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Take 5 for Heart Health: Chill Out!

Stress can hurt our hearts. That’s why important to learn ways that we can “Chill Out!” Mark Stout of Lexington Medical Center Cardiac Rehabilitation talked about stress management in this “Take 5 for Heart Health” segment on WIS-TV with Dawndy Mercer Plank.

A few important notes from Mark:

~Stress can cause your blood vessels to constrict and become smaller, and ultimately cause a heart attack.

~Realize that everyone has some type of stress in their life. But if you carry it around with you, it can be harmful.

~Identify the stressors in your life.

~Find a way to relax and manage stress: deep breathing, yoga, meditation, listening to soft music or exercise are great examples.

Learn more about managing stress at our FREE Heart Fair on Sunday, March 1 from Noon – 4:00 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Bush River Road. Learn more at LexMed.com/Take5

Take 5 for Heart Health: Know the Facts

This week on WIS-TV, we’re talking about ways you can be heart healthy with “Take 5 for Heart Health.” Dr. Cassandra Patterson of Peterson & Plante Internal Medicine Associates, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, talked with news anchor Dawndy Mercer Plank about heart disease risk factors for women, along with recognizing symptoms. Watch the interview in the video below.

The segment is part of our “Just Say Know” campaign, educating women about heart disease. Learn more and take a heart health quiz at LexMed.com/Know.

And, learn more about heart health at our FREE Heart Fair this Sunday, March 1, from Noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton on Bush River Road. Discover the latest heart-heatlh information on stroke, EMS and 9-1-1, advanced technologies for diagnostic, interventional and surgical procedures, and mini-lectures from physicians and clinicians. You can also participate in free activities including massage therapy, relaxation training, citizen CPR lessons, blood pressure screenings, healthy food demonstrations and a kids’ corner.

Lower Blood Pressure by Reducing Sodium Intake

by Laura Stepp RD, LD, CDE at LMC

February is heart month. As we think about the ways we are going to show our loved ones how much we care about them, one of those ways may be to pay closer attention to how much excess sodium we might be consuming.

shutterstock_43584655During the last two years, the recommendations for sodium intake have been reviewed with new guidelines and new food labels being proposed. According to an article in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, reducing sodium intake by 400mg/day in those with uncontrolled hypertension (blood pressure of 140/90) could save $2.3 million in medical costs annually.

The sodium recommendations for lowering blood pressure include:
•reducing daily intake to less than 2300mg/day
•Reducing daily intake to 1500mg/day for those at high risk for heart disease or stroke (51 yrs or older, African American, already diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease) to

To put the recommendations into perspective: 2300mg/day = 1 level teaspoon and 1500mg/day = approx 2/3 teaspoon.

The final recommendations to help lower blood pressure is to adopt a plant based diet such as the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), try to get to and maintain a healthy weight, and to exercise daily.

Reducing daily sodium intake may be easier than it first appears. According to research, the majority of our excess sodium intake comes from packaged foods and eating out at restaurants. Understanding how to read a food label can help everyone to choose lower sodium products. Below is an example of how food labels look now and the proposed new food labels.

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First, pay attention the serving size – everything on the label pertains only to the suggested serving size. Then, look at the sodium. To be sure the food is truly a low sodium product, each serving should be 140mg or less. Unfortunately, we can’t always find a low sodium version of the food we want. If that’s the case, pair a higher sodium food with low sodium foods to keep your sodium intake under control. When working with canned goods, simply drain and rinse the canned goods with fresh water to help lower and remove some of the excess sodium.