American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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Be Good to Your Heart this Heart Month!

February is American Heart Month and what better time to make simple, heart-healthy lifestyle changes?  Want to incorporate more physical activity into your day? Need healthy, low-sodium recipes? Would you like more information on controlling your blood pressure? It’s as easy as a click!

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Pledge to Stand Up to Sodium!

Did you know that most Americans eat more than twice the recommended amount of sodium? Chances are, that includes you—even if you rarely pick up the salt shaker. Too much salt can damage blood vessels over time, paving the way for high blood pressure – a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, our No. 1 and No. 4 killers. That's why we're asking everyone to stand up for their health by pledging to reduce their sodium intake.

Why take the sodium pledge? The American Heart Association is working to secure 350,000 online pledges, which we'll use to urge support for the reduction of sodium in our food supply. Why the food supply? Because nearly 80 percent of our excessive sodium intake is coming from pre-packaged and restaurant foods.

With the tempting holiday season quickly approaching, do your heart a favor and pledge to reduce your sodium intake today!

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March is National Nutrition Month--What Steps Will You Take to Eat Healthier?

March is National Nutrition Month and what better time to make these simple steps to eating healthier part of your daily routine? It's easier than you think!

Want to learn more? Visit our Nutrition Center for even more ways to incorporate healthy eating into your life!


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Shake the Salt Habit

This week is World Salt Awareness Week!   High-sodium diets are linked to an increase in blood pressure and a higher risk for heart disease and stroke.  Most Americans would see significant health benefits from a reduction in sodium in the food supply and in their diets. We know sodium is an acquired taste. As you take steps to reduce sodium, you’ll actually start to appreciate foods for their true flavor.  The American Heart Association is committed to finding ways to do this.

Here’s what we’re doing to help: 

  • encouraging manufacturers to reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply;
  • advocating for more healthy foods to be available and accessible (for example, more fruits and vegetables); and
  • providing consumers with education and decision-making tools to make better food choices 

Take some steps this week to lower the sodium in your diet!  For more information, click here.

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Beware The Sodium In These “Salty Six” Foods

Eating too many salty foods can create all sorts of health problems, including high blood pressure.  But did you know a lot of common foods are packed with excess sodium? It’s not just the french fries and potato chips you need to be careful with.

 Here’s a quick look at the Salty Six, the top sources for sodium in today’s diet: 
  • Breads and rolls.We all know breads and rolls add carbohydrates and calories, but salt, too? It can be deceiving because a lot of bread doesn’t even taste salty, but one piece can have as much as 230 milligrams of sodium. That’s about 15 percent of the recommended amount from only one slice, and it adds up quickly. Have two sandwiches in one day? The bread alone could put you close to  1,000 milligrams of sodium. 
  • Cold cuts and cured meats.Even foods that would otherwise be considered healthy may have high levels of sodium. Deli or pre-packaged turkey can contain as much as 1,050 milligrams of sodium.  It’s added to most cooked meats so they don’t spoil after a few days.
  • Pizza.OK, everybody knows pizza’s not exactly a health food, because of cholesterol, fat and calories. But pizza’s plenty salty, too. One slice can contain up to 760 milligrams of sodium, so two can send you over the daily recommendation.
  • Poultry. Surely chicken can’t be bad for you, right?  Sodium levels in poultry can vary based on preparation methods.  You will find a wide range of sodium in poultry products, so it is important to choose wisely.  Reasonable portions of lean, skinless, grilled chicken are ok but may still contain an added sodium solution. And when you start serving up the chicken nuggets, the sodium also adds up. Just 3 ounces of frozen and breaded nuggets can add nearly 600 milligrams of sodium.   
  • Soup. This is another one of those foods that seems perfectly healthy. It can’t be bad if Mom gave it to you for the sniffles, right? But when you take a look at the nutrition label it’s easy to see how too much soup can quickly turn into a sodium overload. One cup of canned chicken noodle soup can have up to 940 milligrams of sodium.  And remember that soup cans typically contain more than one serving.
  • Sandwiches. This covers everything from grilled cheese to hamburgers. We already know that breads and cured meats may be heavy on the sodium. Add them together, then add a little ketchup or mustard and you can easily surpass 1,500 milligrams of sodium in one sitting.

As you gear up for your next grocery store run or ordering from the menu, keep the Salty Six in mind. All you need to do to make a heart-healthy choice is to look for our familiar red heart with the white check. Another helpful tool is the Nutrition Facts label on the package and calorie labeling in restaurants, which together with the Heart-Check mark helps you make wise choices for the foods you and your family eat. Make the effort to choose products that contain less sodium.  It’s worth it!


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It's National Eating Healthy Day!

On this day the American Heart Association encourages everyone to make small changes to incorporate healthier food choices and increase awareness of the importance of good nutrition.

Celebrate by avoiding sodium laden foods, that are bad for your heart. Did you know that one slice of bread can have up to 230 mg of sodium?  That's 15% of your daily limit.  That's right, your daily limit should be 1500 mg.

Learn more.

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CDC Vital Signs Release on Sodium
The February edition of CDC Vital Signs at focuses on excessive sodium in the American diet and the top 10 types of foods most responsible for it.  CDC Vital Signs reports on a single, compelling public health topic each month. 
Some key points of the CDC Vital Signs report on sodium include:
  •       9 in 10 Americans aged 2 years and older eat too much sodium.
  •       44% of the sodium we eat comes from just 10 types of foods.
  •       65% of sodium we eat comes from foods sold in grocery stores.
  •       25% of sodium we eat comes from foods served in restaurants.
  •       Too much sodium can raise high blood pressure and increase your risk for heart disease      and stroke.
  •       800,000 people die each year from heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases.

Most of the sodium we eat comes from food sold in grocery stores and in restaurants, and not what is added at the table. Sodium is already part of processed foods and cannot be removed.  Reducing sodium content of the 10 leading food sources by 25 percent would lower total dietary sodium by more than 10 percent.

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Kick the Sodium Habit!

Eating too much sodium increases blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.  The American Heart Association wants to help all Americans lower the amount of sodium they consume. 

Here’s what we’re doing to help: 

  • encouraging manufacturers to reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply;
  • advocating for more healthy foods to be available and accessible (for example, more fruits and vegetables); and
  • providing consumers with education and decision-making tools to make better food choices.

To learn what  you can do, please get the facts on shaking the habit.

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