May 2013

Wellness Tip for May 2013         Do you know about DASH?         


May is a very busy month in terms of health awareness. Of the many conditions highlighted this month, it is High Blood Pressure Education Month.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 68 million people in the United States have high blood pressure. It is important to control hypertension to help prevent stroke and heart attack. There are some easy dietary steps you can take. The most important of these is reducing your intake of sodium.


For most healthy adults the recommended amount of sodium per day should not exceed about 2300 milligrams. That’s about one teaspoon of table salt. You may already avoid adding salt to your diet by passing up that salt shaker on the table at mealtime. If so, you are off to a great start! For most people though, the majority of sodium in our diets is hidden in the processed and packaged foods we eat every day. Any healthy diet should include a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. This is no exception when watching your sodium intake. When cooking meals, experiment with different seasonings to enhance the flavor of your food without adding salt. If you do use packaged foods, read the label and choose foods with lower sodium content. Try to stay below that 2300mg amount.


If you need to control your blood pressure or want to minimize your sodium intake for other health reasons, talk to your doctor about following the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). This eating plan has shown great success in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. You can learn more here.