We've quoted Ben Franklin before, but his words are still as true as ever: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." And taking advantage of the Affordable Care Act's free, preventive medicine coverage as an adjunct to your smart lifestyle choices of no Food Felons (they're trans and saturated fats, added sugar and syrups, and any grain that isn't 100 percent whole), no tobacco and no smoking anything, walking at least 30 extra minutes daily (heading for 10,000 steps a day) and de-stressing with mindful meditation - can head off or reverse a lot of health problems. For example, if guys with elevated LDL cholesterol (but no symptoms) are identified and put on a lipid-lowering med, that could prevent 25 percent of nonfatal heart attacks; and if everyone 50 or older had regular colon cancer screenings, more than 60 percent of deaths from that cancer could be avoided.
That's why it's good for your health that the ACA provides screening and counseling for abdominal aortic aneurysm, alcohol misuse, breast cancer, elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, colorectal cancer, depression, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and tobacco use, as well as sexually transmitted infections. And it pays for multiple vaccinations, including hepatitis A and B, herpes zoster, human papillomavirus (HPV), flu, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) and chickenpox So, ask your doc about taking advantage of the ACA's preventive-health services: You'll enjoy better health and a younger RealAge.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.