Today we are discussing the most significant changes in the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s new nutrition guidelines; released today.
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.
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
April is National Hypertension Month. In recognition of this, we have decided to highlight this week for you, some exercise suggestions increase your heart health and lower your risk of hypertension.
Lowering the amount of sodium and salt we consume is a tricky business, but it can be done. Since salt and sodium have been directly linked to heart disease, high blood pressure and hypertension; reducing the amount you intake is a high priority in changing your diet.
Below are some tips on how to reduce the amount of sodium in your diet:
About 85% of our sodium comes from foods right off the shelves, not from salt in the shaker. Taking a little time to research your grocery shopping can go a long way towards lower your risk of hypertension.
Most foods you can think of have a low-sodium alternative. Knowing how to find these alternatives is a big step in the right direction.
Many times, there will be a huge difference in sodium levels, just between brands. Make sure to read the labels to find which has the lowest amounts of sodium and try them out.
Many over-the-counter health aids, like ibuprofen, aspirin, antacids and dentifrices have surprisingly large amounts of sodium (even up to 760mg!). Check with your pharmacist or healthcare provider for low sodium alternatives.
This information and much more can be found in the book: “Pocket Guide to Lower Sodium Foods.” One of many heart health items available in our catalog and at www.ncescatalog.com. Item # 4023.