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Carrying Prescription Meds on Your Next Flight: 6 Things to Know

Carrying Prescription Meds on Your Next Flight: 6 Things to Know

Carrying prescription meds shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying travelling. After all, medicine is supposed to improve your quality of life, not inhibit it. Before you hit the lonesome trails, take some time to organize your meds and line up the proper documentation. This will help you speed through customs and other check points, and it can help eliminate unnecessary delays or other problems with carrying any type of drugs. Here’s everything you need to know.

1. Keep the Medications in the Original Pharmacy Packaging

The pharmacy dispenses medications in recognizable containers, complete with the name, address, and phone number for both your doctor and the pharmacy. Usually, this official packaging is all the legitimacy you need for domestic flights. If you plan to travel overseas, be sure to check with your airlines, as well as customs agencies at your destination and any airports where you have to stop and change planes.

Sometimes airlines have restrictions on the amount of medication you can carry, especially when it’s in liquid form. You can ask the pharmacy to dispense your medicine into a smaller container for travel purposes to meet airline guidelines. Whenever possible, it’s best to keep medications in your checked bags instead of your carry-on luggage. If you need to bring a small dose on board to take during the flight, make sure it is in a legitimate package complete with the pharmacy and doctor information.

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2. Get a Note From Your Doctor on Official Stationery

Controlled substances, such as tranquilizers and narcotics, are often tougher to get through security check points. Get your doctor to make a list of all your prescriptions on his office stationary, complete with his full name and contact information. If the original pharmacy packaging is questioned, this documentation is your back up plan. This is especially important if you are bringing on medications that are controlled substances or are dispensed with a hypodermic needle. Be sure to pack syringes safely so unsuspecting TSA agents aren’t caught off guard by the needles.

This is also helpful for patients who have extensive medications or who need to carry unusually large amounts of medicines. Above a certain amount can be considered enough to distribute, putting you in the awkward position of defending yourself against drug trafficking charges. Check with local authorities at your travel destination if you have concerns.

3. Refill Enough of Your Medications Before Leaving

Count how many doses you have on hand before you leave, and make sure you won’t run out when you’re far away from your home, doctor, or pharmacy. Be sure to include a few extra doses in case there are travel delays. Check with your health insurance company to see if an emergency doctor’s appointment or prescription refill is covered outside of your home state or country, and make alternate plans if these things are not covered.

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Online pharmacies can be helpful in these situations, such as www.canadianpharmacymeds.com. Travel insurance can help offset some expenses in case you need emergency medical care while you’re away. Ask your travel agent, because these packages are generally more affordable when purchased together with your other travel needs.

4. Put Your Prescriptions in a Medical Travel Kit

All travelers need a medical supply kit packed and kept handy. The kit should include all your regular medications, along with some you need less frequently. Depending on where your travels take you, you’ll need to pack items such as:

  • Pain reliever
  • Anti-nausea medicine
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Allergy medication
  • First aid supplies, including anti bacterial ointment and bandages

Before you leave with your medical kit, check to assure that none of the over the counter medications you’re bringing along conflict with your prescription drugs. If you wait until you’re feeling ill on your trip, you could accidentally cause yourself a dangerous drug interaction.

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5. Make Plans for Refrigerating or Storing Medications

Drugs that need to be stored in certain temperatures require even more planning. For the travel, you might consider taking a small cooler on board, but you’ll need to make sure that your destination offers easy access to a refrigerator or cooler. Call ahead to the hotel, and don’t forget to make plans for tours and other outings that keep you away from the refrigerator longer than you need to go without your medication.

You may need to carry dry ice or other alternatives for taking your meds on longer excursions. When going through a travel agent, don’t take her word for whether or not there is a refrigerator in your hotel room. Call the hotel yourself and verify it. Also, make alternative plans in case the power goes out or the refrigerator in the hotel room goes out.

6. Bring Medication Information With You

Pack all the information that comes with your prescription refills so that you’ll have it with you on the trip. This information lets you know potential drug or food interactions, whether it’s okay to take the drugs with alcohol, milk, or other liquids, and possible side effects to look for. Don’t depend on the Internet to be available everywhere you go. You need to know what to expect from your medication even when Web searches aren’t available. Plus, these informational packets lend legitimacy to the prescriptions you’re taking with you on airlines and through customs.

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Even if you’ve been on the medications for a while and are used to them, take a few minutes to reread the information before your trip. Over time, it’s easy to forget warnings that you aren’t used to dealing with, and your diet and lifestyle on vacation are likely to be much different from your normal patterns at home. For example, it’s easy to forget that the package warns against excessive sun exposure if you live in a cloudy city but are traveling to a beach.

Making plans for transporting and storing your medication ahead of time means you don’t have to worry about such things once you’re on the trip. When you leave, forget you’re even on anything at all and enjoy the trip! Trust your well-formed plans to work like they’re supposed to.

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Last Updated on July 28, 2020

14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

14 Low GI Foods for a Healthier Diet

Diet trends may come and go, but a low-GI diet remains one of the few that has been shown to include benefits based on science. Low GI foods provide substantial health benefits over those with a high index, and they are key to maintaining a healthy weight.

What is GI? Glycemic index (GI) is the rate at which the carbohydrate content of a food is broken down into glucose and absorbed from the gut into the blood. When you eat foods containing carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, which is then absorbed into your bloodstream.[1]

The higher the GI of a food, the faster it will be broken down and cause your blood glucose (sugar) to rise. Foods with a high GI rating are digested very quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. This is why it’s advisable to stick to low GI foods as much as possible, as the carbohydrate content of low GI foods will be digested slowly, allowing a more gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

Foods with a GI scale rating of 70 or more are considered to be high GI. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low GI foods.

It’s important to note that the glycemic index of a food doesn’t factor in the quantity that you eat. For example, although watermelon has a high glycemic index, the water and fiber content of a standard serving of water means it won’t have a significant impact on your blood sugar.

Like watermelon, some high GI foods (such as baked potatoes) are high in nutrients. And some low GI foods (such as corn chips) contain high amounts of trans fats.

In most cases, however, the GI is an important means of gauging the right foods for a healthy diet.

Eating mainly low GI foods every day helps to provide your body with a slow, continuous supply of energy. The carbohydrates in low GI foods is digested slowly, so you feel satisfied for longer. This means you’ll be less likely to suffer from fluctuating sugar levels that can lead to cravings and snacking.

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Let’s continue with some of the best examples of low GI foods.

1. Quinoa

GI: 53

Quinoa has a slightly higher GI than rice or barley, but it contains a much higher proportion of protein. If you don’t get enough protein from the rest of your diet, quinoa could help. It’s technically a seed, so it’s also high in fiber–again, more than most grains. It’s also gluten-free, which makes it excellent for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

2. Brown Rice (Steamed)

GI: 50

Versatile and satisfying, brown rice is one of the best low GI foods and is a staple for many dishes around the world. It’s whole rice from which only the husk (the outermost layer) is removed, so it’s a great source of fiber. In fact, brown rice has been shown to help lower cholesterol, improve digestive function, promote fullness, and may even help prevent the formation of blood clots. Just remember to always choose brown over white!

3. Corn on the Cob

GI: 48

Although it tastes sweet, corn on the cob is a good source of slow-burning energy (and one of the tastiest low GI foods). It’s also a good plant source of Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, all of which are required for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. It’s healthiest when eaten without butter and salt!

4. Bananas

GI: 47

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Bananas are a superfood in many ways. They’re rich in potassium and manganese and contain a good amount of vitamin C. Their low GI rating means they’re great for replenishing your fuel stores after a workout.

They are easy to add to smoothies, cereal, or kept on your desk for a quick snack. The less ripe they are, the lower the sugar content is! As one of the best low GI foods, it’s a great addition to any daily diet.

5. Bran Cereal

GI: 43

Bran is famous for being one of the highest cereal sources of fiber. It’s also rich in a huge range of nutrients: calcium, folic acid, iron, magnesium, and a host of B vitamins. Although bran may not be to everyone’s tastes, it can easily be added to other cereals to boost the fiber content and lower the overall GI rating.

6. Natural Muesli

GI: 40

Muesli–when made with unsweetened rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, and other sugar-free ingredients–is one of the healthiest ways to start the day. It’s also very easy to make at home with a variety of other low GI foods. Add yogurt and fresh fruit for a nourishing, energy-packed breakfast.

7. Apples

GI: 40

Apple skin is a great source of pectin, an important prebiotic that helps to feed the good bacteria in your gut. Apples are also high in polyphenols, which function as antioxidants, and contain a good amount of vitamin C. They are best eaten raw with the skin on! Apples are one of a number of fruits[2] that have a low glycemic index. Be careful which fruits you choose, as many have a large amount of natural sugars[3].

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8. Apricots

GI: 30

Apricots provide both fiber and potassium, which make them an ideal snack for both athletes and anyone trying to keep sugar cravings at bay. They’re also a source of antioxidants and a range of minerals.

Apricots can be added to salads, cereals, or eaten as part of a healthy mix with nuts at any time of the day.

9. Kidney Beans

GI: 29

Kidney beans and other legumes provide a substantial serving of plant-based protein, so they can be used in lots of vegetarian dishes if you’re looking to adopt a plant-based diet[4]. They’re also packed with fiber and a variety of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds. They are great in soups, stews, or with (whole grain) tacos.

10. Barley

GI: 22

Barley is a cereal grain that can be eaten in lots of ways. It’s an excellent source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), fiber, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. It also contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that can support gut health and has been shown to reduce appetite and food intake.

Please note that barley does contain gluten, which makes it unsuitable for anyone who is Celiac[5] or who follows a gluten-free diet. In this case, gluten-free alternatives might include quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.

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11. Raw Nuts

GI: 20

Most nuts have a low GI of between 0 and 20, with cashews slightly higher at around 22. Nuts, as one of the best low GI foods, are a crucial part of the Mediterranean diet[6] and are really the perfect snack: they’re a source of plant-based protein, high in fiber, and contain healthy fats. Add them to smoothies and salads to boost the nutritional content. Try to avoid roasted and salted nuts, as these are made with large amounts of added salt and (usually) trans fats.

12. Carrots

GI: 16

Raw carrots are not only a delicious low GI vegetable, but they really do help your vision! They contain vitamin A (beta carotene) and a host of antioxidants. They’re also low-calorie and high in fiber, and they contain good amounts of vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots are great for those monitoring their weight as they’ve been linked to lower cholesterol levels.

13. Greek Yogurt

GI: 12

Unsweetened Greek yogurt is not only low GI, but it’s an excellent source of calcium and probiotics, as well. Probiotics help to keep your gut microbiome in balance and support your overall digestive health and immune function. Greek yogurt makes a healthy breakfast, snack, dessert, or a replacement for dip. The most common probiotic strains found in yogurt are Streptococcus thermophilus[7] (found naturally in yogurt) and Lactobacillus acidophilus[8] (which is often added by the manufacturer). You can also look into probiotic supplements for improving your gut health.

14. Hummus

GI: 6

When made the traditional way from chickpeas and tahini, hummus is a fantastic, low-GI dish. It’s a staple in many Middle Eastern countries and can be eaten with almost any savory meal. Full of fiber to maintain satiety and feed your good gut bacteria, hummus is great paired with freshly-chopped vegetables, such as carrots and celery.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking to eat healthier or simply cut down on snacking throughout the day, eating low GI foods is a great way to get started. Choose any of the above foods for a healthy addition to your daily diet and start feeling better for longer.

More Tips on Eating Healthy

Featured photo credit: Alexander Mils via unsplash.com

Reference

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