RN, BSN, Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab Manager, United Hospital Center
1) Can heart disease be prevented?
Every year, one in four deaths is caused by heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. However, the good news is that yes, you can prevent it by making healthy choices and managing your health conditions.
I also recommend that you schedule your FREE vascular screening at UHC by calling 681-342-1365. This at-no-charge screening and education program is called Dare to C.A.R.E., and it is a national program designed to detect and help manage your risk of vascular disease. Dare to C.A.R.E. is exclusive to UHC in West Virginia.
2) How can I lower my daily intake of sodium?
I bet you did not realize that breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks can account for more than 4,000 mg. of sodium per day. This is more than two times the amount recommended by the American Heart Association. Too much can be risky for your health. Thankfully, meals with lower sodium can be just as delicious and can keep your sodium in check. Watch for hidden sodium in your food by reading labels and asking questions. You deserve the right to take back control of the sodium in your food.
3) I love the crunch of a potato chip for my snack, but is there a healthier alternative?
Absolutely, simply choose unsalted nuts for the crunch you love. These are also a great afternoon pick-me-up. By making the right choice you will have lowered your sodium intake from 148 mg. to 0 mg. Make sure to always compare labels and choose items with the lower amount of sodium. Fresh vegetables also have a nice “crunch”. Celery, carrots and sliced cucumbers are great snacks. You do need to consider what you dip these in, as dips can contain a substantial amount of fat and sodium.
4) At breakfast I like to order a sausage and cheese omelet with hash browns and orange juice?
Try a veggie omelet with low-fat Greek yogurt and an orange fruit cup instead. By doing this you will have lowered your consumption of sodium from 1,016 mg. to 238 mg. That’s a total savings of 778 mg. of sodium in one meal. Add color to your breakfast by replacing meats, cheeses and side dishes with flavorful fruits and vegetables.
5) I think that I am eating healthy for lunch by choosing a turkey sandwich with a side salad and a pickle, right?
Let’s compare your lunch selection with what I suggest. If you were to choose a turkey sandwich with a side salad and cucumber slices, you can go from 1,935 mg. to 668 mg. of sodium. Remember to always compare labels on salad dressings. Choose the option with less sodium. When dining out, ask for your meal to be prepared without extra salt. Use veggies to add flavor instead of salty condiments, sauces and sides. Also, ask for salad dressings to be put “on the side”. People tend to use less if you dip each bite rather than pouring it over the entire salad.