By: NM Crystal Lake & Huntley Fitness Staff
American Heart Month®
In February we focus on cardiovascular health and encourage our members and community to practice health-healthy behaviors. You can support your heart health through diet and exercise. Let’s explore how reducing your salt (sodium) intake can be good for your heart.
We need sodium for nerve and muscle function. Sodium also keeps our body fluid in proper balance. However, too much sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and heart failure. Sodium is in most foods with lower amounts found in whole foods like vegetables, fruits. Here are some low sodium food options to enjoy:
Fresh and frozen vegetables (without sauces): Greens, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, etc.
Fresh, frozen or dried fruits: Berries, apples, bananas, pears, etc.
Grains and beans: Dried beans, brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat pasta.
Starchy vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and parsnips.
Fresh or frozen meat and poultry: Chicken, turkey, beef or pork.
Fresh or frozen fish: Cod, sea bass, tuna, etc.
Eggs: Whole eggs and egg whites.
Healthy fats: Olive oil, avocado and avocado oil.
Low-sodium soups: Low-sodium canned or homemade soups.
Dairy products: Milk, yogurt, unsalted butter and low-sodium cheeses.
Bread and baked goods: Whole-wheat bread, low-sodium tortillas and unsalted crackers.
Unsalted nuts and seeds: Pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts, etc.
Low-sodium snack foods: Unsalted pretzels, unsalted popcorn and unsalted tortilla chips.
Low-sodium condiments: Vinegar, mayonnaise, low-sodium salad dressing and low-sodium sauces.
Low-sodium beverages: Tea, coffee, low-sodium vegetable juice and water.
Low-sodium seasonings: Garlic powder, no-salt blends, herbs and spices.
Four tips to eat less salt
The 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for American recommend that Americans consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day as part of a healthy eating pattern.
– Read nutrition labels when grocery shopping
– Avoid high-sodium meats and cheeses at the deli counter
– Try flavorful seasonings other than salt when cooking
– When dining out ask for no-salt/low-salt options
MyFitRx™ Cardiac Fitness Pathway
If you’re looking for additional support to improve your level of physical activity, our MyFitRx® program is designed for you. Our Cardiac Fitness pathway delivers guidance to help reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, gain strength and increase endurance. Please visit the Member Services desk for more information.
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