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Lowfat Protein in Your Diet August 31, 2017 16:29

Protein contains essential amino acids needed to maintain many aspects of your health, including regulating growth and development and supporting lean muscle mass. Unfortunately many good sources of protein are also high in fat. Fats that come from animals, such as saturated fat and cholesterol, can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels, heart disease and stroke. Choosing lean meats and other low-fat protein sources helps you get the amino acids your body requires without the added fat and calories.

1. Beans

Consider increasing your intake of garbanzo beans, black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils and soybeans. Good fiber, too!

2. Grains

Whole wheat bread, but watch for carb intake. Quinoa is easy to prepare and great in salads. Oatmeal is another good breakfast choice (not the sugary stuff.) Couscous, buckwheat, millet, brown rice and whole-wheat foods also provide low-fat vegetarian protein.

3. Lean meats

Such as chicken and turkey.

4. Seafood

Yes it can be pricey, but  a 3- ounce portion of bass, carp, cod, flounder, haddock or halibut provides you with 15 to 20 grams of protein!  Steam, bake or grill these seafood options to keep them low-fat.


Medicare panel gives low vote of confidence to weight-loss treatments August 31, 2017 15:53

A panel that advises the CMS on Medicare coverage decisions said there wasn't enough information available on whether weight-loss surgeries and devices are beneficial for the program's enrollees, making it unlikely Medicare will expand coverage for more of the treatments. 

The panel overall voiced confidence that there was evidence that weight-loss surgeries such as gastric bypass, lap bands and gastric sleeve surgeries were helpful in treating obese patients, but said the benefits for individuals 65 and older are still unclear. 

Hospitals are now reimbursed between $10,000 and $17,000 by Medicare for weight-loss surgeries and physicians on average receive $1,500.

Medicare now covers weight-loss surgery for only certain beneficiaries who have a body mass index of 35 or greater and at least one co-morbidity such as high blood pressure or diabetes. 

The patient also has to prove that they participated in at least one physician-supervised program in which they failed to lose weight.

Clinicians that specialize in weight loss estimate that about 2 million Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for the surgeries now. They hoped that CMS would expand the coverage to people with a BMI as low as 30, which would make an additional 1 million enrollees eligible.

There is evidence that people with a lower BMI number have greater long-term health benefits than those that have a higher one, as they tend to have fewer or less severe chronic illnesses, according to Dr. John Morton, chief of bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at Stanford School of Medicine.

If Medicare were to lower the eligible BMI for surgery, health insurance companies would likely follow suit, which could mean millions more could become eligible for coverage for weight-loss procedures.

As things are now, most insurance companies cover weight-loss surgeries for people with BMIs 40 or greater, or a BMI of 35 if there are significant medical problems associated with that person's weight, such as diabetes or heart disease.

"Medicare coverage decisions are very influential," Morton said. "If CMS' sneezes, the rest of insurers get a cold."

While it wasn't a specific voting question, several panelists mentioned they were especially unsure what clinical benefit gastric balloons provided.

"The evidence I heard today was not compelling," said Dr. Marcel Salive, panel member and health scientist administrator in the National Institute of Health's Division of Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology.

Doctors say these devices are a low-risk alternative for patients whose health is too frail for surgeries. 

The balloons are inserted into the stomach through an endoscopic procedure. A doctor fills the balloon with saline solution to create a feeling of fullness, so patients lose the urge to overeat. After six months, it's deflated and removed. 

The FDA approved balloons from two different companies in 2015, but no insurers cover their use. On average, the total cost of the gastric balloon procedure is $8,150.


Overweight but Frail Seniors Benefit from Aerobics and Strength Training June 19, 2017 10:34

Overweight but Frail Seniors Benefit from Aerobics and Strength Training, according to a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

How Eating Nuts Can Help You Lose Weight May 08, 2017 09:38

Regularly eating nuts as part of a healthy diet is not associated with weight gain, and may even help you lose weight.

However, it’s important to exercise portion control. Public health guidelines recommend eating a one-ounce (28-gram) portion of nuts on most days of the week.

Stronger Seniors Chair Exercise Videos


These Foods Have More Sugar Than You Think April 19, 2017 15:23

Processed sugar is a killer. That is a proven fact. (Look at this.) food manufacturers put in certain foods for flavor, especially 'low-fat' options. The following list of 'sugary' foods you should look at if you want to control your sugar consumption. For reference, there are about 33 grams of sugar in 12 ounces of Coca-Cola. 

1. Pasta Sauce - 6-12 grams per half-cup

2. Granola Bars - 8-12 grams per bar

3. Yogurt - 17-33 grams per 8-ounce cup

4. Instant Oatmeal - 10-15 grams per 'fruit-flavored' packet.

5. Breakfast Cereal- 10-20 grams per cup (even popular oat and bran brands.)

6. Packaged Fruits - 33 grams per cup of canned fruit in light syrup.

7. Bottled Tea - 32 grams per bottle, leading brands of lemon-flavored iced tea.

8. Dried Fruit - 25 grams , a small box of raisins.

9.- Fancy Coffee Drinks - 30-60 grams of added sugar per 16 oz.

10- Pomegranate Juice - 62 grams per bottle of this 'heart-healthy' drink.

Bottom line- Read the labels!

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are:

  • Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
  • Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).

Better Health - Diet vs. Exercise - Part 3 February 20, 2017 16:28

Seniors enjoying their healthy longevity

Better Health - Diet vs. Exercise January 27, 2017 14:47

If you have decided to make make 2017 a more healthful year for you, your lifestyle choices will change. What course will you chart? Diet? Exercise? How much? How little?  ??