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Posts Tagged ‘ Salt ’

February is heart month: a nutrition cheat sheet

In honor of heart health month, which is held the month of February, below are nutrition guidelines and tips on eating for a healthy heart.

* CHOOSE A DIET RICH IN  FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND WHOLE GRAINS.

* CHOOSE A DIET LOW IN SATURATED FAT AND TRANS FATS: LIMIT FRIED FOODS, FATTY MEAT, BUTTER, AND MARGARINE.

* INCLUDE FOODS RICH IN OMEGA 3 FATS:  SALMON, SARDINES, WALNUTS, AND FLAXSEEDS

* CHOOSE HEART HEALTHY FATS: NUTS, OLIVE OIL, CANOLA OIL, AVOCADO.

* LIMIT INTAKE OF SODIUM: DO NOT USE SALT SHAKER; USE HERBS AND SPICES INSTEAD; AVOID PROCESSED FOODS.

Below are BEST BETS: foods to include for heart health.

GRAINS/STARCHES

Choose foods high in SOLUBLE FIBER to reduce cholesterol levels

grains: oat bran, oatmeal, barley

starchy vegetables: sweet potato, winter squash (butternut, acorn)

Choose whole grains instead of white bread products

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Choose FRESH fruits and vegetables—they are rich in ANTIOXIDANTS, OTHER VITAMINS/MINERALS, FIBER and low in calories

FRUITS: citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, banana, apples, pears

fruit juices such as orange and grapefruit (watch portions of juice)

VEGETABLES: broccoli, carrots, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes,

spinach, cauliflower

MEATS AND ALTERNATIVES

Choose LEAN poultry: chicken breast without skin, fresh turkey breast

Choose fresh fish: baked, broiled or grilled

cod, flounder, red snapper, filet of sole (low in fat)

salmon, tuna, sardines  (rich in heart healthy omega 3’s)

Include beans, peas (split peas, chick peas), lentils: they are high in fiber and low in fat.

Include soy products–tofu, soy milk (good source calcium)

Limit red meat as it is high in saturated fat.

DAIRY PRODUCTS

Choose lowfat milk and dairy products

Skim milk, yogurt, low fat cottage cheese, low fat ricotta

Limit high fat cheese products as they are high in saturated fat.

FATS

Choose moderate amounts of olive oil and canola oil–as they are  high in monounsaturated fat (“Good fat”).

CAUTION:  USE IN MODERATION–ALL FATS HAVE ALOT OF  CALORIES.

Include nuts and seeds in moderation.

Limit butter, coconut oil, palm oil (high in saturated fat).

Limit margarine and other partially hydrogenated products (high in trans fats).

MISC

Avoid foods high in salt and sodium: pickles, soy sauce, processed foods, salt shakers

Limit high fat cakes and pastries.  Save for a treat.

Watch portion sizes!

Exercise!!!

© 2013 Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD, CDN

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Where’s the salt?

Where’s the salt?

Last week, the government unveiled the 2010 issue of the Dietary Guidelines,  and watching our sodium content took center stage. So we know that we need to get rid of the salt shaker. Salt is composed of sodium and chloride, and 1 teaspoon of salt contains 2300 mg sodium. Sounds like a little or  lot!? Just one teaspoon of salt contains more sodium than half of us should eat for the entire day.

Under the new guidelines, nearly half of the US population should consume less than 1500 mg sodium. This includes adults 51 and over, children, African Americans, and those with hypertension, kidney disease and diabetes. The rest of us can have up to 2300 mg of sodium per day.

Clearly, we need to ditch f the salt shaker! But sodium is lurking in so many other commonly consumed foods. Here is the sodium content found in some  favorites foods:

Breakfast:

A bagel with lox and cream cheese contains 1905 mg sodium. The bagel alone contains over 600 mg! Who would have thought?

Lunch:

A turkey sandwich on rye with mustard and mayo contains 1948 mg sodium

Dinner:

A pasta portion with tomato sauce contains 1260 mg sodium, and that is for the meatless version!!

That totals 5113 mg! Oy. And that is without snacks.

Here are some tips:

Get rid of the salt shaker.

Avoid processed foods.

Choose MORE fresh fruits and vegetables which are naturally very low in sodium.

Read food labels for the sodium content.

Cook at home more often and use oregano, black pepper, and other spices.

Let’s hope the food industry reduces the sodium in chips and other packaged foods. Some food companies have, indeed, made such promises. But remember, a reduced-sodium bag of chips is not health food and still contains sodium, and an apple (or another food not found in a package) would be a healthier choice.

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