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Sodium is the New Trans Fat (“7 Nutrition Trends in 2010”)

Looking at our recent blog “7 Nutrition Trends in 2010,” sodium is going to be the next item that will
incur the wrath of the health community. Since the average American consumes more than two or three
times the recommended amount of sodium, we’ve set ourselves up for a long battle.

One of the hardest places to control your sodium intake is when eating out. Since you have less control
over ingredients, and since many restaurants can be quite liberal with the salt usage, you have
to watch what you’re eating, especially if you suffer from hypertension or other heart diseases.

But all is not lost. There are a few ways to keep your social eating life intact, while maintaining the
healthy balance you need when it comes to your sodium. First, check to see if the menu has “Heart
Healthy” choices on the menu. These usually indicate plates that are low in sodium.

If there’s a lack of “Heart Healthy” choices, don’t fret. Here are a few tips:

If you’re with a friend or spouse, split the entrée. Portion sizes have gotten out of control, so this way
you get your allotted portion and helps keep your sodium intake lower.

Make your side order full of fresh or steamed veggies instead of fries or onion rings.

Choose a tasty appetizer as your main course instead of an entrée. This helps again with portion control
and sodium intake together.

There are more tips where that came from in “The DASH Diet Action Plan,” a resource for anyone
looking to lose weight, and to keep their heart healthy.

“The DASH Diet Action Plan” can be found in our catalog or online by searching for item #3732.

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CBS and FDA Warn Against Too Much Salt

Yesterday on the CBS Early Show, Dr. Jennifer Ashton showed Americans the dangers of eating too much salt, and to clarify a misunderstanding concerning the Institute of Medicine and the Food & Drug Administration.

Contrary to popular belief, the FDA will not be cracking down and limiting the salt in American products and the salt intake of Americans. The Institute of Medicine however, did ask the FDA to help create awareness of the problems with having too much salt causes.

The average American consumes 1 ½ tablespoons of salt each day, which is over twice the recommended amount. Although the health community has known for 40 years that there has been at the very least a casual link between salt and heart disease, but it’s now a very real connection and cause for concern.

It’s estimated that by reducing the average American’s salt intake by just one teaspoon a day could save over 150,000 lives from heart disease.

No one is asked people to put away the salt shaker. Since only about 23% of an American’s salt come from the added salt you sprinkle on your meal, it’s less of a concern. Where the real trouble lies is in the processed foods that you eat, where the other 77% of your salt lies.

Watch what you eat, and keep an eye on the grams of salt and sodium in that lunch you’re having. It might just save your life.

Check out the video here!  http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6417471n&tag=cbsnewsTwoColUpperPromoArea

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Heart Health, A Stepping Situation (Week 3)

April is National Hypertension Month. In recognition of this, we have decided to highlight this week for you some exercise suggestions to help increase your heart health and lower your risk of hypertension.

We all know that exercise can keep you healthy and fit. Concerning the heart, it can also help lower blood pressure, improve overall cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. Also, it just helps make you feel younger and more energetic.

Sometimes, though, it’s hard to find the time to get out and exercise. Maybe your job involves a lot of sitting or inactivity, and sometimes there’s even less activity at home. There are easy ways to get small amounts of exercise into your workday; ways that don’t require any gyms or special equipment.

The average American takes 5,000 steps a day. By using a pedometer (like our Spri Pedometer!), you can see if you’re hitting that average, or if you could use a little more activity. The goal for people looking to increase their heart health is 10,000 steps a day.

Doing things like parking your car farther away from the building, taking public transportation, or climbing stairs more often can significantly impact your health in a very positive way, plus have added bonuses as well. Who wouldn’t want to completely forget about fighting traffic?

These tips and much more can be found in the book: “The DASH Diet Action Plan.” One of the many heart health items in our catalog and at www.ncescatalog.com.  Item # 3732.

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Heart Health, A Salty Situation

April is National Hypertension Month. In recognition of this, we have decided to highlight this week for you, some of the startling facts and figures concerning heart health and hypertension.

Excessive sodium has now been directly linked to hypertension, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Since estimates suggest that Americans consume two or three times the recommended sodium amounts, this creates a very large and real concern over our sodium intake.

Here are some facts about hypertension and high blood pressure:

  • More than 50 million Americans have high blood pressure, which equals about one in every four adults, and that number is increasing as we get older.
  • Fifty percent of people over 60 develop hypertension.
  • Studies show that significantly decreasing your sodium intake can not only lower blood pressure, but can also prevent hypertension.
  • If a person develops hypertension, their risk for heart attacks and strokes, kidney and other organ problems also increase greatly.
  • Less than 15% of the salt and sodium we consume actually comes from the saltshaker.
  • Normally, the more salt you consume, the more you end up craving it.

As of right now, the recommended dosage of sodium per day is about 2,400mg, or about 1 teaspoon of salt. However, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine is currently recommending lowering that to only 1,500mg of sodium, and even less for older people.

This information and much more can be found in the book: “Pocket Guide to Lower Sodium Foods.” One of our many heart health items in our catalog and at www.ncescatalog.com.  Item #4023