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Life Insurance Basics

7 things you eat that can affect your life insurance rates

Did you know your diet not only affects your health, but it could affect your life insurance rates? Learn why caffeine, alcohol and even herbal supplements can impact cost.
Most everyone understands that what you eat and drink has a direct impact on your overall health and well-being. But did you know that your diet can also impact your life insurance rates? The truth is, it's important to give some thought as to what you eat and drink before applying for life insurance-especially when it comes to preparing for your medical exam. Why? Because certain foods, beverages, and even supplements have the potential to produce atypical results on your exam, causing red flags to pop up.

Your rates are what you eat

When it comes to life insurance, the best rates are reserved for people who are in the best health. And while you can't undo years of bad eating habits, there are some foods that you should avoid that could negatively affect your blood pressure, liver enzymes, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

We're not saying you should stress out about every little thing that you consume before your life insurance medical exam (that too could produce undesirable results), but that it's a good idea to be cognizant of certain things. Even the short term effects of certain foods and drinks a few days before your exam can result in negative findings, potentially pushing you out of range for better life insurance rates.

The following are just a few of the things that you should watch out for when preparing for your life insurance medical exam.

  1. Alcohol
    It's best to abstain from any type of alcohol at least a day or two before your exam. Perhaps a glass of wine wouldn't hurt, but too much alcohol can throw off your blood sugar levels and liver enzymes.
  2. Caffeine
    Because caffeine is a stimulant, it's a good idea to avoid it the day of your exam. This includes many of the popular so-called energy drinks. Too much caffeine can cause your blood pressure to rise and increase your heart rate.
  3. Salty foods
    Eating too many salty foods can cause you to become dehydrated, increase your weight, and even affect tests to determine your kidney function. Try to avoid unusually salty foods at least 24-hours before your exam.
  4. Supplements
    Some supplements (including natural or herbal) can spike test results in a not so good way. We're not asking you to quit a healthy routine if it's beneficial, but if you're taking any type of supplement be sure to write down the name and dosage so that if something does show up, the insurance company knows about it.This includes any type of performance or endurance enhancing supplements.
  5. Vitamins and minerals
    Not unlike point number four, certain vitamins that are extra potent and high in mineral content can also produce negative results in some tests. Again, just make a note of what you're taking and how much.
  6. Poppy seeds
    Poppy seeds often show up on blood tests as opiate drug use. Even a muffin with a few poppy seeds sprinkled on top can skew results. Avoid them if possible.
  7. Prescriptions and over the counter remedies
    Prescriptions, cold medicines, antihistamines and other over-the-counter drugs may cause irregular test results. Let your examiner know what you're taking and why.

    This list is certainly not all-inclusive and is meant to be a general guide. Be sure to discuss with your insurance agent or medical examiner certain things that you should do (and not do) when preparing for your life insurance exam, including instructions for fasting (not eating for a certain number of hours prior to your exam).




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