Thursday, March 31, 2016

National Nutrition Month and Beyond
Savor the Flavor of Eating Right

Throughout the month of March we celebrated National Nutrition Month® (NNM), a nutrition education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy). The campaign focused  attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. The March 2016 theme for National Nutrition Month® is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.” 



The theme encourages everyone to explore new foods and flavors, keeping taste and nutrition on your plate at every meal. During the month of March, we looked at the many foods and combinations that contribute to "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right." I hope you will take the information presented and use it year round.





Resources
Visit the Academy’s website to view a library of recipes designed to help you "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right."

As part of this public education campaign, the Academy’s National Nutrition Month website includes a variety of helpful tips, games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources, all designed to spread the message of good nutrition based on the "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right" theme.

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The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right
Eat Right with Color

March is National Nutrition Month® (NNM), a nutrition education and information campaign created annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy). The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. 

"Eat Right with Color"  explores the health benefits associated with eating foods of many colors. "Eating a rainbow" refers to including color diversity in your meals and food choices, so as to enhance your intake of a wide range of nutrients. 



Red and Pink Foods
Apples, Beets, Cayenne, Cherries, Cranberries, Guava, Kidney Beans, Papaya, Pink Beans, Pink/Red Grapefruit, Pomegranates, Radicchio, Radishes, Raspberries, Red Bell Peppers, Red Cabbages, Red Chili Peppers, Red Corn, Red Currants, Red Grapes, Red Onions, Red Pears, Red Peppers, Red Plums, Red Potatoes, Red Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Watermelons

Green Foods
Alfalfa, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Avocado, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Chives, Collard Greens, Cucumbers, Dandelion Greens, Edamame, Endive, Fennel, Green apples, Green Beans, Green cabbage, Green Grapes, Green Olives, Green Onion, Green Pears, Green Peas, Green Pepper, Green Tomatoes, Honeydew, Kale, Kiwi, Leeks, Lettuce, Limes, Mint, Okra, Oregano, Parsley, Pistachios, Snow Peas, Spinach, Sugar snap peas, Swiss Chard, Tarragon, Tomatillo, Wasabi, Watercress, Zucchini

Blue and Purple Foods
Blue Grapes, Blue and Purple Potatoes, Blueberries, Dried Plums, Plums, Eggplant, Pomegranates, Elderberries, Juniper Berries, Kelp (Seaweed), Purple Belgian Endive, Purple Cabbage, Purple Figs

Yellow and Orange Foods
Apricots, Bananas, Butternut Squash, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Cheddar Cheese, Citrus Fruits, Clementines, Corn, Creamsicle, Garbanzo Beans, Golden Apples, Golden Flax Seed, Golden Raisins, Grapefruit, Honey, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mandarin Oranges, Mangoes, Nectarines, Orange Jello, Orange Peppers, Orange Tomatoes, Oranges, Papaya, Parsnips, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Pineapple, Pumpkin, Rutabagas, Saffron, Salmon, Spaghetti Squash, Squash Blossoms, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potatoes, Tangerines, Whole Grains, Yams, Yellow Apples, Yellow Beans, Yellow Peppers, Yellow Summer Squash, Yellow Wax Beans

White and Black Foods
White: Cauliflower, Coconut, Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions, Scallions, Horseradish, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Millet, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Quinoa, Shallots, Soy Products, Sunflower Seeds, Tofu, Turnips, White Beans, White Corn, White Sesame Seeds

Black: Black Beans, Black Cherries, Black Currants, Black Mushrooms, Black Olives, Black Quinoa, Black Raspberry, Black Rice, Black Sesame Seeds, Black Soybeans, Blackberries, Boysenberries, Prunes, Raisins, Seaweeds, Tamari (Soy Sauce)


Wellness News employs young adults with "Special Needs" (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy). My staff started the project in September 2010. Over the next five months, we would take over 600 photographs of colorful foods in order to create the March presentation for NNM. Many of the photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need young adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information (recipenews@gmail.com).

Prepared by
http://www.dietitians-online.com/
http://www.weighing-success.com/
Wellness News (www.weighing-success.com/WellnessNews.html)
Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LD, FAND
Jake Frank
Lance Li
Jonathan Cruz


March 30, 2016 Whole Grain Sampling Day

Whole Grain Sampling Day The Whole Grains Council is holding its second Whole Grain Sampling Day. The goal is to have people trying new foods with whole grains. Stop by the Whole Grains Council to learn more and meet some of the companies participating. 

Identifying Whole Grains

The Basic Stamp and 100% Stamp
There are two different stamps defining the amount of whole grain: the Basic Stamp and the 100% Stamp.

If a food contains the 100% Stamp, then all its grain ingredients are whole grains. There is a minimum requirement of 16 grams per serving for products using the 100% Stamp.

The Whole Grain Council defines the stamps in the following way: "If a food contains the Basic Stamp, it contains at least 8 grams per half serving of whole grain, but may also contain some refined grain. Even if a product contains large amounts of whole grain, it will use the Basic Stamp if it also contains extra bran, germ, or refined flour.

Each Stamp also shows a number, telling you how many grams of whole grain ingredients are in a serving of the product."



Examples of Whole Grains
Read the label and look for the following
whole grains as the first ingredient:

Amaranth 
Barley 
Brown Rice 
Buckwheat
Bulgur (Cracked Wheat)
Corn (Polenta, Tortillas, Whole Grain Corn/Corn Meal) 
Farro 
Kamut® 
Millet 
Oats, Whole Oats, Oatmeal 
Quinoa 
Rye, Whole Rye 
Sorghum 
Spelt 
Teff 
Triticale Wild Rice
Whole Wheat Flour



Recipe: Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash





Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right - Make at least Half of your Grains Whole Grains





Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples. Grains are divided into two subgroups, whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel — the bran, germ, and endosperm. People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.

Make simple switches
To make half your grains whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined-grain product. For example, eat 100% whole-wheat bread or bagels instead of white bread or bagels, or brown rice instead of white rice.

Whole grains can be healthy snacks
Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy snack. Make it with little or no added salt or butter. Also, try 100% whole-wheat or rye crackers.

Save some time
Cook extra brown rice or whole-wheat pasta when you have time. Refrigerate half to heat and serve later in the week as a quick side dish.

Mix it up with whole grains
Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soups or stews and bulgur wheat in casseroles or stir-fries. Try a quinoa salad or pilaf.

Try whole-wheat versions
For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes, and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.

Bake up some whole-grain goodness
Experiment by substituting buckwheat, millet, or oat flour for up to half of the flour in your favorite pancake or waffle recipes. To limit saturated fat and added sugars, top with fruit instead of butter and syrup.

Be a good role model for children
Set a good example for children by serving and eating whole grains every day with meals or as snacks.

Check the label for fiber
Use the Nutrition Facts label to check the fiber content of whole-grain foods. Good sources of fiber contain 10% to 19% of the Daily Value; excellent sources contain 20% or more.

Know what to look for on the ingredients list
Read the ingredients list and choose products that name a whole grain ingredient first on the list. Look for “whole wheat,” “brown rice,” “bulgur,” “buckwheat,” “oatmeal,” “whole-grain cornmeal,” “whole oats,” or “whole rye.”

Be a smart shopper
The color of a food is not an indication that it is a whole-grain food. Foods labeled as “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not 100% whole-grain products, and may not contain any whole grain.


Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, Food on a Stick Day
Savor the Flavor of Eating Right


Food on a stick is thought to be among the earliest examples of human utensils. The “Kebab” is a dish consisting of small pieces of meat and vegetables threaded onto skewers and grilled. The kebab originated in Persia and later spread to the Middle East and Turkey. The traditional meat for kebab is lamb, but depending on location and traditions, it may be beef, goat, chicken, pork, fish or seafood. Today the kebab is found worldwide. There are numerous variations of foods you can add to a stick and it's not just limited to meats.

Highlighted below are some of Bon Appétit's Best Foods on a Stick; Fun and Nutritious with Barbara Beery, a kids' cooking instructor and 59 foods on a stick from the Minnesota State Fair.


Modified Vegetable Kebabs with Saffron Butter, 6 servings
Ingredients
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine 
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
3 medium zucchini, each cut crosswise into 6 rounds
2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch squares
1/2 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ears fresh corn, each cut into 6 rounds
6 10-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained

Directions
Melt butter in heavy small skillet over medium heat. Stir in saffron. Cool 1 hour. Alternate 3 zucchini rounds, 3 red bell pepper squares, 3 red onion pieces, and 2 corn rounds on each skewer. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush kebabs with all but 2 tablespoons saffron butter. Season with salt and pepper; grill until vegetables are tender and brown, turning frequently, about 20 minutes. Brush with remaining butter.

Nutritional Information (1 serving with margarine). 127 Calories; 8 g Fat; 1 g Saturated Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 13 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 15 mg Sodium; 3 g Dietary Fiber

Nutritional Information (1 serving with butter). 127 Calories; 8 g Fat; 5 g Saturated Fat; 20 mg Cholesterol; 13 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 15 mg Sodium; 3 g Dietary Fiber 
_____________

Passion Fruit and Guava Pops, 8 servings
No modifications were made.
Ingredients
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
7 to 8 ripe passion fruits (about 11 ounces), halved, wrinkled on outside
1 11.5-ounce can guava nectar (about 1 1/2 cups)

Equipment
8 3-ounce disposable paper cups
8 ice pop sticks or lollipop sticks

Directions

Combine 1/3 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in small bowl; stir until sugar dissolves. Using spoon, scoop flesh from passion fruits into sugar mixture. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl; press on seeds with rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible (you will need 1 cup strained liquid); discard seeds in strainer.

Divide passion fruit mixture among eight 3-ounce paper cups (about 2 tablespoons for each). Stretch plastic wrap tightly over top of each cup, covering completely and securing each with rubber band. Insert ice pop stick or lollipop stick through plastic wrap and into mixture in each cup (taut plastic will hold stick in place). Place cups in muffin pan, tilting cups at angle. Freeze until passion fruit mixture is set, about 3 hours.

Meanwhile, stir guava nectar, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and 1 tablespoon lime juice in 2-cup measuring cup until sugar dissolves. Chill mixture until cold. Remove cups with frozen passion fruit mixture from freezer; stand cups upright in muffin pan. Peel back some of plastic wrap on each. Pour guava mixture atop frozen passion fruit mixture in cups, dividing equally. Cover with plastic wrap, secure with rubber band, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours. Do ahead. Keep frozen. Use scissors, cut off paper cups from pops and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (1 serving). 74 Calories; 0 g Fat; 0 g Saturated Fat; 0 mg Cholesterol; 19 g Carbohydrates; 0 g Protein; 11 mg Sodium, 1.7 g Dietary Fiber


Fun and Nutritious
Food on a stick can be fun and nutritious. Barbara Beery is a kids' cooking instructor. In the following video, Barbara shows how to make healthy foods on a skewer.


State Fairs and Food on a Stick
Putting food on a stick is popular at many state fairs because you can eat and walk at the same time. The food choices go from simple to the bizarre and many items are high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium. The video below shows all of the 59 foods on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair from 2006.


Resources

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wishing you the Joy of Easter

The Easter Egg
Where did the colored Easter eggs come from? The egg is a symbol of new life, rebirth and the celebration of spring. The early Christians describes the egg as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus.

After a long hard winter with small amounts of food, an egg for Easter was quite a treasure. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during Lent. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.





Nutrition Label Blooper

Nutrition Facts
A medium-size chicken egg is only 70 calories and rich in protein. Check the chocolate eggs below and compare.

Wishing you the Joy of Easter

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wishing you the Joy of Easter
Let's Talk about Safely Handling and Preparing Eggs

Wishing you the Joy of Easter





Let's Talk about Safely Handling
and Preparing Eggs

Nutrition Label Blooper - Lindt Easter Chocolate Carrots

Nutrition Label Blooper


Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month
The Challenges of Feeding



As a parent of a child with disabilities and a Registered Dietitian my goals are to provide Jake as many tools and resources to allow for maximum independence; while providing nourishing meals. Through mistakes, observations, experiences and the help of very wise health professionals we adapted our environment to achieve these goals. Lately, I've noticed the goals need to be revised as Jake gets older. 



1. Utensils were not used in our home for a long time, except when we had guests over. Jake and I ate a lot of finger foods. It was difficult for Jake to hold the utensils. As I watch Jake get older, I have noticed his muscles getting tighter. He now asks for help in feeding – most of the time. 

2. For drinking, we use a weighted cup base, this is to prevent spills. We would place a cup inside with a flexi straw and Jake would be able to drink on his own and whenever he would like. Lately, I've noticed a lot more spills.

3. Jake loves to dine out and have dinner parties. I never had to worry about getting him to try new foods. Jake is a culinary explorer.

4. I love his understanding of food and nutrition. Jake has a wonderful sense of taste, as he combines different flavors. He creates meals based on colors, designs, and nutrition. Jake is my inspiration, as can be seen in my art and photography.


___________________________

Assistive technology to facilitate independent eating and drinking

The first video describes feeding challenges encountered by persons with disabilities and the advances in assistive technology. It’s not an endorsement of the Mealtime Partner Dining System, but the video shows good examples of challenging eating/feeding situations.




Eating and Drinking: Children with Cerebral Palsy



Quadriplegic Eating Utensils


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

March 22, 2016, Diabetes Alert Day
Take the Diabetes Risk Test

March 22, 2016 as Diabetes Alert Day.

The American Diabetes Association is at the forefront of the fight to prevent, treat, and cure diabetes. They provide education, promote awareness, advocate on behalf of diabetes patients and are the authoritative source on diabetes in the United States.



Resources
Check-up America: Diabetes Basics
National Diabetes Education Program  
Tips for Teens with Diabetes: Make Healthy Food Choices

To learn more about the American Diabetes Association and events planned for Diabetes Alert day,
Visit
American Diabetes Association Alert Day.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right
Try Healthy Blue and Purple Foods

Blue and Purple Foods


Food Sources
Blue Grapes, Blue and Purple Potatoes, Blueberries, Dried Plums, Plums, Eggplant, Pomegranates, Elderberries, Juniper Berries, Purple Belgian Endive, Purple Cabbage, Purple Figs

Do you know other foods rich in blue or purple?

About Blue and Purple Foods

Blue and Purple fruits and vegetables get their color from a natural plant pigment called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are an antioxidant and belong to the phytochemicals called flavonoids. Anthocyanins are found in blueberries, grapes and raisins.

Anthocyanins have health-promoting benefits, such as:
·         Reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
·         May reverse the short-term memory loss associated with aging.
·         Reduces the risk of several types of cancer.
·         Protects the urinary tract from infections.
·         May help control high blood pressure
·         May help boost the immune system.
·         Protects our cells from environmental damage (harmful free-radicals)

Ways to Increase Blue and Purple Food Intake:
   Add blueberries in muffins, pancakes and hot or cold cereals.
   Grab some plums or raisins for a snack on the go.
   Use Purple Belgian Endive as a main ingredient to a salad
   Use Purple Cabbage when preparing cole slaw.

Definitions
Phytonutrients (or phytochemicals) are found in plants. They are part of what gives fruits and vegetables their colors. Phytonutrients help protect plants from diseases found in the environment and protect us in a similar way. Studies have linked an increase of fruit and vegetable intake with lowering the risk of specific cancers and heart disease. The following list describes how phytonutrients may also help protect human health.
1. Act as an antioxidant.
2. Improves immune response.
3. Improves cell-to-cell communication.
4. Destroys cancer cells.
5. Repairs DNA damage caused by toxins in the environment.

Antioxidants. As the body uses oxygen, there are by-products (known as “free radicals”) that can cause damage to cells. Antioxidants can prevent or slow down the damage caused by these free radicals and decrease the risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants may also improve the immune defense and lower the risk of infection. Some examples of antioxidants include vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, lycopene and flavonoids.


Wellness News employs young adults with "Special Needs" (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy). My staff started the project in September 2010. Over the next five months, we would take over 600 photographs of colorful foods in order to create the March presentation for NNM. Many of the photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need young adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information (recipenews@gmail.com).



Prepared by
http://www.dietitians-online.com/
http://www.weighing-success.com/
Wellness News (www.weighing-success.com/WellnessNews.html)
Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN
Jake Frank
Lance Li
Jonathan Cruz


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right
Try Healthy White and Black Foods

White and Black Foods




Food Sources
White: Cauliflower, Coconut, Garlic, Ginger, Green Onions, Scallions, Horseradish, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Millet, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Quinoa, Shallots, Soy Products, Sunflower Seeds, Tofu, Turnips, White Beans, White Corn, White Sesame Seeds, Milk, Eggs

Do you know any other WHITE foods?

About White Foods
The white food category is diverse and includes fruits, vegetables, grains, milk, eggs, and tofu. The fruits and vegetables are a good source of fiber and tofu is relatively high in protein. Eggs and milk are an excellent source of protein and milk is rich in calcium, vitamin D, potassium and magnesium. Potassium is also found in potatoes, which assists in protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism and essential for normal heart function.

White fruits and vegetables contain the natural color pigment anthoxanthins; a type of flavonoid, which range in color from white or colorless to yellow and exhibit antioxidant properties. Allicin is a phytonutrient found in garlic and onions. Allicin may help reduce heart disease, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of some types of cancer, act as an anti-inflammatory and may function as an antioxidant. Quercetin is another anthoxanthin found in onions and shallots. Quercetin may lower the risk of heart disease and act as an anti-inflammatory.

Ways to Increase White Food Intake:
  Add onions, garlic or shallots to salads, entrees or soups.
  Snack on sunflower seeds.
  Try tofu in soups or prepare as a main-course.
  Add white beans to salads or season and serve as a side dish.
  Try a glass of low-fat or fat-free milk at bedtime.

Food Sources
Black: Black Beans, Black Cherries, Black Currants, Black Mushrooms, Black Olives, Black Quinoa, Black Raspberry, Black Rice, Black Sesame Seeds, Black Soybeans, Blackberries, Boysenberries, Prunes, Raisins, Seaweeds, Tamari (Soy Sauce)

Do you know other BLACK foods?


About Black Foods
Black colored foods are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Black Rice contains vitamin E and the antioxidant anthocyanin.  Black Lentils are rich in iron and fiber and may help in wound healing and lowering blood cholesterol.  Blackberries are high in the antioxidant polyphenolic, which may reduce inflammation. Blackberries are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid, and manganese. Black Soybeans are high in fiber and protein.  Raisins and prunes help in the treatment of constipation.  Raisins are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, iron, potassium, and calcium. Prunes are a good source of fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and copper.

Ways to Increase Black Food Intake:
  Add raisins to hot cereal or use as a snack.
  Add blackberries or black raspberries to salads or yogurt or carry as a snack.
  Substitute black rice for brown rice.
  Use black sesame seeds on fish or salads.


Wellness News employs young adults with "Special Needs" (Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy). My staff started the project in September 2010. Over the next five months, we would take over 600 photographs of colorful foods in order to create the March presentation for NNM. Many of the photographs are available for purchase with the proceeds going to special need young adults. Contact Dr. Sandra Frank for additional information (recipenews@gmail.com).

Prepared by
http://www.dietitians-online.com/
http://www.weighing-success.com/
Wellness News (www.weighing-success.com/WellnessNews.html)
Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN
Jake Frank
Lance Li
Jonathan Cruz

Saturday, March 5, 2016

World Salt Awareness Week
How am I supposed to live without you?
Find Out


Knorr ll Sidekicks ll Commercial
The use of the video is not an endorsement, but an example of why
it is important to read the label; and I like the song.
"How am I suppose to live without you?"
 - Read below to learn how to cut back on salt.




World Action on Salt and Health (WASH)  was established in 2005 and is a global group with the mission to improve the health of populations throughout the world by achieving a gradual reduction in salt intake.

WASH works to encourage multi-national food companies to reduce salt in their products and with Governments in different countries highlighting the need for a population wide salt reduction strategy. The aim is to reduce salt intake throughout the world to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended maximum intake of 5g per day by reducing the amount of salt in processed foods as well as salt added during cooking, and at the table.

WASH have long been campaigning for everyone to eat less salt. As part of the campaign WASH has identified that in order for people to take control of their own health they need to know what they are eating in the first place. In 2014 attention will be focused on the need for better nutrition labeling; investigating the current global trend towards nutrition labeling; congratulating those countries that have already implemented clear and consistent nutritional labeling, and targeting those countries that need to do so. The theme aims to show that there are options for consumers that want ‘less salt please!’, and to help make it easier to choose them.






Salt Matters: Preserving Choice, Protecting Health

Where does sodium come from?
Sodium comes from natural sources or are added to foods. Most foods in their natural state contain some sodium. However, the majority of sodium Americans consume comes from sodium added to processed foods by manufacturers. While some of this sodium is added to foods for safety reasons, the amount of salt added to processed foods is above what is required for safety and function of the food supply.

Reading Labels
When you buy prepared and packaged foods, read the labels. You can tell the sodium content by looking at the Nutrition Facts panel of a food. Listed are the amount for sodium, in milligrams (mg), and the “% Daily Value.” Also read the ingredient list to watch for the words "soda" (referring to sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda), "sodium" and the symbol "Na" to see if the product contains sodium.



Salt and/or Sodium Descriptors
Salt Free:  Meets requirements for "sodium free."
Sodium Free: Fewer than 5 milligrams sodium per serving.
Very Low Sodium:  35 milligrams or less sodium per serving.
Low Sodium: 140 milligrams or less per serving 
Reduced Sodium:  At least 25 percent less sodium per serving.
Unsalted:  Has no salt added during processing. To use this term, the product it resembles must normally be processed with salt and the label must note that the food is not a sodium-free food if it does not meet the requirements for "sodium free".

The FDA and USDA state an individual food that has the claim "healthy" must not exceed 480 mg sodium per reference amount. "Meal type" products must not exceed 600 mg sodium per labeled serving size.

Sodium and Hypertension.
In order for a food to make an Allowable Health Claim it must contain a defined amount of nutrients. In relationship to sodium and Hypertension the amount is 140 milligrams or less sodium per serving.

American Heart Association (AHA)
The American Heart Association recommends you choose and prepare foods with little or no salt to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Aim to eat less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day (less that 3/4 teaspoon of salt).
The AHA is working with federal agencies to identify ways to reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply. The association is encouraging food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium in foods by 50 percent over a 10-year period. AHA will help Americans lower the amount of sodium they consume by the following strategies:
 1. Reduce the amount of sodium in the food supply,
 2. Make more healthy foods available (e.g., more fruits and vegetables); and
 3. Provide consumers with education and decision-making tools to make better choices.



 Tips for reducing sodium in the diet
 1.  Choose fresh, frozen or canned food items without added salts.
 2.  Select unsalted nuts or seeds, dried beans, peas and lentils.
 3.  Limit salty snacks like chips and pretzels.
 4.  Avoid adding salt and canned vegetables to homemade dishes.
 5.  Select unsalted, lower sodium, fat-free broths, bouillons or soups.
 6.  Select fat-free or low-fat milk, low-sodium, low-fat cheeses and low-fat yogurt.
 7.  Use spices and herbs to enhance the taste of your food. 
 8.  Add fresh lemon juice instead of salt to fish and vegetables.
 9.  When dining out, ask for your dish to be prepared without salt.
10. Don’t use the salt shaker.



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