Heart Healthy

Coborn's Blog: AshleyEat Healthy, Shop Smart with Ashley
Supermarket Dietitian, RD, LD: Originating from the St. Cloud area Ashley is no stranger to the Coborn’s family. Ashley’s college degree and experience in Nutrition and Dietetics is a great match up with Coborn’s.

February = Heart month

February celebrates the month of Heart Health. How fitting right? One of the most loved holidays of the year is celebrated during this month as well, Valentine’s Day! Okay, maybe you don’t agree, either way, this month it is all about hearts!  Heart Disease continues to be the number one killer among Americans. It is essential that you are doing all you can to either treat your heart disease or prevent yourself from ever being diagnosed with it. Diet is one of the biggest forms of control you have in prevention and treatment of this disease.

Diet

Coborn's Blog: Heart HealthIt is significant to include fiber and heart healthy fats (nuts, seeds, fish, vegetable oils) as well as limiting saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium. All of these items should be quite easy to spot on the nutritional facts panel, except the Trans fats. Last month, I taught a class about how to read labels, if you missed it, connect with me and I would be more than happy to educate you on this very important tool.  All of these nutrients play very key parts in overall health and wellness, especially when it comes to heart disease. My door is always open, if you would like to discuss the heart healthy diet in great detail. You can easily email me at ashley.studniski@cobornsinc.com

Trans FatsCoborn's Blog: Heart Health

This one is so frustrating to me! As my mom always said, “knowledge is power!” I want to provide you with all the necessary tools so that you have the power to make the best decisions when it comes to eating healthier..Picture me preaching from my soap box, here I go… It is legal for food companies to put “0” grams of Trans fat on a nutrition facts panel as long as there is less than .05 grams per serving. Yes, this is legal. So if you eat more than the serving size, you are probably having more than a gram or two of Trans fats in one sitting. Trans fats are known as the “worst” fats, they decrease your good cholesterol (HDL) and increase your bad cholesterol (LDL). Basically, this equates as a double whammy risk factor for heart disease. To ensure that you are not getting any Trans fats, limit foods that have partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list. Partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredient list indicate Trans fats in the food item. The American Heart Association recommends no more than two grams of Trans fats per day, however less is always better. It is imperative to also note that small amounts of Trans fats also occur naturally in beef, lamb and butterfat. Because of these naturally occurring Trans fats, there is nearly no room for artificial Trans fats in processed foods. Bottom line, Trans fats are never a good thing, try to avoid them as much as you possibly can!

I know I am not living in a fantasy world, I know there are special events, and holiday parties, and times when your grandma will make you a special pie, by all means, please enjoy yourself, I know I do! If you know in advance that you will be eating a little less healthy, then prepare for it, maybe you work out a little longer that week, or maybe you prepare an extra healthy dinner that week.

Coborn's Blog: Heart HealthBottom line about trans fats

When you are scanning the nutrition facts panel it’s good to look at the Trans fats part and make sure it is zero, if there is ever a number greater than zero, do the right thing and put it back on the shelf, then seek me out and we will come up with an alternative solution. Most importantly, scan the ingredients and see if you can find “partially hydrogenated oils” listed. If you do see it, you now know that equals Trans fats. Feel good about yourself, you weren’t misled; you now know the truth!

Sodium

Too much sodium in our diets really does pose SO many complications, and increases our risk of so many chronic diseases. Salt is EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING and that’s why I take any moment I can to enlighten people on this matter. I know it is a challenge to change our taste buds from liking salty foods, but we really do have a lot of control when it comes to monitoring and lowering our sodium intake. It is important for EVERYONE: older, middle-aged, and even young! I do understand that it is probably one of the greatest challenges I will ask of you, but do know that the palate for salt is one of an acquired taste, meaning that you have developed a “craving” for salty foods. Just as you gained your fondness for salt, you can lose it all the same. Believe it or not, once you decrease your intake of salty foods, and then you go out to eat, you will notice how salty those foods really are. Seriously, ask someone who has been on a low sodium diet for a while. This alteration of our diet involves us working together to come up with alternative ways to make our food “tasty.” Come in and visit me and we can spend some time discussing how to make our food lip-smacking and finger-licking good without salt! For now, please don’t shake the salt shaker.

Did you know that 1 teaspoon of salt equals 2,300 mg. of sodium? Consider, that you are potentially adding that much more salt to your already high sodium foods. Read below to see what amount we should stay under each day.

Coborn's Blog: Heart HealthNow for some cold, hard facts about sodium:

“Sodium overload is a major health problem in the United States. The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day – more than twice the 1,500 milligrams recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. That’s in large part because of our food supply; more than 75 percent of our sodium consumption comes from processed and restaurant foods. That’s why the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is increasing awareness of sodium and the ‘Salty Six’ – common foods that may be loaded with excess sodium that can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Too much sodium in your system causes your body to retain water. This puts an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels. In some people, this may lead to or raise high blood pressure. Having less sodium in your diet may help you lower or avoid high blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke” (American heart Association).

Step #1:

Become aware of the salt/sodium in your diet; come to be familiar with looking for the amount of sodium in a food item by reading the label and then you can start to know which foods tend to be highest in sodium before even reading the label.

Here are the “salty six:”

Coborn's Blog: Heart Healthy. The "Salty Six"
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), Vital Signs: Food Categories Contributing the Most to Sodium Consumption—United States, 2007–2008, February 10, 2012 / 61(05);92-98.

Ways to cut back on sodium intake

Try to avoid eating these items as much as possible. At the very least choose low sodium, or no salt added versions. Food companies are realizing the amount of sodium in their products, and many are coming up with alternatives for people that want lower sodium options. Join me for my next grocery store tour and I can point these items out to you. Instead of buying these items prepackaged, make your own versions at home, where you have the control over what goes in them.  For example, when you are buying a pizza, buy one that is free of meat. The meats in pizza tend to be very, very high in sodium. Then, add your own meat, possibly some lean ground beef or skinless, baked chicken. Stay away from already prepared and flavored chicken as it is latent with sodium.

Coborn's Blog: Heart HealthAdd fresh spices and herbs that are salt free and/or low in sodium, such as Mrs. Dash or spike to bring flavor to your foods. Once you begin to cut back on your usage of salt and food products high in sodium you will begin to taste the real flavor of vegetables and herbs that you may have never really tasted. My favorites include: garlic, cilantro, basil, fresh squeezed lemon, dill, curry powder, jalapeños, cayenne pepper, sweet bell peppers, pepper, onions, and tomatoes. How does that sound boring? To me salt sounds boring; that is one mineral (notice it’s not a spice). Use many herbs and spices together, the more the merrier! Try not to get too carried away or you may end up with a disaster, but hey that’s okay, we are here to learn, make mistakes, and of course be successful!

Help in the grocery aisles

Coborn's Blog: Heart Healthy
©2013 American Heart Association, Inc

When choosing lower sodium versions of breads or other items look for the Heart-Check mark to quickly and easily spot foods certified by the American Heart Association to meet the nutritional guidelines for being heart healthy. It’s a good first step to eating right! Here is a picture of what this symbol looks like. Next time you go grocery shopping, try to find it on your food items.

I know I have discussed a lot here with great seriousness, I just want you to understand the importance of heart disease and a heart healthy diet.  I want you to live the highest quality of life possible, and in order to do that we have to increase our awareness and educate ourselves about this number one killer in America. Then we can begin to make small progressive changes that lead to sustainable outcomes.

If you would like a personal consultation or grocery store tour, please don’t hesitate to contact me at ashley.studniski@cobornsinc.com As always, I look forward to working with you! Don’t forget to look for my next blog on Tuesday, March 5th! March is National Nutrition Month. If you would like me to discuss a certain topic please feel free to comment to my posts, I would love to know how I can better serve you and your nutrition needs.

Peace and Wellness,
Ashley
Coborn’s Registered Dietitian

 

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Cooking With Pistachios

Midwest Northern Nut Pistachios

Happy National Pistachio Day! January 26th is dedicated to this little green nut.

While the pistachio is a truly historical nut (there are even references to it in the Bible), the flavor of pistachios didn’t became popular in the U.S. until the 1940s. That’s when a man named James Parkinson created pistachio ice cream in Philadelphia. There wasn’t even a pistachio industry here until the 1970s. The pistachios you get now are likely from California – that state produces more than 300 million pounds of pistachios.

Want to keep your heart healthy? Pistachios are tree nuts, which studies have shown to lower your risk of heart disease. The reason is that they’re packed with phytosterols which actually compete with cholesterol to be absorbed in your body. They’re also a good snack because they contain “good” unsaturated fat. Pistachios also contain antioxidants to help your heart and overall health and have 3 grams of fiber per serving to keep you feeling full, longer. When you eat a handful you’re also getting vitamin B6, copper, potassium and magnesium.

Continue reading “Cooking With Pistachios”