day for a man, a woman and one satisfied pet. Who can afford that?

Well, plenty of people are trying to. According to recent statistics from The Hartman Group, a Bellevue, Wash.-based market research firm, 73 percent of the U.S. population consumes organic food and beverages at least some of the time. What’s more, the Hartman research shows that it’s not just the stereotypical highly-educated, high-income, Caucasian female who buys organic. African Americans, Asian Americans and Latino Americans are a fast-growing segment of organic consumers, according to Blaine Becker, the firm’s director of marketing and communications.

In fact, almost as many households with an annual income of less than $50,000 are buying organic foods, as are households with incomes higher than $50,000. This means that people who earn less are still choosing more expensive organic products.

But that leaves a fundamental problem: How can you eat healthy without going broke?

To find out, MSN Health & Fitness sought help from nutritionist Lynn Smith, a registered dietitian and owner of Source Nutrition services in Boulder, Colo. Our mission: To see if a single person can eat a healthy and predominantly organic foods diet on $7 a day. That’s $50 a week, $200 a month.

When I met Smith at a Whole Foods store, she immediately brought me down to earth with a sobering assessment: “This means you have $2 for breakfast, $2 for lunch, $2 for dinner, and $1 for a snack.” With that reality check, we hit the aisles.

Work the Healthy Combinations

Before pricing produce, Smith outlines several healthy combinations of food that help when on a tight budget.

“The first is balance,” she says. “About a quarter of your plate should be protein, one-third veggies, and a quarter to a third starchy carbs.” For the rest, fill it out with any of the three, along with a smaller amount of healthy fats.

Combining certain foods helps complete a meal, says Smith. One mainstay combination for this Healthy Eating on $7 a Day mission is beans and a grain.

“Beans have protein and good, complex, starchy carbs,” says Smith. “Rice alone is not going to last you as long as it will when paired with beans.”

The next combination is a grain and vegetables, topped off with a plant-based protein like almonds or tofu. The third meal combination is a salad with adequate protein and fat, and some type of carbohydrate.

“In this case you would use nuts or eggs on the salad, and then on the side you would either have whole grain bread, or a cup of bean soup, or hummus.”

Smith’s fifth combination for healthy eating—pairing vegetables with fish or meat—is out, at least on a regular budgetary basis, for the $7-a-day shopper. Most meats and seafood are too expensive. Which brings us back to the produce aisle.

Read Healthy Eating Guide

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