Fast Food Dangers – Is Your Health Worth It?

Our diet and lifestyle have altered dramatically in the last 50 years. At one time culinary skills were passed from one generation to another, and a woman’s role was the ‘home-maker’. She wasn’t expected to work outside the home whilst her family was growing, and she often had other female relatives living close by as back-up.

The car was a luxury, so her daily shopping was usually done locally on foot. She purchased fresh food regularly, which contained far more nutrients than produce purchased from the supermarket weekly. As fast food didn’t exist, her role included cooking wholesome family meals daily.

Fast forward to now. Women learned the art of the short-cut, often through necessity. We drive to the supermarket once or twice per week to purchase food. We gravitate to fast option choices, which when short of time and adequate information, seem both convenient and appealing. Most of the food we buy is preserved, sprayed with chemicals, injected, or grown in chemically rich soil.

It’s no wonder we develop problems. We probably treat our cars with more respect. Few of us would dream of denying our car the appropriate fuel or oil, so why do we neglect our bodies so?

How Our Diet has Changed Over Time

Our love for sugar escalates uncontrollably. In the UK alone we consume 500,000 tonnes of chocolate each year, which is mostly made from refined sugar. Table sugar contains no vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre or starches; perhaps tiny traces of calcium and magnesium if we are really lucky, but apart from that – empty calories.

  • Sugar lurks in some of the most unlikely foods: cheese, fruit yoghurt, tomato sauce, baked beans, pickled cucumbers, muesli, beef burgers, Worcestershire sauce, sausages, peas, and yes, even cornflakes.
  • Be careful with steak and kidney pie. Saturated animal fats clog the arteries that supply the heart, brain and other major organs. This leads to poor circulation, and then to heart attacks and strokes. Smoking accelerates this process.
  • Foods high in animal fat have been blamed for the increased incidence of breast cancer. So go easy at the fast food counter.
  • We consume too much salt – often 10 – 20 times more than our bodies require each day. Result: high blood pressure.

Don’t let your eating habits be a recipe for disaster. With a little enlightenment and effort, you can come out ahead.

With most of us living life in the fast lane, we don’t have the time prepare meals like our earlier generations. But we can get healthy food on the run if we’re aware of the roadblocks and learn to detour around them.

Want to Know More about Healthy Fast Foods?

Learn how to live an active life with healthy foods that won’t leave you feeling greedy and weak-willed.

When we talk about living on a fast food diet many of us think of America and their menu of shakes, fries and hamburgers. Understandably, the US has been blamed by many researchers for setting the trend in the rise of obesity issues.

But let’s not be so quick to judge.

A new study reveals that America is not the country with the highest fast food consumption. Remarkably, Britons have begun to out-guzzle their American counterparts when it comes to fast food. When asked to identify with the statement, “I like the taste of fast food too much to give it up”, 45 percent of the British agreed, compared to 44 percent of Americans.

Despite menu changes, the major burger and pizza chains offer few healthy options. An investigation of the food sold by the four of the big fast food chains found that 17 of 20 products were high in salt or saturated fat or both. On average, the fast-food meals sampled had 274 calories per 100g of food, more than double that of a home-cooked roast dinner.

Some fast-food meals scored mega calorific counts. A Big Mac, medium fries and small vanilla milkshake contained 1,169 calories. You’d need to walk 16 miles to work that off. A margherita pizza and garlic bread had 5.4 grams of salt in the same analysis, almost the entire recommended daily allowance of 6 grams.

Is Fast Food Always Unhealthy?

Surprisingly, the answer to that question is no – if you know what to look for.

Know More About Types of Health Insurance Plans in Florida

Individual, families, groups, and businesses need customized health insurance plans to ensure that they have to spend minimum out-of-the-pocket money for their healthcare needs. With the implementation of healthcare reforms, the options for buying health insurance are widened.

With the advent of internet technology, the concept of transparency of price is gaining momentum. Insurers in Florida health insurance are facing a compelling need of price transparency when they offer health insurance quotes to their clients. At the same time, application time and waiting time for health insurance has reduced significantly as compared to earlier times.

Types of health insurance plans offered in Florida
Apart from State and Federal governments’ sponsored program including Medicare, Medicaid, etc., there is an option of buying health insurance from private companies. Like many other states, health insurance plans in Florida are offered to the residents in traditional format. These could be classified as:

1. Individual health coverage
2. Family health coverage
3. Group insurance
4. Student health coverage
5. Dental health insurance
6. Low cost insurance
7. Low-income families insurance
8. Short-term insurance
9. Small business insurance

Companies offering health insurance Florida
Below is the list of health insurance companies offering health insurance to the residents of Florida:
• Aetna
• AMS
• Assurant
• Avalon Healthcare
• AvMed Health Plans
• Blue Cross and Blue Shield
• Celtic
• Cigna
• Coventry
• Golden Rule
• Humana One
• IAC
• Solera Dental
• Vista

Types of health plans offered in Florida

A lot of consumer end up having discount coupons, which sometimes are termed as health plans; however, it needs to be understood that these discount coupons are not insurance. To buy affordable health plans in Florida, consumers need to equip themselves with proper knowledge about the same.

Traditional categorization of health coverage in Florida offers indemnity and managed care health plans. Indemnity health plans have the insured file claims for reimbursement. While managed care health plans allow the providers to file claims for the insured person.

Managed care health plans are further categorized as HMO, PPO, and POS.

Impact of the Affordable Care Act on insurance in Florida
• 290,000 small businesses in Florida will be offered tax credits for offering health coverage to their employees.
• Medicare beneficiaries in Florida will be automatically mailed a check of $250 to defray the cost of their prescription drugs.
• Early retirees will be offered reinsurance options.
• Uninsured Floridians with pre-existing condition will have a huge boost with $351 million federal dollars made available to Florida starting July 1 to provide coverage.
• Like many other states, for the first time ever, Florida will have the option of Federal Medicaid funding for coverage for all low-income populations, irrespective of age, disability, or family status.
• 8.8 million Floridians will no longer have to worry about lifetime limits on the coverage.
• Around 1.1 million individuals will not have to worry about getting dropped from coverage when they get sick.
• Children in Florida will be able to stay with their family insurance policy till the age of 26 years.

Costs involved in a health coverage plan in Florida

It is important to understand types of costs involved in a health coverage plan to make sure that Floridians have assessed everything before they finalize a health plan. We talk about the types of costs involved in a health coverage plan:

Premium-premium is the amount of money to be paid on monthly basis. Premium is the main cost that a health plan constitutes. It could vary from person to person and in plan to plan. It mainly depends on the age, gender, and health status of a consumer applying to get health coverage.

Deductible-deductible is the second major cost involved in a health plan. It is the amount of money that a consumer pays before the insurer actually begins to pay for the coverage. With higher deductibles, premium costs are reduced.

Coinsurance – coinsurance, as the name explains itself, is the amount of money that the consumer agrees to pay in percentage of the total cost of medical service after the deductible has been paid. Generally, it is usually 80/20 of the total value where 80% of the cost is paid by the insurance companies while the 20% is by the consumer.

Copay – copay is like coinsurance but it is not represented in percentage but in real value. Moreover, there is no consideration of deductibles in copays. Supposing a consumer needs to pay $70 per visit for the doctor: with copay, consumer will be paying $40 and the remaining $30 will be paid by the insurer. However, this copay facility will have some impact on the premium costs.

Use Specialized Mental Health Treatment Training – Build Your Private Practice

How to use specialized mental health treatment training is an important area for you to explore. As I opened a recent SAMHSA newsletter, this headline stopped me in my tracks. “New Nationwide Report Reveals That More than One in Every 10 adults Experienced Serious Psychological Distress in the Past Year”!  After close to 30 years as a practicing professional counselor and Mental Health Treatment Trainer, I knew there were many folks who were in emotional pain we never reached. I read the full text of the article looking for clues to who these potential clients were and how we might reach them.

When I think back to my counselor education programs at the master’s and doctoral levels, I know there was no time to educate new therapists to work with specialty populations, especially to the depth needed to build a private practice niche. Therefore, it is a given that any therapist who wants to go beyond a generalist practice must seek Mental Health Treatment Training in their specialty area of choice. How does all this relate to the SAMHSA article?

Most therapists and counselors look at specializing in a selected diagnostic area on Axis I disorders, for example, anxiety or depression. What is often neglected are specialty areas on Axis IV issues like domestic violence treatment, sex offender treatment and child abuse treatment.

These are often the clients who most need Mental Health Treatment for dysfunctional family issues. And, this is the best time in their lives to obtain this type of specialty treatment to interrupt the dysfunctional family cycle. Mental Health Treatment Training is available to address Adult Children from Dysfunctional Family issues. Use this specialty area to build a successful private practice. You can be the leader in your community to provide Mental Health Treatment to this population and become the “go to” person for other therapists in your area as well.

Start your specialized mental health treatment training now.

Day Care – How to Boost Your Earnings

Day care is becoming a booming business avenue with passage of time. As more moms are working out and no one at home to take care of the children so day care facility is the only choice. These centers offer care for children of different ages like newborn, infant, toddler, preschool or older children. As an extension, you can also find on-site day care for businesses or schools, after school day care programs, over night care, part time care, occasional care etc. It means you can find children care facility according to your needs.

Care centers keep your children busy in different activities. Children not only enjoy but also learn a lot of things at day care centers. Theses centers provide you solution for children’s sleep issues, biting tendencies, potty training, teething etc. If you want to start a day care business then you must have the qualities that parents look for while selecting a day care facility. These qualities are:

  • A licensed day care facility
  • Trained, helpful and pleasing staff members
  • Special attention to each and every child
  • Attractive play equipment
  • Adequate different areas for different activities
  • All the area must be hygienic
  • Prepare balanced meals
  • First aid facility
  • Ability and equipment to handle emergencies

A good day care center should have a proper schedule for different activities of the children. It may include physical games, learning, coloring, meals like breakfast, lunch, snack time etc., story telling, sleep time, cleaning up mess, prepare to go home etc. Apart from making schedule for the children, you would be looking after many other tasks like meeting parents, explaining them your facilities, arranging the record of your customers, matching number of children admitted and staff members available and a lot of other things. So, your actual focus i.e. caring children is somewhat compromised.

There is a solution that can help you in automating your official processes. It will help you in lessening your tedious work, making you efficient, building up your reputation and boosting your earnings. This is a facility that will be installed on your website. Your would-be customers will get all the needed information through this facility and afterwards they will enroll their children there automatically. Due to automation of your processes, you would have a lot of time saved for your actual job. The benefits of this facility are:

  • Your interaction with customers will be minimal
  • Customers can access the facility from internet anytime from everywhere
  • You will provide all the information once and iteration will be done by the system
  • It will keep all the records about your customers, your staff, your receipts and payments etc.
  • You can generate different needed reports easily and print out them as well
  • You can handle many centers situated in different localities from this facility easily
  • You can maintain different access levels for customers and staff
  • All your information would be secure
  • You can process payments electronically

This is only a short list of benefits you would enjoy by installing this facility. It is an “Online Scheduling System” which enables you to automate all your processes and boost your earnings.

How Drug Abusers Think – Help Get Addicts to Rehab Faster by Understanding Why They Avoid Rehab

Does drug abuse exist primarily in the mind of the abuser or is drug abuse society’s problem? Somewhat of a philosophical question, agreed. Let’s get right down into the reality of the matter and skip the pretense.

Drug Abusers Think Society Should Change To Fit Into Their Realities

To understand the boldness of this statement I will enlighten you on what is happening inside a drug abusers head. This may not be pretty, sorry if I use real life examples. But if you found your way to this article, you’re ready for it.

How Drug Abusers See The World

They see the same trees, the same cars and the same family members who are upset or distressed by their addiction. But they also ‘see’ other things.

To continue this analogy of seeing things that aren’t seen by everyone else, let’s consider the mind as a collection of full picture and sound files in one’s personal computer. This personal computer is ones’ mind. The mind has millions of memories or files stored of past experience or conclusions or imaginations. All these files are stored in your mental computer.

What happens when drug abusers experience things they don’t want to?

Here’s the problem: Drugs dull perceptions. Drugs are essentially pain killers. Drugs kill mental, emotional and / or physical pain. That means something that is distressing a person can appear to reduce. The stress seems to go away a bit by the drugs dulling or hiding the experience from the person. They can’t see or experience the discomfort as readily. Sometimes these discomforts come from the past. Remember the mind is made up of past experiences or memory pictures.

Drug abusers have been solving their problems by dulling out their abilities to see these problems. At times the problems right in front of them are unseen by a drug abuser. Other times issues from their past are blocked out.

Let’s take a look at one way drug abusers dull their perception of the past with drugs and with other mental ‘tricks’.

Drug abuse, including marijuana abuse, pharmaceutical abuse and alcohol abuse have one thing in common: Justification

As a drug rehab consultant, I hear more justification for drug abuse and use than most. Here are some rather common and even infamous justifications I’ve heard over the years.

Mental Justifications:

  • They don’t understand
  • I just need one more hit, then it’ll be OK
  • What’s the big deal, it’s just one time
  • This will fix things and I’ll make it through for a while longer

Drug Abusers Are Running Away From Something, Aren’t They?

Most people avoid pain. When the truth contains pain, the truth will be avoided.

Pain is also stored in the minds’ memory pictures. When painful experience is re-triggered by life, the painful part also returns. Drug abusers instinctively avoid this pain. That’s when justification is put to use by the abuser of drugs. Justification is a method of being right and avoiding the discomfort and pain of unpleasant memory.

The mind must be right. This is the minds’ senior command – always be right. Not necessarily truthful, just right. A drug abuser is trying to create a world where they are right in avoiding reality, even if it kills them. That’s why they continue to abuse drugs.

The Difference Between Individual and Family Healthcare Plans

The costs of medical care in US are soaring with each passing day and in this scenario, it has become quite confusing to identify a perfect health insurance plan. However, if an individual has a clear idea of what kind of coverage his health insurance plan should provide him with as well as the budget that he can afford for the same, then the decision of choosing a good health insurance plan definitely becomes easier.

The two most popular health insurance plans available are individual and family healthcare plans. Even though other health plans seem less costly, the fact remains that individual and family health insurance plans prove to be much more cost effective in the long run. However, before people choose any of the two plans, it is vital to understand the points of difference between the two.

Individual healthcare plans, as the name suggests, provides medical care benefits to a single person and is best suited for people who do not have any family to support or provide medical care to. The plan comes with various options and price ranges depending on the type as well as level of coverage desired by an individual. The cost generally varies according to the individual’s preference of visiting a doctor as well as the medical care facilities of their own choosing or a pre-assigned set of doctors and medical care facilities.

Family healthcare plans are generally selected by people who want a health cover for themselves as well as their families. Since the plan is designed to provide for the medical care of more than one person, it naturally comes with a higher price tag than individual plans. The cost of the plan can vary from one family to another according to the gender, ages as well as the eating and drinking habits of the family members.

Dental Care For the Poor

We all know that dentists are highly specialized doctors who deal with all kinds of dental issues; however, his expertise does not limit to only teeth but may also cure other issues related to the mouth such as sore mouth, swollen gums etc.

It is widely believed that visiting a dentist more often for a routine check up is always better than visiting him for any dental issue. Though the fees charged by dentists are high there are some dental care services that may charge you nominal fee and help in getting treated at a low cost.

For those people who find it difficult to pay for their dental checkups, there are dental care organizations where cheap or free of cost dental checkups are done.. Even universities have offers for the poor to take care of their dental issues at a low price or for free. Often projects and camps are conducted by students who are doing the studies of dentistry to offer free or reasonable aid to people suffering from dental problems but can not afford dental care.

You may also come across numerous plans and communities established only for the welfare of poor who are not able to afford dental checkup. There are several NGOs and governmental organizations that can help in curing your dental problems for free or at a nominal cost. There are thousands of recognized dentist who participate in such charity based dental checkup events.

Those people who cannot afford regular dental checkup due to unfavorable financial conditions, it is suggested to opt for dental discount plans. Such plans may be available with most of the dentists. You may receive your membership card which you need to show to your dentist whenever you visit him.

Finding a proper dentist who offers cheap dental care service in your locality, may not be that tough. You may seek advice from your friends and relatives about cheap dental care programs. You may even check in business directories for reasonable or free dental checkup.

There are fair chances that you may find details of some good and reasonable dentist. A search on the internet for low cost dentist or free dental care can help you find affordable dental treatment service in your vicinity.

Family Healthcare: The Dangers Of A Heart Attack & How To Avoid It

A heart attack happens when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle itself (the myocardium) is severely reduced or even stopped entirely.

If you know the symptoms and the risk factors of a heart attack, you can avoid having one and live a safer, healthier, longer and happier life

Heart attack has been reported to be the number one killer disease among adult Americans aged 50 yrs and older.

Typical symptoms of a heart attack include a crushing pain in the chest, sweating, difficulty breathing, weakness and pain in the arms, particularly the left.

Here are some family healthcare insights on how to prevent heart attacks.

Symptoms one could attribute to something else can cause devastating delays in seeking treatment.

These include feelings of indigestion, back shoulder and neck pain and nausea.

Early signs of trouble may appear during physical activity and disappear with rest.

Any numbness or tingling of the fingers or toes, dizziness, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing should not be ignored.

It is not enough to know the symptoms of a heart attack, which can be wide-ranging and confusing.

It appears that most Americans are oblivious of the risk factors of a heart attack.

It is very important also to know the risk factors such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and family history.

Clinical studies, laboratory investigations and a number of surveys show that certain personal characteristics and lifestyles can lead to increased danger of a heart attack.

These danger signs are called “risk factors.”

These well established risk factors are high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, cigarette smoking and diabetes mellitus.

Attempts at modifying risk factors most certainly have contributed to the declining death rate from heart attacks in the United States.

While a few decades ago, U.S. death rates from heart attacks were on the rise, but today’s figures show that incidents of heart attacks have comparatively fallen dramatically.

And, overall, heart-related problems have declined about 25 percent in the last decade.

This decrease undoubtedly is due to better medical care of heart attack victims, but it is likely that a sizable percentage is related to modification of risk factors.

New drugs can stop or limit the damage of a heart attack, but only if the patient gets help immediately, experts say.

Once the flow of blood to a portion of the heart is blocked for several hours, the damage is irreversible.

Medical technology is advancing at an increasingly rapid rate. More drugs and medical technology are available than ever before and the entire population is now more aware of the seriousness of heart attacks.

There has been an increased interest in learning CPR and many community organizations now offer this valuable training.

Of particular concern by doctors and researchers is the role that the American diet plays in the health of one’s heart.

Obesity predisposes individuals to coronary heart disease. Some of the reasons for this are known, but others are not.

The major causes of obesity in Americans are excessive intake of calories and inadequate exercise.

When caloric intake is excessive, some of the excess frequently is saturated fat, which further raises the blood cholesterol.

Thus, obesity contributes to higher coronary risk in a variety of ways.

Many of the major risk factors for a heart attack are silent and much of the responsibility for their detection lies with each of us as individuals.

Regular checkups are particularly necessary if there is a family history of heart attacks of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or diabetes.

May these family healthcare insights help you live a healthy and happy life.

Why You May NOT Want to Use Your Health Insurance for Counseling

Why not use your health insurance for counseling? Isn’t that what it is for?

Perhaps.

But using health insurance for mental health services is a little different than other medical issues. Sometimes mental health issues are not covered by your health insurance. Once you use your health insurance for mental health, you will have a mental health diagnosis on file – a mental health disorder/mental health illness must be on the insurance claim in order for insurance to pay for treatment. This will be in your permanent medical record.

Of course you want to consider using your health insurance for counseling, but there are some good reasons for you to consider why you may not want to use your insurance for counseling services.

Why doesn’t my counselor accept my health insurance?

Many counselors choose not to accept health insurance for very good reasons. They want to focus 100% of their time in treating you. If they accept health insurance, there is a lot of extra work involved in accepting insurance, in addition to agreeing to work for a discounted fee. The counselor may spend hours on the phone getting benefit information, authorizations, or following up on claims payments. The counselor has to wait a month for payment from the insurance company. The counselor has to file progress reports with the insurance company. The counselor is required to submit treatment reports and other details about your medical history with the insurance company.

It’s not that counselors don’t like insurance companies, or don’t want you to use your insurance (we have health insurance too!), but many counselors prefer to focus 100% of their time and energy in helping clients, rather than doing paperwork for insurance companies.

But this isn’t the only reason counselors may not be in network with your health insurance company.

The other reasons are more compelling, and you need to consider them BEFORE you decide to use your health insurance.

Many counselors prefer not to work in network with health insurance companies so that they can better protect your confidentiality. Any information (claims, reports, or treatment plans) filed with health insurance leaves the protection of their office and their locked files and your personal, private, emotional information is outside of your counselor’s office. In order for any insurance company to reimburse or pay for counseling (both in network and out of network), you must be considered “ill”. You must be diagnosed with a mental health illness or disorder. If you are not ill enough to warrant a diagnosis, then insurance will not pay for counseling services. If you do qualify for a mental health diagnosis, your illness will be listed in your permanent medical record. Many counselors don’t like this “medical model” of declaring someone ill, so they choose not to accept insurance because they want to focus on their client’s strengths, and not label them as mentally ill.

Do you want to be considered mentally ill? If you have a mental health diagnosis already, because you have been to counseling or psychiatric appointments in the past, find out what your diagnosis on file is. If you already have a mental health diagnosis, this may not be a concern to you, but if not, you may not want this in your medical record.

Counselors also do not like releasing information to others to protect your confidentiality. Once a claim is submitted to the insurance company, who knows how many people take a look at it and rubber stamp it while it travels through the system? If insurance pays for any counseling sessions (in network or out of network), then the insurance company has the right to audit your complete file. They can request copies of counseling notes, assessments, and other personal emotional information to determine if you really are “sick enough” to warrant their payment. They can deny services to you if they think you aren’t sick enough or if they think your counseling is not “medically necessary”.

Additionally, there are many counseling issues that are not even covered by insurance at all. Stress management and anger management are usually not covered. Marriage counseling is usually not covered. Certain medical conditions/mental health conditions may be excluded (such as attention deficit disorder or adjustment disorder). Even if your illness or disorder is covered by your insurance plan, they may limit the number of visits they will cover (sometimes only 20 per year), and they will set a maximum amount they will pay per calendar year or in your lifetime.

Additionally, counselors prefer not to have someone in the insurance company telling them how to treat their clients. Insurance companies can decide what type of counseling is covered, what diagnoses are allowed, and how many times the client needs to come before they are cured. Many counselors prefer to work directly with clients to serve their needs, without interference from an insurance company.

Using your health insurance for counseling services can also affect your security clearance, life insurance rate, employment, or future health insurance coverage.

For the above reasons, I recommend that you be informed about using health insurance for counseling. You may choose to file anyway, but be an informed consumer.

  • Be an informed consumer.
  • Know your mental health diagnosis.
  • Talk to your counselor about the diagnosis.
  • Ask your counselor about your treatment reports.
  • Decide if you have, or want to have, a psychiatric illness.

If you have clinical, severe depression, anxiety, or other issues, then you probably already have a diagnosis.

But if you are stressed, having relationship problems, or trying to figure out your purpose in life, your symptoms may be minor, and you may not want to have a mental health diagnosis in your records.

Once an insurance claim is submitted to your health insurance company, your diagnosis becomes part of your permanent medical record, and can affect future life insurance, preexisting conditions, or the cost of private health insurance.

Health-Medicinal Benefits of Garlic May Not Include Prevention of Heart Disease

For thousands of years, physicians have been aware of the health/medicinal benefits of garlic. But, today, the popularity of garlic supplements is related primarily to decades of research concerning the health benefits of garlic in lowering cholesterol, thus improving the health of the heart and possibly reducing the risk of heart disease. While no one disputes that there are numerous genuine health benefits of garlic, the most recent research conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) casts doubt on garlic’s cholesterol lowering effect and its benefits to heart health.

Over a period of six months, 169 people with moderately high levels of LDL or bad cholesterol were given three different formulations of garlic supplements. The trials were double blinded, randomized and conducted using placebo controls. Older research supporting claims of the benefits of garlic to heart health were not always conducted in this manner. Some research was conducted using laboratory animals. Some research was not blinded or placebo controlled, meaning that researchers or participants knew they were receiving actual garlic supplements. The problem with non-blinded studies is that the results are sometimes skewed towards what the researchers want or expect the results to be, plus, the placebo effect is well documented. When a person believes that they are receiving a product that will help their condition, any substance will return positive results 10-20% of the time.

NCCAM research concerning the cholesterol lowering benefits of garlic supplements was also controlled so that no other changes in diet or exercise regimens were made, because the primary question is whether or not garlic supplements alone actually have a beneficial effect on LDL cholesterol. If the NCCAM results are accurate, then garlic supplements have no effect on LDL cholesterol levels. Thus, the benefits of garlic to heart health may have been overstated by previous researchers or simply blown out of proportion by the media and supplement companies.

The undisputed health/medicinal benefits of garlic are mostly related to a component known as allicin, which is released when fresh garlic is crushed. Louis Pasteur, the father of modern antibiotics, noted garlic’s antibacterial activity in 1858. It was used to prevent gangrene during World Wars I and II. Other health benefits of garlic include the treatment of various infections, such as upper respiratory infections, fungal infections and infection with intestinal worms and parasites. The garlic must be fresh and crushed in order to be effective. The allicin is lost if garlic is cooked.