This is Public Health

Certain “super foods,” as they’ve come to be labeled, have shown lots of promise when it comes to their nutritional value and weight loss. When included in healthy diet and exercise routines, these foods can help boost energy, metabolism and help drop a few lbs in the process.

Check out CNN’s recent article about these foods to find out more.

Most Americans eat more salt than federal guidelines call for, increasing their risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Eating too much sodium can’t be blamed on the salt shaker alone.

About 75 percent of the salt in our diets is added during the processing of commercial foods or to restaurant foods during preparation.

Check out the video story on WWL-TV here.

salt

According to a recent CDC study, about 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Too much sodium increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure often leads to heart disease and stroke. More than 800,000 people die each year from heart disease, stroke and other vascular diseases, costing the nation $273 billion health care dollars in 2010.

High blood pressure, heart disease and strokes can also be risk factors for those with type 2 diabetes. Did you know that Louisiana ranks as one of the top unhealthiest states in the U.S. with an obesity rate of over 30%? Scarier still is the fact that 1 out of every 10 adults in Louisiana has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 6 out of every 10 Greater New Orleans residents have at least one diabetes risk factor.

We can change these statistics by making healthier choices, and there is a new local texting program from the Crescent City Beacon Community (CCBC) dedicated to helping New Orleans residents, and soon the state, find out if they have any type 2 diabetes risk factors and can help its users create a healthier lifestyle and find the health care they may need. Its called txt4health and it launched just last week. Just text HEALTH to 300400 to get started. There is more information on the campaign’s website – www.txt4health.com – or the local Crescent City Beacon Community’s site – www.crescentcitybeacon.org.

Simple changes like understanding that most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants can help you start to make better choices. Sodium is already part of processed foods and cannot be removed. However, manufacturers and restaurants can produce foods with less sodium. In addition, you can select lower sodium foods when possible and you can cook more foods yourself, to better control how much sodium you eat.

Check out the CDC’s latest Vital Signs edition for the full story and great tips on how to watch your sodium intake and eat healthier.

Salt

A new study of 5,000 Americans done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that 9 out of 10 people eat too much salt every day. While the recommended daily intake of sodium is 1,500-2,300 milligrams (mg), study participants ate 3,500mg daily on average. The report notes that most sodium does not come from salty food, but instead from processed grains that do not taste salty. Click here to read more. If you are interested in controlling your sodium intake, click here for an extensive list of low sodium recipes from the Mayo Clinic.

Salt: Friend and Foe

May 20th, 2010

Too Much Salt

Sodium is a necessary part of a balanced diet. It’s essential to help the body maintain a balanced fluid level, and it keeps nerves and muscles functioning properly. However, while the Food and Drug Administration recommends no more than 2,400 mg (less than 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day, many of us consume excessive amounts without even realizing it, because it’s hidden in the foods we buy. Consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and even trigger a stroke or heart attack. Here’s a slideshow of 25 foods that contain high levels of sodium that you may want to avoid. Be sure to read the descriptions on the right hand side for details and even tips for alternative foods.

Many dishes in Chinese cuisine carry an overload of calories, fat and sodium. Here are a few tips to keep the fat and calories down when dining at a Chinese restaurant. Photo by: Students of Consumer Science, RMIT University

Excess salt can lead to excess fluid retention in the blood, which can increase blood pressure. A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that if everyone in the United States consumed half a teaspoon less of salt every day, the number of new cases of coronary heart disease, stroke, heart attacks and related deaths would drop significantly every year. Read more.