It is already a new month; summer is upon us and we’ll soon be complaining about the heat – having forgotten our wish for hotter days during the past cold winter months. And it is time to turn another page on your Passport to Happiness calendar to June and the month’s focus on Cardiovascular Health.
An important component of Cardiovascular Health is treating and most importantly preventing high blood pressure – which is considered a reading of 140/90 or higher. High blood pressure can cause serious problems such as stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney failure. And because it usually has no symptoms it is often referred to as the “silent killer”. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 31% of Americans have high blood pressure and 2 out of 3 adults over 65.
One approach to reducing high blood pressure, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, is by following the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet which over time can reduce your systolic blood pressure by seven to twelve points. That can make a significant difference in your health risks. The DASH diet is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that encourages eating vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy foods; and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.
The DASH diet also includes reducing the use of sodium. But what are the recommended levels of sodium for a day? In a typical day you might consume around 3,500 mg of sodium. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests keeping your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg a day. And the American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg for all adults. If you aren’t sure what sodium level is right for you, talk to your medical provider.
As you make your food choices, you may want to know the Top Ten sources of sodium for folks 71+ years old. They are: breads and rolls; cold cuts and cured meats; soups; meat and mixed dishes; sandwiches; biscuits, muffins, quick breads; pasta mixed dishes; poultry; cheese; and pizza.
If you want to stick to a low-sodium diet, check the Nutrition Facts label and as a rule of thumb avoid anything that has more than 5% sodium per serving. And fortunately, you can retrain your taste buds to appreciate and enjoy good food with less sodium and live a healthier life. Although I do miss that Friday night Digiorno Pizza.
For the Tuesday Lecture on June 10th, I will further discuss the DASH diet and ways to reduce you sodium use. Bring your success stories of ways you have discovered to reduce your sodium intake.
And for the rest of June, before the Lecture series takes a break during July and August, there won’t be a Lecture on the 17th (there just isn’t any room with the Zumba Gold class led by Marsha Morrison downstairs and the AARP Smart Driver Class upstairs on the third Tuesdays). And on the 24th, Jim Petrusich, local audiologists at MCMC, will discuss the whats, whens and whys of hearing loss.
Martin and Friends will be playing at the Center on Tuesday June 10th. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00 and everyone is welcome.
The answer to last week’s “Remember When” question is a Beanie or Freshman Cap as Bill Van Nice remembers them being called. (But the winner of a Saturday Breakfast has got to be Don McAllister who still has his green beanie he wore as a freshman at Gonzaga University.)
This week’s Remember When” question is about a unique chewing gum with a colorful history.
In 1869, after buying a ton of chicle from exiled former Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Thomas Adams boiled a small batch of the chicle in his kitchen creating chewing gum which he later started producing. Then in 1884, he began adding licorice flavoring creating the first flavored gum in the U.S. What was the name of this gum that sold well into the 1970’s? E-mail your answer to email@example.com, call 541-296-4788 or drop it off with five shares of Mondelēz International, Inc. an American multinational confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate.
Well, it has been another week trying to remember which came first the chicken or – the – uh – pig? donkey? The whatchamacallit! Until we meet again, keep walking and try to stay on the sunny side of the street.
“It’s possible to own too much. A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure.” Lee Segall