Cholesterol and Triglycerides: 5 Facts

In the U.S., heart disease is the most common cause of death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every five deaths is caused by heart disease. High cholesterol and triglyceride levels are major risks for heart disease. To help spread awareness of the problem, September has been designated as National Cholesterol Education Month.

Difference Between Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Cholesterol is a type of fat that’s present in your blood. It’s needed for many things, including making hormones and helping your body digest food. It’s produced naturally by your body but it can also be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. As such, too much of it can lead to health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.

It’s worth noting that there are good and bad types. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is bad. It can build up on the walls of your arteries and form plaque. This plaque can prevent blood from flowing through your arteries properly, which can lead to heart disease. However, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered good because it helps remove LDL from your arteries.

Triglycerides are another type of fat found in your blood. When you eat more calories than you need, your body stores the excess calories as triglycerides. Too much of it can lead to health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.

5 Facts You Should Know

The following are a few facts about the risks of high LDL and triglyceride levels that everyone should know:

  1. In the U.S., one person dies every 34 seconds from cardiovascular disease.
  2. Someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the U.S.
  3. Over 800,000 people have heart attacks in the U.S. every year.
  4. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD).
  5. More than 20 million adults in the U.S. over 20 have CAD.

You can keep your cholesterol and triglyceride levels down by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. For more health advice, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

What Causes Prostate Cancer?

Cancer in general is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, with prostate cancer ranking as the third most common type of cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 224,733 new cases in the U.S. reported in 2019 alone. Additionally, 31,636 men died as a result, in that same year. 

In fact, it is the most common non-skin cancer in men in the U.S. Additionally, it affects one out of seven men, with about one out of 41 men dying as a result. Because of how prominent it is, September has been designated as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

What is Prostate Cancer?

Cancer of the prostate is a type of cancer that affects the prostate gland, which is a small organ located below the bladder in men. Cancer develops in the prostate when the cells of the gland begin to grow uncontrollably. That uncontrolled growth can eventually lead to the development of a tumor. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones or lymph nodes.

What Causes Cancer To Develop in the Prostate?

Although the cause is not fully understood, there are certain risk factors that may increase a man’s chance of developing the disease. These include:

  • Age. The older a man is, the greater his risk of developing the disease. The disease is rare in men under the age of 40, but the risk increases significantly in men over the age of 50.
  • Family history. If men have close relatives, such as a father or brother, who have been diagnosed with the disease, their risk is increased.
  • Race. African-American men are at a greater risk of developing cancer of the prostate.
  • Diet. Men who consume a lot of dairy products are at a slightly higher risk.

Because the direct cause of the disease is not known, it’s important that you talk to your doctor about your risk factors and what you can do to help prevent the disease. For more health information, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Food Safety: Making the Right Choices

Food Safety

A lot of Californians don’t realize that getting food poisoning is much more common than it should be. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from foodborne diseases.

Those who are particularly vulnerable to getting food poisoning include children below the age of five, adults older than 65, pregnant women, and those who have health issues. Because of how big of a problem food poisoning is, September was designated as Food Safety Awareness Month.

Food Safety Tips

One of the primary reasons people get food poisoning is because they don’t handle or prepare their food properly. To help you avoid getting sick, here are some food safety tips to follow:

  • Keep meat separated: When organizing your refrigerator, make sure that uncooked meat is stored on the bottom shelf in sealed containers. This will help prevent any juices from dripping and contaminating other food. Separate your raw meat from fruits and vegetables as well to prevent them from being contaminated.
  • Wash your hands: It’s important to wash your hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) before and after handling food. This will help remove any harmful bacteria that could potentially cause food poisoning. Be sure to wash your hands after handling raw meat as well.
  • Use sauce carefully: If you marinate your raw meat in a sauce, do not use that same sauce on any cooked food unless you boil it. Boiling it will help kill any harmful bacteria.
  • Use a food thermometer: One of the best ways to ensure that your food is cooked properly is to use a food thermometer. This will help you know for sure that your food has reached a safe internal temperature.
  • Keep everything clean: It’s important to keep all surfaces clean when preparing food. This includes cutting boards, countertops, knives, and any other utensils that come into contact with food (especially raw meat).

Use these food safety tips to help prevent potential food poisoning in California. For more health safety tips, be sure to visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Do I Really Need Life Insurance?

There are so many different types of insurance that some types of insurance, like life insurance, can seem like an unnecessary expense. Many people mistakenly think that this kind of insurance isn’t needed because they are young or healthy. In fact, it’s estimated that around 95 million adults in the U.S. do not have such insurance.

However, such insurance can be an important safety net for your loved ones in the event of your death. To help spread awareness about the importance of having insurance on your life, September has been designated as Life Insurance Awareness Month.

Why is Life Insurance so Important?

Most people mistakenly believe that such insurance is only needed if you are the primary breadwinner in your family. However, a life policy can be an important safety net for your loved ones regardless of your job or financial situation.

A life policy can help your loved ones cover funeral costs, outstanding debts, and day-to-day living expenses if you die unexpectedly. Not to mention, such insurance can give your loved ones peace of mind knowing that they will be financially taken care of if something happens to you.

Important Statistics 

To give you an idea of just how important a life policy can be, here are a few statistics:

  • Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 3 families would have faced financial challenges within as little as a month if the primary earner in their family passed away.
  • It’s estimated that around 40 percent of all adults in the U.S. have no insurance on their life.
  • Even though 60 percent of adults have such insurance, only 35 percent have an individual life policy. A significant amount of people who have it have it through their employer.

Get Life Insurance Today

Even if you’re young and healthy,  it’s important to consider getting life insurance to ensure that your family is financially protected if anything happens to you. For more health insurance information or advice, visit us at The Benefits Store today.

Pet Health: Vaccinations

pet health

As a pet owner, pet health is always a top priority. With that in mind, vaccinations are an important part of keeping your pet healthy and safe from disease. Vaccinations help prepare your pet’s immune system to fight off infections and diseases and are an important part of preventative healthcare for animals.

It’s important to note that pets require booster shots once in a while. A lot of pet owners forget this (or may not realize this), which is why August was designated as National Pet Immunization Awareness Month.

Maintain Pet Health With Vaccinations

As a responsible pet owner, you want to do everything you can to maintain your pet’s health. That includes making sure they’re up-to-date on their vaccinations. Your pet’s vet will likely have a vaccination schedule for you to follow, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of the different types of vaccines available for your pet, as well as when they need them.

There are two types of vaccines: core and non-core. Core vaccines are those that are recommended for all animals, while non-core vaccines are recommended based on the lifestyle and risk factors of your pet.

The following are the core vaccines for dogs:

  • Rabies
  • Adenovirus
  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus

The following are the core vaccines for cats:

  • Rabies
  • Calicivirus
  • Herpesvirus
  • Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper)

The following are some of the non-core vaccines for dogs:

  • Kennel cough
  • Lyme disease
  • Leptospirosis

The following are some of the non-core vaccines for cats:

  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) 
  • Bacterial upper respiratory infections

How Often Do You Need To Vaccinate Your Pets?

Both cats and dogs should be vaccinated at 14 to 16 weeks. Boosters should be given after one year, then every three years after that. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as the rabies vaccine. Your pet’s vet will be able to advise you on the best vaccination schedule for your individual pet.

For more pet health information or for health awareness tips in general, be sure to visit us at The Benefits Store today.