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Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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The Food Flavouring That Causes Dementia

90% use too much of a flavouring that can cause inflammation of blood vessels in the brain.

A high-salt diet is linked to dementia, new research finds.

Salt causes the delicate lining of the brain’s blood vessels to inflame, because of signals sent from the gut.

Fully 90% of Americans consume above the recommended dietary maximum of 2,300 mg per day.

Dr Costantino Iadecola, study co-author, said:

“We discovered that mice fed a high-salt diet developed dementia even when blood pressure did not rise.
This was surprising since, in humans, the deleterious effects of salt on cognition were attributed to hypertension.”

The effect was quickly reversed by lowering salt intake.

The conclusions come from a study in which mice were fed a high-salt diet that is equivalent to a high-salt diet in humans.

Subsequently, the mice had much worse cognitive function.

Their brains showed 28% less activity in the cortex and 25% less in the hippocampus.

They had problems getting around a maze and did not show the usual interest in new objects placed in their cage.

They also had poorer blood flow in their brains and the integrity of the blood vessels there was worse.

However, these changes were reversed once the mice were returned to a normal diet.

The scientists found that these changes had nothing to do with higher blood pressure.

Worse cognitive functioning in the mice was seen even when the mice had normal blood pressure.

They were the result of signals sent from the gut to the brain.

These activated an immune response in the brain which increased levels of interleukin-17.

This eventually resulted in the inflammation of the delicate lining of the brain’s blood vessels.

The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience (Faraco et al., 2018).
source: PsyBlog
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Scientists Officially Link Processed Foods To Autoimmune Disease

by APRIL McCARTHY    March 7, 2013

The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.

A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame.

‘This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,’ they said.

Junk foods at fast food restaurants as well as processed foods at grocery retailers represent the largest sources of sodium intake from refined salts.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal sent out an international team of researchers to compare the salt content of 2,124 items from fast food establishments such as Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway. They found that the average salt content varied between companies and between the same products sold in different countries. 

U.S. fast foods are often more than twice as salt-laden as those of other countries. While government-led public health campaigns and legislation efforts have reduced refined salt levels in many countries, the U.S. government has been reluctant to press the issue. That’s left fast-food companies free to go salt crazy, says Norm Campbell, M.D., one of the study authors and a blood-pressure specialist at the University of Calgary.

Many low-fat foods rely on salt–and lots of it–for their flavor. One packet of KFC’s Marzetti Light Italian Dressing might only have 15 calories and 0.5 grams fat, but it also has 510 mg sodium–about 1.5 times as much as one Original Recipe chicken drumstick. (Feel like you’re having too much of a good thing? You probably are.

Bread is the No. 1 source of refined salt consumption in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just one 6-inch Roasted Garlic loaf from Subway–just the bread, no meat, no cheeses, no nothing–has 1,260 mg sodium, about as much as 14 strips of bacon.

How Refined Salt Causes Autoimmune Disease

The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and ‘help’ other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections.

Previous research suggests that a subset of these cells – known as Th17 cells – also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases. 

In the latest study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’

They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation.

They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.

The scientists then conducted a closer examination of these effects at a molecular level.

Laboratory tests revealed that salt exposure increased the levels of cytokines released by Th17 cells 10 times more than usual. Cytokines are proteins used to pass messages between cells.

Study co-author Ralf Linker, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, said: ‘These findings are an important contribution to the understanding of multiple sclerosis and may offer new targets for a better treatment of the disease, for which at present there is no cure.’

It develops when the immune system mistakes the myelin that surrounds the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord for a foreign body. 

It strips the myelin off the nerves fibres, which disrupts messages passed between the brain and body causing problems with speech, vision and balance.

Another of the study’s authors, Professor David Hafler, from Yale University, said that nature had clearly not intended for the immune system to attack its host body, so he expected that an external factor was playing a part.

He said: ‘These are not diseases of bad genes alone or diseases caused by the environment, but diseases of a bad interaction between genes and the environment.

‘Humans were genetically selected for conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no salt. It’s one of the reasons that having a particular gene may make African Americans much more sensitive to salt.

‘Today, Western diets all have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.’

The team next plan to study the role that Th17 cells play in autoimmune conditions that affect the skin.

‘It would be interesting to find out if patients with psoriasis can alleviate their symptoms by reducing their salt intake,’ they said.

‘However, the development of autoimmune diseases is a very complex process which depends on many genetic and environmental factors.’


Stick to Good Salts

Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. Our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride since it has no nutritional value. However, when a salt is filled with dozens of minerals such as in rose-coloured crystals of Himalayan rock salt or the grey texture of Celtic salt, our bodies benefit tremendously for their incorporation into our diet.

“These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated,” argues Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life. “We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid.” 

“In water, salt dissolves into mineral ions,” explains Dr Hendel. “These conduct electrical nerve impulses that drive muscle movement and thought processes. Just the simple act of drinking a glass of water requires millions of instructions that come from mineral ions. They’re also needed to balance PH levels in the body.”

Mineral salts, she says, are healthy because they give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions, remain healthy and heal. These healing properties have long been recognised in central Europe. At Wieliczka in Poland, a hospital has been carved in a salt mountain. Asthmatics and patients with lung disease and allergies find that breathing air in the saline underground chambers helps improve symptoms in 90 per cent of cases.

Dr Hendel believes too few minerals, rather than too much salt, may be to blame for health problems. It’s a view that is echoed by other academics such as David McCarron, of Oregon Health Sciences University in the US.

He says salt has always been part of the human diet, but what has changed is the mineral content of our food. Instead of eating food high in minerals, such as nuts, fruit and vegetables, people are filling themselves up with “mineral empty” processed food and fizzy drinks. 

Study Source:
This is the result of a study conducted by Dr. Markus Kleinewietfeld, Prof. David Hafler (both Yale University, New Haven and the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, and Harvard University, USA), PD Dr. Ralf Linker (Dept. of Neurology, University Hospital Erlangen), Professor Jens Titze (Vanderbilt University and Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg, FAU, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Professor Dominik N. Muller (Experimental and Clinical Research Center, ECRC, a joint cooperation between the Max-Delbruck Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Berlin, and the Charite — Universitatsmedizin Berlin and FAU) (Nature, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature11868)*. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks healthy tissue instead of fighting pathogens.

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.


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Top 10 Ways To Stop Cravings For Sugar, Salt and Fats

by Dr. Mark Hyman     October 14, 2013

According to a recent article in the New York Times, “Food Corporations Turn to Chefs in a Quest for Healthy Flavor,” Big Food companies like PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, and even fast food giants like Taco Bell are changing their ways in response to the increasing public demand for healthier food options. To improve their image as healthy food manufacturers, Big Food corporations have called upon top chefs to help them create healthy menu makeovers, infusing real, fresh, whole food into old recipe favorites.

Why is this happening now? Intense pressure brought on by politicians and their constituents (you and me!) has given these food manufacturers no choice but to respond to the public outcry for healthier food. It’s no longer enough for these companies to earn a profit by selling food that tastes good. People are beginning to use the power of the pocketbook to show these companies that the food they sell must also be nutritious.

That’s because people everywhere are waking up. They are beginning to see the dangers of genetically-modified ingredients and all the sugar, salt, and fats hidden in our food supply. From fancy restaurants to fast food chains, chefs are catching on that people want their food to make them feel good, not just while they are eating it but hours, days, and years afterward.

Really, this news shouldn’t make the headlines. This is common sense! Paying for food that makes us sick is as crazy as shooting ourselves in the foot. It just doesn’t make sense.

Big Food is finally getting the message and getting on board.

But remember, no processed or fast food option will ever be better than a healthy home-cooked meal. The best way to ensure you are eating the highest quality, most nutritious food possible is to prepare your own food in your own kitchen. We are all chefs. You don’t have to be trained at Le Cordon Bleu to know your way around a kitchen. You just need a little knowledge, some imagination, and a sense of adventure.

A desire for real food is a fundamental part of our basic biological blueprint. Given the chance, our taste receptors will naturally gravitate toward the inherent sweetness found in vegetables, fruits, and even nuts and seeds.


So, how do you reprogram your taste buds to ditch the cravings for sugar, salt, and fats? You can start by eating real, fresh, whole foods. Avoid fake, commercialized foods that come in convenience packages or are made in a lab.

Here are 10 more tips to get you excited about ditching the sugar, salt, and fats:

  • Sauté or roast your veggies to bring out their natural sweetness. Properly searing your chicken or meat brings out the inherent sweetness by way of the Maillard reaction. This is a fancy name for what happens when you create that nice, brown crust on your meat.
  • Play with herbs like cilantro, parsley, dill, basil, and oregano to add flavor and phytonutrients! Finish a meal by adding fresh herbs before plating or serving. This last-minute addition kicks the flavor up a notch!
  • Healthy fats found in avocado, coconut, and tahini not only increase the flavor of your meal, they also add that creamy, luscious texture found in many rich foods.
  • Try creating a savory, umami (Japanese for “delicious”) flavor. Add moderate amounts of tamari, umeboshi plum paste, balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, dried mushroom, or sea vegetables to your next stew, soup, sauce, or stir-fry.
  • Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and even cayenne or chipotle pepper powder are all extremely flavorful additions to a meal. Spices like these excite your taste buds and grab your attention. This is helpful, because, as studies show, when we are focused on actually tasting our food rather than mindlessly gobbling it up, we actually need less food to feel satisfied.
  • Befriend some kitchen must-haves like real vanilla extract or vanilla bean or coconut butter. Or use common, every-day foods like lemons in some creative ways. For example, use lemon zest to add real zing to any meal!
  • For the most flavor, eat seasonally and locally. Canned or packaged foods or foods that have traveled great distances in the back of a truck just can’t compare to the succulence of a fresh piece of locally grown fruit.
  • Check your hydration. Digestion starts in your mouth with your saliva, which helps us taste all the magnificent flavor in food. If you are dehydrated and not producing enough saliva, you won’t really be able to enjoy your food.
  • Check your medications. Believe it or not, most medications interfere with the body’s ability to taste and smell. Some of them can even create an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth.
  • Got nutrition? Nutrient deficiency is an important cause of improper taste perception. A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can markedly impair your ability to smell and taste food. Most Americans have several nutrient deficiencies, but there is one in particular that can especially keep you from enjoying your next meal: zinc. Try adding foods like oysters, pecans, sunflower seeds, and lentils to increase your daily intake of this important mineral.


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Scientists Officially Link Processed Foods To Autoimmune Disease

March 8, 2013  by: True Activist

The modern diet of processed foods, takeaways and microwave meals could be to blame for a sharp increase in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, including alopecia, asthma and eczema.

A team of scientists from Yale University in the U.S and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, say junk food diets could be partly to blame.

‘This study is the first to indicate that excess refined and processed salt may be one of the environmental factors driving the increased incidence of autoimmune diseases,’ they said.

Junk foods at fast food restaurants as well as processed foods at grocery retailers represent the largest sources of sodium intake from refined salts.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal sent out an international team of researchers to compare the salt content of 2,124 items from fast food establishments such as Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut and Subway. They found that the average salt content varied between companies and between the same products sold in different countries.

U.S. fast foods are often more than twice as salt-laden as those of other countries. While government-led public health campaigns and legislation efforts have reduced refined salt levels in many countries, the U.S. government has been reluctant to press the issue. That’s left fast-food companies free to go salt crazy, says Norm Campbell, M.D., one of the study authors and a blood-pressure specialist at the University of Calgary.

Many low-fat foods rely on salt–and lots of it–for their flavor. One packet of KFC’s Marzetti Light Italian Dressing might only have 15 calories and 0.5 grams fat, but it also has 510 mg sodium–about 1.5 times as much as one Original Recipe chicken drumstick. (Feel like you’re having too much of a good thing? You probably are.

Bread is the No. 1 source of refined salt consumption in the American diet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just one 6-inch Roasted Garlic loaf from Subway–just the bread, no meat, no cheeses, no nothing–has 1,260 mg sodium, about as much as 14 strips of bacon.

How Refined Salt Causes Autoimmune Disease

The team from Yale University studied the role of T helper cells in the body. These activate and ‘help’ other cells to fight dangerous pathogens such as bacteria or viruses and battle infections.

Previous research suggests that a subset of these cells – known as Th17 cells – also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases.

In the latest study, scientists discovered that exposing these cells in a lab to a table salt solution made them act more ‘aggressively.’

They found that mice fed a diet high in refined salts saw a dramatic increase in the number of Th17 cells in their nervous systems that promoted inflammation.

They were also more likely to develop a severe form of a disease associated with multiple sclerosis in humans.

The scientists then conducted a closer examination of these effects at a molecular level.

Laboratory tests revealed that salt exposure increased the levels of cytokines released by Th17 cells 10 times more than usual. Cytokines are proteins used to pass messages between cells.

Study co-author Ralf Linker, from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, said: ‘These findings are an important contribution to the understanding of multiple sclerosis and may offer new targets for a better treatment of the disease, for which at present there is no cure.’

It develops when the immune system mistakes the myelin that surrounds the nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord for a foreign body.


It strips the myelin off the nerves fibres, which disrupts messages passed between the brain and body causing problems with speech, vision and balance.

Another of the study’s authors, Professor David Hafler, from Yale University, said that nature had clearly not intended for the immune system to attack its host body, so he expected that an external factor was playing a part.

He said: ‘These are not diseases of bad genes alone or diseases caused by the environment, but diseases of a bad interaction between genes and the environment.

‘Humans were genetically selected for conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no salt. It’s one of the reasons that having a particular gene may make African Americans much more sensitive to salt.

‘Today, Western diets all have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.’

The team next plan to study the role that Th17 cells play in autoimmune conditions that affect the skin.

‘It would be interesting to find out if patients with psoriasis can alleviate their symptoms by reducing their salt intake,’ they said.

‘However, the development of autoimmune diseases is a very complex process which depends on many genetic and environmental factors.’

Stick to Good Salts

Refined, processed and bleached salts are the problem. Salt is critical to our health and is the most readily available nonmetallic mineral in the world. Our bodies are not designed to processed refined sodium chloride since it has no nutritional value. However, when a salt is filled with dozens of minerals such as in rose-coloured crystals of Himalayan rock salt or the grey texture of Celtic salt, our bodies benefit tremendously for their incorporation into our diet.

“These mineral salts are identical to the elements of which our bodies have been built and were originally found in the primal ocean from where life originated,” argues Dr Barbara Hendel, researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, The Essence of Life. “We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid.”

“In water, salt dissolves into mineral ions,” explains Dr Hendel. “These conduct electrical nerve impulses that drive muscle movement and thought processes. Just the simple act of drinking a glass of water requires millions of instructions that come from mineral ions. They’re also needed to balance PH levels in the body.”

Mineral salts, she says, are healthy because they give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions, remain healthy and heal. These healing properties have long been recognised in central Europe. At Wieliczka in Poland, a hospital has been carved in a salt mountain. Asthmatics and patients with lung disease and allergies find that breathing air in the saline underground chambers helps improve symptoms in 90 per cent of cases.

Dr Hendel believes too few minerals, rather than too much salt, may be to blame for health problems. It’s a view that is echoed by other academics such as David McCarron, of Oregon Health Sciences University in the US.

He says salt has always been part of the human diet, but what has changed is the mineral content of our food. Instead of eating food high in minerals, such as nuts, fruit and vegetables, people are filling themselves up with “mineral empty” processed food and fizzy drinks.

April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.


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6 Simple Steps to Keep Your Heart Healthy

A healthy heart – and a healthier you – starts today with these quick tips.

By Wendy C. Fries WebMD 
Feature Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD 

Keeping your heart healthy is simple when you look at the big picture: Get exercise. Eat right. Stress less. Watch your weight. Don’t smoke.
Putting those goals into action, of course, isn’t so simple. Which matter most? How can you put them into daily practice?
Here are practical hints for a way of life that makes you feel great while it strengthens your heart.

Make Time to Play

Adults need at least 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week for heart health. Make exercise playtime and you’re more likely to get it done. Play kickball with your kids, walk the dog, or shoot hoops, or go “mall-walking” with co-workers on your lunch break.
Go for a total of at least 30 minutes of exercise daily – and break it up, if you like. Aim for a 10-minute morning walk, workout with hand weights at lunch, and some digging in the garden before dinner, and you’ve met your goals.
“Folks should get their heart rate up so they’re somewhat breathless, but can still carry on a conversation,” says Susan Moores, RD, MS, of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. All kinds of exercises are important, from strength training and aerobics, to flexibility and stretching exercises.

Add the ‘Food Rules’ to Your Memory

  • Limit Bad Fat: If you eat a typical American diet, this one change can bring dramatic results: Eat less saturated fat. You can “reduce your risk of heart issues by half,” says Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD. Start by switching to low-fat meat and dairy, and change to healthier fats like olive and canola oils.
  • Cut the Salt: Cook without salt, limit processed foods, and go easy on the salt shaker. Aim to bring down the sodium you eat to 1,500 milligrams, the American Heart Association’s daily limit.
  • Pump Up Produce: Eat at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and fruit every day. You’ll lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer. And there’s a slimming bonus: “For all the nutrients fruits and vegetables provide, you’re also getting few calories,” says Kerry Neville, MS, RD, “And they fill you up.”
  • Go for Grains: Whole grains help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and may help prevent type 2 diabetes.  Think about corn tortillas, whole wheat pancakes and pasta, bulgur wheat, oatmeal, quinoa, and chewy, delicious brown rice or wild rice.

Soothe Stress

Doing absolutely nothing can be a big part of keeping your heart healthy. Be sure to “relax and unplug daily,” says Moores. “Stress is a significant villain of heart health and really any health issue. It can wreak havoc.”
Carve out time for yourself regularly. Walk away from the computer, the phone, and other distractions. Make time to recharge your batteries, to find both energy and calm.

Work Toward a Healthy Body Weight

Gaining weight is a constant threat for most Americans in our world of cheap, convenient, and decadent foods. And extra pounds – especially if you tip into obesity – raise the risk of a heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Now the good news: Losing even a few pounds starts you on the road to a healthier heart. Lose a few more and you’re likely to have more energy and sleep better, too. Here are the basics:
  • Go for good nutrition: Choose foods that are rich in nutrients, not just empty calories. A can of regular cola has over 120 calories and a lot of added sugar. Added sugar can give you a lot of empty calories without a lot of nutritional benefits. For a nutrient-packed snack worth the calories, try a palmful of mixed nuts. That has about 165 calories and is packed with protein and heart-healthy fats.
  • Balance calories: Be aware of the balance between the calories you eat and the calories your body needs. To lose weight, eat fewer calories than you burn.
  • Get physical: Get moving at least 30 minutes daily, most days of the week. Children and teens need at least 60 minutes of activity each day.

Find Your Personal Best Way to Quit Smoking

Cancer, lung disease, a higher chance of a heart attack: The damages smoking can do are well-known. Did you know that tobacco is also linked to early menopause, infertility, and pregnancy complications?
There’s no best way to quit smoking. Medicine, support groups, counseling, or a combination of all three may be what it takes to help you quit. Reach out, get help.

Schedule Checkups

Regular blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol checks, as well as physical exams, are important to keep your heart healthy. Two conditions that can hurt your heart — high blood pressure and high cholesterol — are “silent.” That means you typically won’t know you have them unless you get tested. Ask your doctor how often you need a heart checkup and put the next one on your calendar now.
source: webmd.com


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High blood pressure and healthy eating

It’s always wise to make healthy food choices. It becomes even more important when treating hypertension.
Changing the foods you eat is a great way to help lower blood pressure. Eating healthier foods at home and outside of the home is an important part of reaching a goal of lower blood pressure. Here are some tips on eating to help lower blood pressure:
  • Limit your alcohol intake to 2 drinks daily or less, to a maximum of 9 drinks per week for women and 14 drinks per week for men.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet (e.g., increase the amount of fruits and vegetables, grains, and cereals).
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist first before adding foods or supplements that are rich in potassium.
  • Read food labels to get more information about the nutrients in the foods you are eating.
  • Eat less saturated fat and cholesterol whenever possible (e.g., choose lean cuts of meat and avoid foods containing saturated fats; choose low-fat dairy products).
  • Get plenty of fibre.
  • Eat more whole grains and get more of your dietary protein from plant sources.
  • Reduce the amount of salt in your food.

More on salt

The majority of people consume much more than the recommended limit of 2,300 mg of sodium per day, when in fact, your body only needs 1,200 mg to 1,500 mg per day to function healthily. The good news is that there are many simple ways that you can cut down on your salt intake, starting today.
  • Replace salt with other tasty seasonings. Try adding flavour to your food with herbs and spices such as oregano, basil, thyme, or pepper. Garlic and lemon are also delicious options to boost taste.
  • Consume processed foods less often. About 80% of our daily salt intake comes from processed foods, especially pizza, breads, soups and sauces. An easy way to consume less processed food is to avoid buying anything in a can, box, or bag, as these often contain high amounts of salt. Fresh foods do not contain added salt and are lower in sodium than pre-packaged foods.
  • Read the nutrition labels. The nutrition facts will tell you the amount of sodium in the serving size indicated at the top of the table (read this number carefully as it is dependent on the indicated serving). It will also tell you the percentage of the daily value (%DV) of sodium it contains.
  • Choose low-sodium products. Many food products now offer a reduced or low-sodium alternative.
  • Be aware of salt or sodium in disguise. There are other compounds that can increase the sodium content of food. These include monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking powder, baking soda, disodium phosphate, and sodium nitrate or nitrite. Read the ingredient label to determine if these compounds are included.
  • Remove or cut down the amount of salt in recipes. Cut the amount of salt called for by half and your taste buds won’t even know the difference!
  • Ask for the nutrition facts when eating out. Nutrition information is often available on restaurant websites or can be given to you upon request. Use this information to choose meals that are lower in sodium.
  • Try to limit the use of condiments. Condiments can contain high amounts of salt, so cutting back or limiting their use will help reduce your daily salt intake.

The DASH diet

A common diet that is often used to manage blood pressure is the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. This diet is rich in fibre and nutrients and contains much more potassium, calcium, and magnesium than the average diet.
Many studies have shown that in as little as several weeks, people on this diet significantly reduced their blood pressure, and that it is a very effective diet in reducing the risk of diabetesheart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.
The key to success with any new diet is in not making drastic changes all at one time. It takes time to develop new eating habits and make food choices that make you feel healthier and satisfied.
There are some useful tips that you can use to adjust to the DASH diet:
  • Add more fruits and vegetables slowly to your diet. Try replacing fatty snacks with a fruit instead.
  • Increase your daily intake of dairy products. If you have trouble digesting dairy products, there are lactose intolerance pills that can aid in digesting these foods.
  • Replace enriched flour breads with whole grain bread.
  • Choose whole-grain cereals without large amounts of additives and sugar.
  • Eat fruit-flavoured gelatin or dried fruit snacks.
  • Add more nuts, seeds, and legumes to your daily diet.
  • Eat more potassium-enriched fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep to modest amounts of protein foods, preferably soy, fish, and poultry.
Visit Health Canada’s website to get a copy of Canada’s Food Guide for more information on healthy eating.
source: Canada.com