A Healthier U

By PEAK Health & Fitness

TIPS TO REDUCE SODIUM

Watch the serving size
Don’t fool yourself by thinking that the sodium content listed on a nutritional label is for the entire package. Before you blow your entire day’s worth of sodium, determine exactly what one serving equals.

Food label claims
• Sodium-free: Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
• Very low-sodium: 35 mg or less per serving
• Low-sodium: Less than 140 mg per serving
• Reduced sodium: Sodium level reduced by 25 percent
• Unsalted, no salt added, or without added salt: Made without the salt that’s normally used, but still contains the sodium that’s a natural part of the food itself.

The obvious offenders
These snack-time favorites are always a safe bet for high salt content. Here’s how a 1-ounce serving compares:
• Potato chips = 149 mg
• Cheese puffs = 258 mg
• Pretzels = 385 mg
Tip: Even “baked” or “fat-free” snacks can pack the same amount of sodium or more, so read the label.

Condiments do count
If you think those little extras you add to your food don’t count, think again:
• Ketchup (1 tablespoon) = 167 mg
• Sweet relish (1 tablespoon) = 122 mg
• Capers (1 tablespoon) = 255 mg
Tip: Go for low-sodium or sodium-free condiments or get creative and try cranberry relish or apple butter for naturally lower sodium choices.

Check your medicine cabinet too
Some headache or heartburn medicines can contain sodium carbonate or bicarbonate. Read the ingredient list or warning label to be sure.

Avoid a fast-food fiasco
• Undress your food: Skip the cheese, go easy on the condiments and don’t add salt.
• Don’t supersize: Order off the children’s menu for smaller portions.
• Eat a very low-sodium diet for the rest of the day.
• Ask for a nutrition fact sheet at the restaurant (or find it online before you go) to help you make the best possible low sodium choices.

Do’s when dining out
• Ask how food is prepared.
• Choose a restaurant where food is made to order and keep your order simple.
• Ask that your meal be prepared without any forms of sodium and then add a dash of low-sodium seasoning you brought from home or a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Pitfalls when eating out
Restaurant soups are generally very high in sodium, as a appetizers with cheeses or meats. Casserole entrees and rice pilaf are common pitfalls. The word “sauce” at a restaurant is sometimes synonymous with sodium, so you may want to steer clear of entrees slathered in sauce. If you ask, most restaurants are willing to prepare your food without added salt, but that won’t necessarily make it low in sodium.

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There may be a new way to identify an increased risk of skin cancer and all it takes is rolling up your sleeve.

In a new study from St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, researchers say having more than 10 moles on your right arm could indicate an increased risk for skin cancer. The research included counting the total number of moles on a person and dividing the totals between 17 segments of the body.  They found that the right arm was the best indicator of whether someone is considered a “moley” person.

Read the full article here.

IS YOUR JOB INCREASING YOUR RISK FOR STROKE?
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Work stress causes many problems in life and a new analysis of several studies shows it could also lead to an increased risk of stroke.

“To me, this study is very interesting because it builds on prior studies showing a lot of different kinds of stress cause cardiovascular disease,” says Jennifer J. Majersik, M.D., chief of the Division of Vascular Neurology for University of Utah Health Care, “and now we can see that work stress in particular may be causing an increase in ischemic stroke and that causes a big public health concern.”

Click here for the full story.

For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.