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On first approach, the Fractured Prune seems like a health food store, some place selling wheat berry milkshakes or egg white omelets. Luckily only one of the walls is purple, and there are t-shirts with a big grinning prune displayed everywhere.
Fans of Krispy Kreme beware—these donuts are from a different school of sweets. Dense and cakey, the yellow donuts are deep-fried right when you order them. You can choose your own glazes, from honey to raspberry, peanut butter to mocha. The donuts are so hot that the icing drips off them, and if you are foolish enough to put them in a bag, they cool to a solid sticky mess. Just in case you haven’t had enough sugar, there are toppings, so you can put chocolate jimmies on your cherry glaze, or cinnamon on your maple glaze. Or choose a specialty donut, such as the banana nut bread with banana glaze, cinnamon sugar, and peanuts, or a peppermint patty donut that comes with mint glaze and mini chocolate chips. With a cup of fresh-brewed coffee, you’ll understand the bliss of what it feels like to be a cop.
Anyone familiar with classical French cuisine knows that mirepoix, consisting of a mixture of carrots celery and onions, is a common flavor base for stocks, sauces, soups, stews, casseroles and braises.
When making brown stock, for instance, mirepoix is first scattered in with the beef or veal bones for roasting, and then afterward, the bones are simmered in water with fresh mirepoix. Making a demiglace involves thickening and reducing that stock, along with still more mirepoix, until it's dark, rich and brimming with flavor. It truly forms the backbone of French cuisine.
The Cajun trinity plays much the same role in Cajun and Creole cooking.
And in case your wondering, the expression "holy trinity" as it applies to Cajun cooking is thought to have originated with famed New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme, who specialized in Cajun and Creole cuisines.
Top 35+ Organic and Health Food Stores in Pune
Organic food is good for health and there are a lot of stores that sell organic food in Pune, India.
6, Draupadi Apartments
567 Vastu Nagar Market Yrd,
Pune Gpo Pune 411001
Phone: (91) 20 2427 4688
Godrej Nature&rsquos Basket
Ground Floor, Plot No. 352/3,
Shop No. 1 And 2,
Business Square, Lane No. 5,
Koregaon Park Pune 411001
Phone: (91) 20 3291 6881
Olive Tree Trading Pvt. Ltd
2406, East St,
Camp Pune 411001
Phone: (91) 20 6601 1771
Organic vegetables are free of chemical contamination . Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Near bafna petrol pump,
Shukrawar Peth Pune 411002
Phone: (91) 89 2883 9372
Good Foods Organic Food Store
Godown No 1 Kishori Park Chs,
Near Abhinav High School ,
Erandwane Pune 411004
Phone: (91) 20 3962 9202
Organic & Naturals
Survey No 1306 Shop No 1, Kamaljha Apartment,
Jangali Maharaj Road, Bank Of Baroda Lane,
Shivaji Nagar, Opposite Dsk Showroom Pune 411005
Phone: (91) 20 2553 6835
Pune Organics and Lifestyle Store
Aundh Tel Exch, D P Road,
Aundh Pune 411007
Phone: 097 6419 0500
Srushti Organic Foods
Patil complex, Khadki aundh Road Pune IT Park,
Ambedkar Chowk Pune 411020
Phone: (91) 20 2569 3631, (91) 97 6618 1234
Home décor Pune 411021
Phone: (91) 90 9693 6756
Shop No 13 New Atharva Market,
Jagtap Dairy Rahatani Road, Pimple Saudagar,
Near Hotel Shivar Garden Pune 411027
Phone: (91) 20 3340 9376
S36 B, Level 2, Seasons Mall,
Next to Ray-Ban,
Magarpatta Police Station Road,
Magarpatta City, Hadapsar,
Seasons Mall Pune 411028
Phone: (91) 20 6723 0925
Organic Agro Products
A4/307, Mumbai Bangalore Highway,
Warje, Atul Nagar Opposite Cipla Foundation
Phone: (91) 98 2300 3365
Shree Ganesh Food Store
Vasantrav Limaye Road,
Perugate, Sadashiv Peth,
Nandini Organic Store
2093, Sadashiv Peth,
Nilayam Theater Chowk,
Near N C Phadke Sabagruh
Phone: (91) 20 3993 3686
F No 7, Mayuresh Appt,
Phatak Baug, Navi Peth-Sadashiv Peth,
Near Mahtre Bridge Pune 411030
Phone: (91) 96 8992 1617, 98 2329 6629
Organic Products India
331, Gultekdi, Market Yard,
Phone: (91) 20 2427 0900
Organic Products India
Row House No. B-8, Himgiri Residency,
Nr. Sandesh Soc., Gultekdi Pune 411037
Phone: (91) 20 2427 0900
Naturogenic Organic Food
No. 206, Ganraj Hgts,
K. P. Nagar, Balaji Nagar,
Dhankawdi Pune 411043
Phone: 078 7597 6777
Plot No 53, Main Road,
G T M M Boys Chowk
Phone: (91) 20 6648 9164
Gorus O Food Store
Shop No 15 Windwards Society,
Kaspate Vasti Road, Wakad,
Kaspate Vasti, Pune 411057
Nisargam Organic food & Patanjali outlet
shop no. 9 Sonai estate,
opposite dynasty society, Wakad,
Kaspate vasti Pune 411057
Phone: (91) 91 5899 2968
near warje naka Pune 411058
Phone: (91) 82 7594 9777
Organic Veg Mart
Sh no 8, Ravet akurdi road,
Ravet, Near PJ gym,
Phone: (91) 97 6617 3773
Gorus Organic Farming Association
Erandwane, Pune, Maharashtra
Phone: 020 2567 3324
3 Galaxy Society, next to Axis Bank,
Max Mueller Lane, Boat Club Road,
Pune, Maharashtra 411001
Phone: 020 2616 0550
1, Namdeo Heights , opp. Ravi Park,
Jagtap Nagar, Wanaworie,
Pune, Maharashtra 411040
Phone: 020 2685 6450
Nisargam Organic food store
opp. dynasty society,
Chatrapati Chowk Rd,
Kaspate Wasti, Wakad,
Pune, Maharashtra 411057
Shop No. 71, B-10,
Off NIBM Road, Kondhwa,
Pune 411048., Maharashtra
Phone: 073 5066 7373
Shop No 6, Liberty-II, North Main Road,
Koregaon Park, Pune,
Phone: 020 2611 4627
Shop no. 1 &ndash 4, Gurudev Building,
S.No. 21/2/1, Sainik Wadi,
near &ldquoChrist the King&rdquo Church Wadgaonsheri,
Wadgaon Sheri, Pune,
Phone: 095525 07364
Gultekdi Market Yard
Shivneri Path, Market Yard,
Shop No 6, Liberty-II,
North Main Road,
Koregaon Park Pune,
Phone: 020 2611 4627
Shop no. 1 &ndash 4, Gurudev Building,
S.No. 21/2/1, Sainik Wadi,
Near &ldquoChrist the King&rdquo Church Wadgaonsheri,
Wadgaon Sheri, Pune,
Phone: 095525 07364
Gultekdi Market Yard
Shivneri Path, Market Yard,
Gultekdi, Pune, Maharashtra 411037
Prakriti Aarogya Kendra
Shop No. 2, Buena Vista,
Beside Bank of Baroda,
Viman Nagar, Pune,
Maharashtra 411 014
Organic And Naturals
1, Kamaljia Apartments,
1306, Bank of Baroda Lane,
J M Road, Shivajinagar, Pune,
Maharashtra 411 005
Phone: (020) 2553 6835
43/1 Velhavli Village,
Takave Khurd, Maval Taluka,
Near Kamshet (Old Mumbai Pune RD),
Phone: 8425854517, 9987498888
17, New Atharva Market,
Next to Hotel Shivar Garden,
Pimple Saudagar, Pune 411027
Phone: 96 04800641, 9623679344
Email: [email protected]
Disha Organic Farming &lsquoSrushti&rsquo
Bld-1, Shop-1, Khadaki,
Aundh Rd., Poona, Pune, 411020
Phone: 91 25693931
Grocery Stores Taking More Active Roles in Health Promotion
Grocery stores such as the Whole Foods Market Inc. store in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., . [+] are taking an increasing role in promoting healthier diets as evidenced by the nuts sign. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Grocery stores, supermarkets and other large food retailers do not simply "store" food. They, in fact, can play major roles in what you choose to eat and drink. While this may not be new news to food marketers, health advocates have been increasingly recognizing this role and developing policies and interventions that target food retailers. With the obesity epidemic and other diet-related health problems bringing more attention to what you eat and drink, more and more grocery stores are finding that proactively establishing practices and programs that promote health may be good business . Such initiatives include:
Increasing stocking of healthy food. You can't eat and drink what you can't find. Healthier foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables may be more costly to obtain and maintain, which may lead some food retailers to refrain and abstain from selling them. For example, while natural foods age and have a limited shelf life, unnatural, highly processed foods can remain and appear the same for months or even years. Moreover, natural things often require refrigerator or freezer space, which costs money. However, statistics have shown that demand for organic food has been steadily rising over the past decade. These statistics, along with the success of Whole Foods Market , have prompted many large retailers to boost their offerings of organic food. (Of course, "organic" does not always mean "healthy.")
Changing the placement of healthy foods in the store. Entering a food store hungry can be like going to a nightclub when you are lonely. You are more likely to go home with the first thing you see. Food manufacturers frequently will strike deals with grocery stores to put their products in more visible locations, such as near the entrance, at the ends of aisles, at eye level, and close to the check-out counters. Cardiovascular disease researcher and associate professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Matthew Freiberg, MD, MSc, remarks, "If you pay attention to the layout of many grocery stores, healthier foods are often on the periphery of stores while the center is dominated by more processed foods." Recently, consumer demand has resulted in some changes in some grocery stores. For example, throughout Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Giant Eagle was a dominant grocery store chain until Whole Foods Market established a location in the East Liberty/ Shadyside area in 2002. After the Whole Foods Market began to draw customers away, Giant Eagle refurbished its branch in 2006 just a few blocks away, expanding its 23,400-square-foot store to 68,000 square feet, more prominently featuring its produce and establishing 1,500 square feet devoted to natural and organic products in its center aisles.
More grocery stores such as the Kroger Co. grocery store in Birmingham, Michigan, U.S., are . [+] including prominent natural and organic foods sections. Photographer: Sean Proctor/Bloomberg
Improving the ambiance around healthy food. Continuing on the nightclub theme, you tend to judge things or people by their surroundings. A woman with lots of men around her or a man with lots of women around him tends to look more attractive. (That's why the answer to the question "What should I wear to make me more attractive?" should be "other people.") A food store can make a food item more or less attractive by what is placed around the food item. For instance, a food item sitting on a darker shelf by itself may struggle to get noticed. even if that food item has a good personality. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's have tried to create positive shopping experiences by utilizing techniques such as softer lighting that make products that don't have colorful packaging more appealing, playful signage that draws attention to items that normally aren't usually the belle of the ball, and staff members that wear colorful shirts, call each other team members, and high five each other.
Offering healthier food samples. Grocery stores don't offer samples just to spread happiness. Food samples are like revealing clothes in a nightclub, essentially saying, "Want some of this?" And they seem to be quite successful in boosting sales. Food retailers such as Costco have seen substantial jumps in sales after offering samples. Samples have become so common in places such as Costco and Walmart that you could assemble entire meals foraging for samples. While many samples are not the healthiest fare, being high in salt, sugar, fat and other potentially addictive ingredients, some grocery stores offer healthier items such as sliced fruit and items cooked from natural ingredients.
Food samples are becoming increasingly common in grocery stores as evidence suggests that offering . [+] samples can boost sales. The nutritional value and healthiness of such samples can range substantially. Here a grocery store in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, provides a sample of Norwegian Cod. When in doubt, ask the sample provider for the ingredients in the sample and if any of the ingredients can be altered (e.g., less salt). Photographer: Eduardo Zappia/Bloomberg
Posting health and nutrition information. Although many packaged foods in grocery stores already have required official U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nutrition labels, many other items do not, including fruits, vegetables, meats, foods prepared in the grocery store and items in salad and hot food bars. A provision in the Obama administration healthcare law passed in 2010 requires grocery stores to post calorie information about their prepared foods. However, legal and lobbying challenges have muddled the specifics of the provision. Apparently, the federal provision does not apply to items meant for more than one person, such as a party tray. Of course, this distinction may not be clear as you may have seen a single person engulf entire party trays of chicken wings, lasagna or sushi (single as in one person as opposed to not married. although such an activity may be more likely among unmarried people). Additionally, some local governments have been pushing for food retailers (e.g., restaurants in New York City) to provide more nutritional disclosures. A number of grocery stores have been voluntarily offering more nutritional information about their items, even offering recipes and guidance on what foods to choose for healthy diets.
On-site personnel to provide suggestions and advice. Some supermarket chains have employed on-site personnel who can offer guidance on food selection. Some of these personnel aim to promote a certain type of food. such as a store employee dressed as a crab, presumably to promote crabs (which may have a completely different connotation in a nightclub). Others provide more general guidance on healthy food selection. For instance, each Hy-Vee grocery store has a dietitian. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that an intervention that included brief shopping education by a nutrition educator resulted in greater purchasing of fruit and dark green/yellow vegetables.
Special deals for healthy foods. To offset the seeming higher cost of eating healthier ( $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets, based on a systematic review published in BMJ Open), some grocery stores have offer promotions such as Meatless Mondays at Whole Foods locations in which you can fill a plate with all the veggies that you can for $8.
A number of Albertsons supermarket stores are offering free Eating Healthy with Diabetes Grocery . [+] Store Tours that teach customers how to shop for healthy foods that help manage diabetes. Photographer: Jack Smith/Bloomberg News
Educational materials and programs. A growing number of grocery stores have organized efforts to promote healthier decision-making, such as:
- Free Eating Healthy with Diabetes Grocery Store Tours being offered at Acme, Albertsons , Carrs, Jewel Osco, Pavilions, Randalls, Safeway , Shaws, Star Market, Tom Thumb and Vons supermarkets nationwide starting in March of 2016. offered by Costco and other food retailers and developed by OmniChannel Health Media.
- Wegmans’ Eat Well, Live Well Program that includes videos, articles and website tools that help people eat and drink healthily.
- Healthy cooking classes such as the Shop Rite Culinary Workshop.
The role of the grocery store in health promotion seems to be growing. Many larger grocery stores are also blending in more health-related services such as pharmacies, medical clinics, immunizations and fitness classes. With food being so central to health, grocery stores have an opportunity to shape your health for the better or for the worse. As the obesity epidemic continues and more and more scientific evidence shows that many factors beyond the individual affect body weight, grocery stores may have many more health efforts in store for you.
Best for Snacking: The Goods Mart
Why We Chose It: The Goods Mart is a one-stop-shop online for funky and flavorful snacks and is equal parts healthy and trends-driven.
What We Like
- Loads of interesting options you can’t find anywhere else
- Best snack selection by far
- Snack boxes provide a taste test for people unsure of what to order
- Options for everyone, including Paleo and low-sugar
- Some products are unique, like cactus snacks
What We Don’t Like
The Goods Mart’s founder, Rachel Krupa, grew up in a small town in Michigan with a population of 1,200. She created Goods Mart to give people the same tight-knit community vibe of a small town corner store, and now all of the products are available online.
The Goods Mart’s products don’t have artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners, and there are no harmful pesticides. The buzzy brand also gives back, partnering with Lunch on Me in Los Angeles and Bowery Street Mission in New York to move food within 24 hours of expiration to homeless populations. Other options on this list have more meal options, but think of this as your friendly neighborhood health store, as opposed to a grocery.
Products include Cheddar Cheezish crackers, Zesty Thai Mushroom Jerky, and Vegan Ranch Chickpea Puffs. If you’re not sure what to start with, there’s a wide variety of snack boxes, including one from female founders, a Black-owned box, and a collaboration with the restaurant website The Infatuation.
The 10 Healthiest Grocery Stores In The U.S., According To Nutritionists
In healthy-eating heaven, grocery stores would get you as psyched about fruits and veggies as the latest flavor of Ben & Jerry&rsquos. I mean, let&rsquos be real, where you shop matters when you&rsquore trying to focus on good-for-you food.
&ldquoWalking into a supermarket with beautiful, fresh, vibrantly colored produce is the most inspiring way to encourage healthy eating and increased consumption of fruits and veggies,&rdquo says New York-based culinary nutrition expert and author of 52-Week Meal Planner, Jessica Levinson, RDN, CDN.
That&rsquos why Levinson looks for stores that offer a wide variety of fresh produce (including local and seasonal options), fresh meat and fish departments, a variety of whole grains, a robust dairy aisle, and a frozen food section stocked with frozen fruit and vegetables, better-for-you frozen meals, whole-grain waffles, and veggie burgers.
Other surefire signs that a grocery store gives a hoot about keeping you healthy: designated areas for healthy or organic food products, labels that make products&rsquo nutritional value clear, and even in-store dietitians, Levinson says.
The following 10 grocery stores really go the extra mile in helping you be your healthiest self.
Nearly 500 stores in 41 states
&ldquoTrader Joe&rsquos in one of my go-to healthy grocery stops,&rdquo says dietitian Jess Cording, RD, author of the upcoming book, The Little Book Of Game Changers.
&ldquoCost is one of the main barriers to buying and preparing healthy food, and, as an RD, I love that they have great prices on fresh and frozen produce. It makes a big difference when you want to purchase organic on a budget,&rdquo she says.
Cording heads to TJ&rsquos to stock up on produce and healthy staples like wild sardines, chia seeds, apple cider vinegar, and organic whole-milk Greek yogurt.
Levinson also loves TJ&rsquos for their variety of convenient produce, like bags of shredded Brussels sprouts and cauliflower rice, which makes cooking healthy quicker and easier. Plus, &ldquothe frozen food aisle at Trader Joe's is also a great place to find hidden treasures like sweet potato fries and cauliflower crust pizza,&rdquo she says.
Another perk of Trader Joe&rsquos: It&rsquos currently upping its commitment to sustainability. &ldquoI was pleasantly surprised to learn that they've made big changes to remove over 4 million pounds of plastic from their stores per year,&rdquo says dietitian Brynn McDowell, RDN.
If you like the feeling of shopping at a farmers market, head to Sprouts. The company&rsquos goal: to offer fresh, local product at a good price.
&ldquoTheir produce section is often the largest part of the store, and I think that's a great way to encourage people to build their meals around fresh fruits and vegetables,&rdquo says McDowell. &ldquoPlus, their weekly ads always showcase great deals on seasonal produce and their prices are often the best around.&rdquo
Dietitian Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, LDN, meanwhile, likes how easy Sprouts makes shopping with food allergies or dietary restrictions, especially because they carry everything from healthy basics to specialty and local brands.
Plus, &ldquowith their Food Rescue program, Sprouts works to eliminate food waste and donate produce to places like food banks,&rdquo she says.
500+ stores across the US and UK
Whole Foods has built its reputation around being the healthy grocery store. After all, all products sold in Whole Foods stores must pass the company&rsquos rigorous quality standards, you won&rsquot find ingredients like hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, or artificial colors and flavors within their walls.
Whole Foods is also great for grab-and-go food. &ldquoThey have a variety of fresh, ready-to-eat options with their hot and salad bars. For single women on-the-go or working moms with busy schedules, having healthy, quick, nutrient-rich options is essential for staying well-fueled,&rdquo says dietitian Amy Goodson, RD.
128 stores in Northern California and Nevada
&ldquoIn the past few years, I have seen Raley's make a big shift towards wellness, education, and sharing health information with their customers,&rdquo says McDowell. One example: regular newsletters that showcase seasonal produce, healthy recipes, and other helpful info.
Look out for Raley&rsquos Shelf Guide Tags, too. &ldquoThese tags let a shopper know when a product is lower in sugar than some of the other brand choices surrounding it,&rdquo says McDowell. Icons on shelf tags also indicate when products are vegan, plant-based, heart-healthy, gluten-free, or whole-grain. A huge help to consumers trying to navigate all the choices available in large chain stores today!
And, good to know if you&rsquore shopping with your kids: Raley&rsquos hands out free fruit to little ones, instead of the cookies or sweets other grocery stores offer.
Nearly 2,000 stores in 36 states
Janeiro always finds great quality produce at a good price at Aldi. &ldquoI also enjoy shopping their exclusive brands like Simply Nature, LiveGFree (for gluten-free options), and their Little Journey line for my kids,&rdquo she says.
Aldi has also focused on improving how and where they source their products. &ldquoThey work to be transparent about sustainability and sourcing, and even employ a dietitian in their supply chain to manage this,&rdquo says dietitian Cara Harbstreet, RD, LD, of Street Smart Nutrition.
The one downside? Many of their fresh produce items are individually packaged or bagged, which means more plastic waste, she says.
400 stores in Texas and Mexico
If you live in Texas, stock up at H-E-B. &ldquoH-E-B tells a story about their product. They like consumers to know where their food came from and support the farmers they source their food from,&rdquo says Goodson.
Not only does H-E-B offer high-quality food at very affordable prices, but they also offer healthy on-the-go options called Meal Simple. &ldquoThe meals contain protein and vegetables, or protein, vegetables, and a carb,&rdquo says Goodson. &ldquoThey&rsquore all affordably priced, nutrient-rich, and convenient.&rdquo
Another perk? H-E-B also offers their customers nutrition counseling services with registered dietitians.
527 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
For those working to feed a crowd and keep it healthy, nothing beats Costco. &ldquoCostco has a wide selection of fresh and frozen produce, as well as dairy, proteins, and prepared foods,&rdquo says Harbstreet.
Another nice-to-have: &ldquoCostco occasionally features items such as microwavable, pre-seasoned rice packets, grab-and-go lunches, and canned foods that can make prepping meals at home easier,&rdquo Harbstreet says.
Just be wary of buying too much in bulk. &ldquoBe mindful about how much you and your family realistically use so you don&rsquot contribute to food waste,&rdquo she says.
240+ stores in the Midwest
Midwest-based retailer HyVee works with local farmers and sources fresh fruits and vegetables from within 200 miles of their stores. (Look for the &lsquoHyVee Homegrown&rsquo logo!)
Another unique feature: The seafood sold in HyVee stores is harvested or raised in a manner that minimizes environmental damage and promotes sustainability, thanks to the company&rsquos seafood procurement policy.
Most stores have a registered dietitian in-house, too! &ldquoYou can attend a cooking class, taste a demo of a new recipe, go on a store tour, or receive nutrition counseling and coaching,&rdquo says Harbstreet. &ldquoIt&rsquos great for anyone interested in making healthier choices or learning new skills.&rdquo
You might not expect huge supermarket chains to top the list of healthy grocery stores, but Cording is a fan of Kroger&rsquos.
&ldquoAside from offering a wide variety of healthy produce, pantry staples, and products suitable for various dietary needs (gluten-free, non-dairy, vegetarian, etc), they also partner with dietitians and other healthcare providers,&rdquo she says. Select stores contain &lsquoThe Little Clinic,&rsquo which provides health and wellness education to shoppers and the community.
Oh, and another minor detail: The company has set the goal of rolling out zero-waste processes by 2020 and eliminating all of their food waste by 2025.
Approximately 300 stores in the Northeast
&ldquoShopRite is high on my list for a mainstream supermarket that also carries many new, on-trend, and healthy products,&rdquo says Levinson. Yep, you&rsquoll find store-brand tomato sauce and that cool new chickpea pasta in the same aisle.
&ldquoThey also highlight local produce and have great prices for in-season produce,&rdquo she adds.
In fact, in the summer of 2019, Shop Rite expanded partnerships with local farmers and emphasized their in-store dietitians to provide customers with healthy recipes, cooking demonstrations, and education.
Final Thoughts on Melatonin and Sleep
- Melatonin is a hormone that is responsible for setting our sleep-wake cycle.
- Melatonin isn’t a generic sleeping pill that will work for everyone.
- It’s always a good idea to start off with a very low dose of melatonin and see how you do. As little as 1-3 mg may be enough.
- If you don’t see success with melatonin, working with a holistic care team to establish better habits and dive deeper into underlying causes of sleep disturbances can help to address long-term improvements in sleep quality.
Credentials: Board-Certified Integrative Medicine Physician • Certification in Medical Acupuncture Training Institutions: The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine • Integrative Medicine Fellowship at The University of Arizona • Institute for Functional Medicine • Kharrazian Institute Clinical Interests: Biohacking for Longevity • Thyroid & Adrenal Health • Autoimmune Disorders • Cardiovascular Disease • Metabolic Health • Stress Hormones • Hormonal Health & Fertility • Digestive Health • Genetic & Epigenetic Medicine - GI disorders Previous and Additional Positions: Contributing writer&hellip
Free Guide: Simple Sleep Strategies
Learn the science of sleep from our doctors and how to have your best night of rest—every night.
5 Ways the American Health Care Act Is the Opposite of Pro-Life—UPDATED
Update, March 24: Republicans in the House of Representatives pulled the American Health Care Act bill from being considered today, just before a scheduled vote, due to the understanding that it would not have received enough votes to pass. This is a huge victory for all Americans, given that CBO estimates predicted that, if passed, the bill would have resulted in 24 million people losing their health insurance over the next 10 years, among other completely devastating impacts—some of which we outlined below.
Throughout his campaign, President Donald Trump vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka the ACA or Obamacare) and replace it with something "so much better." And while select members of Congress had proposed replacement plans or policy briefs (outlines) of their own, congressional Republicans had yet to come forward with their official "repeal and replace" plan. That is, until this week.
After months of discussions about repealing Obamacare, Republicans in Congress released an official draft of their ACA replacement: the American Health Care Act (AHCA)—Monday evening. For the supposed "pro-life" and "family values" party, this health care plan is shockingly craven and dangerous. It could threaten Americans' access to health care, make premiums more expensive for many, and endanger the safety of domestic violence survivors—all of which could lead to more people dying. That's certainly not what I would call "pro-life."
Under Obamacare, 31 states expanded Medicaid—allowing more than 11 million previously ineligible Americans to get insurance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But under the AHCA, the Medicaid expansion would be fully repealed by 2020. That means all 11 million of those people would become Medicaid-ineligible again, and 4 million to 6 million of them could lose insurance, according to a preliminary report from rating agency Standard & Poor's. A follow-up report from the Congressional Budget Office was even more damning, predicting that 24 million Americans would lose health insurance in the next decade.
When people don't have health insurance, they're less likely to receive the care they need for major health conditions and chronic diseases, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. They're less likely to get necessary prescription medications, and they're less inclined to carry out follow-up care. All of this combines to create a devastating trend: People without health insurance are more likely to go to the hospital for avoidable health issues, more likely to experience overall health declines, and more likely to die.
Under Obamacare, insurers had to cover 10 health benefits deemed "essential": outpatient care, emergency care, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse care, prescription medications, rehabilitative and habilitative care, lab services, pediatric care (including routine oral and vision services), and preventive services (including chronic disease management). Under the AHCA, Medicaid no longer has to cover these essential benefits beginning in December 2019—meaning the more than 73 million people who rely on Medicaid could lose access to vital services.
We've already talked about how things like prescription medications, hospitalization, and preventive services can make a major impact on someone's long-term health. But did you know that insufficient prenatal care is associated with a 40 percent increase in infant mortality, per the Guttmacher Institute? Or that worldwide, 75 percent of infant deaths happen in the first week of life, according to the World Health Organization?
What about the fact that one of the preventive services Obamacare covers is domestic violence screening, which could help save some of the 20 Americans who are physically abused by an intimate partner each minute, per the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence? The NCADV also notes that only 34 percent of people who are physically hurt by an intimate partner get the medical care they need to treat those injuries.
These benefits were deemed essential for a reason.
Before Obamacare, insurers could charge adults in their 50s and 60s whatever they wanted. This led to premiums getting so high that 8.9 million older adults couldn't afford health insurance in 2010, according to an AARP Public Policy Institute report. (The same report shows that 3.7 million more older adults had insurance 10 years earlier, in 2000.)
Obamacare implemented limits on how much insurance providers could charge older enrollees, which made health care coverage more affordable for older adults. But the AHCA removes that limitation—meaning providers can charge older enrollees as much as they want. Christine Eibner, a RAND Corporation economist, told Vox that a 64-year-old could see their premiums increase from $8,500 to $10,600 if the replacement plan is implemented. This would ultimately lead to "older people end up falling out of the market as premiums rise," she said.
Under Obamacare, couples had to file taxes jointly to receive health insurance tax credits. But there were exceptions for cases of domestic violence and spousal abandonment. The AHCA doesn't include these exceptions, meaning all couples have to file jointly if they want to receive health insurance tax credits—period.
This could be particularly devastating for domestic violence survivors who have separated from their abusers but haven't yet divorced them. These survivors could have moved to a new address and gotten a new phone number in an attempt to protect themselves from their abusers. But if they have to file taxes jointly, they'll have to sacrifice this private information to the exact person they were keeping it from. The alternative? Forego receiving health insurance tax credits and risk not being able to afford health insurance. No one should be forced to choose between their safety and their health.
Yes, Planned Parenthood provides abortions. But by law, the Medicaid funding Planned Parenthood receives can't pay for abortions. (Learn more about that here.) So where does that money go? It provides contraception services and information to 2.1 million Americans each year. This helps prevent an estimated 516,000 unintended pregnancies and 217,000 abortions, according to the organization itself. It also goes toward nearly 400,000 Pap smears, nearly 500,000 breast exams, 88,000 cancer screenings, and 4.5 million STI tests and treatments (including 700,000 HIV tests and 169,000 STI diagnoses)—among other things.
More than 2.5 million American patients receive care from Planned Parenthood each year—and many of them come from areas where no other high-quality care is available. "Many communities rely on Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, and other vital preventive care," Willie Parker, M.D., Physicians for Reproductive Health board chair, tells SELF. "For people who rely on Medicaid coverage—including people of color, people with low incomes, and those who live in rural areas—and already face obstacles to getting health care, removing Planned Parenthood as an option would put essential health services further out of reach."
People want health care, but for one reason or another, they can't always obtain it. Americans don't deserve to lose the federally funded insurance they rely on. They don't deserve to have their benefits rolled back. And they don't deserve to get priced out of their insurance.
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Despite warnings, health food stores recommend over-the-counter dietary supplements to minors
Fifteen year olds are not only able to buy over-the-counter dietary supplements from a sampling of health food stores across the country, the staff at those stores actually went so far as to recommend certain products, despite labels reading "for adult use only."
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using body-shaping supplements -- supplements are unregulated by the US Food & Drug Administration -- for males and females under age 18. Despite the adults-only labeling, it is legal for minors to buy these products in 49 states.
Results of recent studies led by senior investigator Ruth Milanaik, DO, in which testers identifying themselves as 15-year-old boys and girls called 244 health food stores in 49 states (both independently owned and large-chain retailers) will be the focus of three presentations Sunday at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in San Diego.
All three studies were conducted by Alexis E Tchaconas, BA and college students Laura A Fletcher and Maguire Herriman. They were overseen by Andrew Adesman, MD, and Dr. Milanaik, both of Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY.
Dr. Milanaik said previous studies have shown the high prevalence of minors using these products -- both athletes and non-athletes. It is the responsibility of all who are in a position to educate minors regarding supplement usage to be knowledgeable of the risks, she said.
Teenagers dealing with negative body images are increasingly turning to over-the-counter supplements, despite recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to avoid such products, Dr. Milanaik said. . She warned that health food store supplements are not always healthy, and health food store attendants are not always "experts" when selling well-known "fat burning" thermogenic products (such as Hydroxycut,and Shredzm), testosterone boosters, or products containing creatine.
Despite many testosterone boosters bearing warnings such as "for adult use only," the team found that 41 percent of sales attendants told callers identifying themselves as 15-year-olds they could purchase a testosterone booster on their own. The findings are reported in a study entitled Over-the-Counter Testosterone Boosters and Underage Teens: Easy Access and Misinformation Provided by National Retailers.
Although testosterone boosters are specifically not recommended for children under age 18 unless for documented medical reasons, 9.8 percent of sales attendants recommended a testosterone booster, the study showed.
"Adolescents are being enticed by flashy advertisements and promises of quick, body-shaping results," Dr, Milanaik said. "In this body-conscious world, flashy advertising of `safe, quick and easy body shaping results' are very tempting to younger individuals trying to achieve 'the perfect body.' It is important for pediatricians, parents, coaches and mentors to stress that healthy eating habits, sleep and daily exercise should be the recipe for a healthy body."
"Health food stores that advertise that their employees are 'trained experts' need to re-educate their employees and reinforce that these products are not recommended for minors," Dr. Milanaik.
Despite the AAP's statement that the use of weight-loss supplements is unhealthy for minors, sales attendants at health food stores frequently recommend these products to underage female teens looking to lose weight, according to the third study: Weight Loss and Underage Teens: Supplement Recommendations from National Retailers
Dr. Milanaik said that all of the research drives home the fact that parents and teens should not assume that products coming from health food or vitamin stores are safe or recommended for minors.
"Health food stores need to focus not only on knowing what products to recommend," said Laura Fletcher, one of the principal investigators, "but often more importantly, what products not to recommend for customers of certain ages and conditions."
The products in the study, Hydroxycut, Shredz and testosterone boosters, often carry specific warnings that state "for adult-use only," Dr. Milanaik said. These warnings reflect research that has previously documented adverse health effects for growing minors.
"In the instance where warnings are clearly printed on supplement bottles," Ms. Fletcher said, "sales attendants must be aware of the dangers associated with underage use. The goal of ridding adolescents of body image-related insecurity in a healthy, supportive and medically-approved environment needs to be prioritized."
Health food store supplements do not always equal healthy, and health food store attendants are not always "experts," Dr. Milanaik added.