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Archive for January, 2016

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States? Heart disease is the #1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year…..that is approximately one woman every minute.

If you had heart disease, would you recognize the symptoms? Most think of crushing chest pains, but that is not always the case for women. Some of the common symptoms for women include shortness of breath, nausea, back pain, vomiting, and jaw pain. These are often more subtle and women mistakenly write them off as a less serious issue such as the flu, aging, or acid re-flux.

There are actions you can take to reduce your risk. Your behavior and lifestyle are major factors in your overall heart health. These involve things you can control:

  • blood pressure
  • cholesterolheart health
  • smoking
  • diabetes
  • diet and weight control
  • physical activity

It is important that you measure your risk for heart disease and do what you can to prevent it. To get started, check out this tool to help you assess your risk of having a heart attack.

You need to make your heart health a priority because no one else will do it for you. Be sure to schedule a well-woman visit, a prevention check-up to review your overall health so your doctor can measure blood pressure, check cholesterol and look for signs of heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses. It is a great time to schedule if you haven’t already done this.

February is American Health Month and a great way to show your support of women’s heart health is to participate in National Wear Red Day on Friday, February 5th.

heart health 2

 

 

 

Sources

American Heart Association, http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/HeartAttackToolsResources/Heart-Attack-Risk-Assessment_UCM_303944_Article.jsp#.VqEIdfkrJD9

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/

 

Written by: Tammy Jones, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension – Pike County, jones.5640@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Daniel Remley, Field Specialist, Family Nutritional Wellness, Assistant Professor, OSUE-Human Ecology Ext Admin, remley.4@osu.edu

 

 

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February is Heart Health Month. According to the American Heart Association, 90% of all people will develop hypertension in their lifetime which is a major risk factor for heart disease. If cardiovascular disease does not kill, the consequences of expensive medications and operations can certainly affect one’s quality of life. Traditionally thought of as an “old age” disease, heart disease is also becoming prevalent in younger populations. This trend coincides with soaring obesity and diabetes rates, two risk factors for heart disease. Other major risk factors for heart disease include high cholesterol, smoking, poor eating habits, sedentary lifestyle and hypertension.

Hypertension or high blood pressure (higher than 140/90 mm Hg) causes the heart to work harder. Over time, hypertension strains the heart and arteries leading to disease.

Hypertension is more common in blacks than whites, old age, and those with a family history. Some “controllable” risk factors include sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and eating too much salt.

In order to reduce or avoid hypertension the American Heart Association recommends reducing sodium intake to less than 1500 mg a day (much less than a teaspoon). Unfortunately, sodium is pervasive in our food supply. Much of the sodium we consume has been added to food when it is commercially processed. The top sources of sodium in the American diet are breads, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup and sandwiches. Most bread products are not very high in sodium per serving. However, given that we consume around three servings of grains per day, the totals add up. Therefore, label reading is an important skill when trying to reduce sodium intake. When reading labels, be vigilant for the words “soda”, “sodium”, and the symbol “Na.” Some sodium compounds besides salt (sodium chloride) to watch out for on food labels include: monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), baking powder, disodium phosphate, sodium alginate, sodium nitrate, sodium sulfite, and sodium benzoate. Look for products that have 5% or less of the RDA for sodium per serving.

The OSU Factsheet Modifying a Recipe to Be Healthier offers some ways to cut back on sodium, but also fat, sugar and calories for better heart health. When preparing food, be “spicy” instead of “salty.” Be creative and adventurous! Use lemon juice, vinegar, and herbs and spices to enhance flavor. Many herb and spice containers will suggest what foods they will complement.

Some other tips for reducing sodium intake include:

  • Look for low sodium grain and bread products.
  • Eat more whole, unprocessed foods and less canned and convenience foods. Choose fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables as much as possible.
  • Avoid frozen vegetables with sauces as much as possible.
  • Canned vegetables can be risned to lower sodium content.
  • Limit condiments such as ketchup, mustard, horseradish, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and MSG, or use lower sodium versions.
  • Limit cured foods such as bacon and foods packed in brine (pickled food).
  • When eating out, ask that foods be prepared without added salt, MSG, or salt ingredients. Most restaurant dishes are extremely high in sodium.
  • Explore nutrition apps on your smart phone or computer to make healthy choices when eating out and grocery shopping.

Sources:

American Heart Association. Accessed on 1/21/2015 at http://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/sodium-411/

Ohio State University Extension: Ohioline. Modifying a Recipe to Be Healthier. Accessed on 1/21/2016 at http://ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/HYG-5543

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: App Reviews. Accessed on 12/21/2016 at http://www.eatrightpro.org/resources/media/trends-and-reviews/app-reviews

Author: Dan Remley, Assistant Professor, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness Ohio State University Extension.

Reviewer: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Fairfield County, Ohio State University Extension.

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Winter is here bringing high winds and freezing temperatures outdoors and warm, dry air indoors. The weather can take a toll on skin, removing moisture and causing skin to itch, crack, and bleed.  This can make skin vulnerable to infection, especially in older adults whose skin is thinner and more fragile.  Individuals with eczema and seborrheic dermatitis may also experience worse symptoms in the winter.

Maintaining healthy skin in the winter requires a different routine than in warmer, more humid months. To protect your body’s largest organ, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends some simple tips:

winter face 3

  1. Keep baths or showers short.  Limit your bathing time to 5-10 minutes using warm, not hot water.  Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser:  only a small amount is needed; avoid thick lathers.  Gently blot your skin dry with a towel.
  2. Moisturize immediately following your bath or shower. The moisturizer will be absorbed and work better if it’s trapped inside the skin.
  3. Use gentle skin care products that are unscented. Antibacterial or deodorant soaps and skin care products with fragrance, alcohol or retinoid can dry your skin.
  4. Apply cream or ointments:  they work better than lotion. Look for ones that contain olive oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter. Lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, mineral oil, glycerin and petrolatum are other ingredients that help relieve dry skin.
  5. Carry a hand cream with you. Apply it after you wash your hands.
  6. Use a non-irritating lip balm. Be sure to select one that does not cause your lips to tingle or sting.
  7. Be selective with laundry detergents. Use only those that are labeled “hypoallergenic”.
  8. Moisturize the air. Add a humidifier to add moisture to the dry air. Some home heating systems may have one built it.
  9. Always wear gloves. We lose heat (and moisture) through our hands. Be sure to always wear gloves when you go outdoors in the winter.
  10. Use sunscreen. Even in the winter, you should slather on sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 to any exposed skin. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays that are present year-round.

See a dermatologist if your skin does not improve. Reduce your chance of developing an infection that may develop with cracking, bleeding skin.

 

Source(s): American Academy of Dermatology, Dermatologists’ top tips for relieving dry skin, retrieved from https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/dry-skin.

WebMD, Fighting Back Against Dry Skin, Fighting Dry Skin: Beat the Itch of Winter, retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/beauty/dry-skin-13/winter-dry-skin.

Web MD, Allergies Health Center, http://www.webmd.com/allergies/what-does-hypoallergenic-mean.

Author: Jennifer Even, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/EFNEP, Hamilton County.

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Franklin County.

 

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hot-chocolateHot chocolate is my favorite drink during the fall and winter months. The snow was falling outside and I was anxious for my 1st cup of the New Year. However, I made a New Year’s Resolution to be healthier and watch my sugar intake. Have you ever taken time to stop and read the nutrition label on a box of hot chocolate?  The first two ingredients are sugar and corn syrup. Cocoa is not listed until the fifth ingredient. My once loved drink was slowly adding weight to my body. One cup of hot chocolate can contain anywhere from four to seven teaspoons of sugar. Since my favorite way of making mine is with reduced fat milk and using original hot chocolate packaged mix I was drinking SEVEN teaspoons of sugar in one cup!

I was not going to let one little drink ruin my goal of becoming healthier. I set out to find a better option. Standing at the grocery store my mind was overloaded with all the different options. All too many times we believe what we read on the outside of the box instead of taking the time to read the nutrition label. No sugar added had to be better for me right? It should have fewer calories. Or what about the all-natural versions where you can pronounce all the ingredients?  There aren’t any added sweeteners or artificial flavors in them. What if I pick the dark chocolate flavor? Dark chocolate has antioxidants so that hast to be the best option. What about my whipped cream or marshmallows on top?

So what is a person to do when they still want that cup of hot chocolate but are trying to be healthier? The American Heart Association offers some suggestions on how to trim the calories by using fat free milk, low sugar hot chocolate packets and a minimal amount of toppings. If you would prefer, make it yourself so you can control the amount of sugar. Chances are you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen. By personally controling the amount of sugar you are using it’s no longer the number one ingredient. Start with taking your favorite hot chocolate recipe and only use half the amount of sugar. It will not seem as sweet but you can add cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla extract to help give it that extra something special. For a greater depth of flavor try simmering a cinnamon stick with your milk. Maybe you are looking for a recipe that is a sophisticated, European-style of hot chocolate which is thick and rich.

A healthier version of hot chocolate is very doable and in moderation has great health benefits. After all cocoa beans do come from seeds of a fruit that is grown on trees in tropical forests. That makes chocolate a fruit right?

 

Source: Gampel, S., & Bobroff, L. B. (2010, October). Dark Chocolate Benefits. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FM/FM38300.pdf

Source: Core, J. (2005, April 4). In Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity . Retrieved from http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2005/050404.2.htm

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

 

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There is a lot of talk about the importance of family meals. Your school age children may eat both breakfast and lunch in their school cafeteria. This is why it is important that the meals you eat with them are opportunities to teach healthy eating behaviors. Hopefully your children will carry these behaviors to the school lunchroom, and other settings. Listed below are meal-time tips you can use to encourage these healthy behaviors at home.

* Children are sponges! They learn from watching parents and older siblings. Try to eat as a family whenever you can. Include a good variety of foods, including vegetables. This is also a great time for conversations and practicing table manners.

* Enjoy a lunch date! Talk about school meals and what your children are eating. Try to understand why they make the choices they do. Have a breakfast or lunch date at school every few months. Not only will you see what is offered at the school meals, you will also see what your child is choosing.

* Learn what they like! Food preferences need to be respected and acknowledged. Teach young children to say “No, thank you” politely if they do not want any more after a taste. Make sure that the focus is on the great taste of the new foods you are trying. Even at a young age, many kids associate “good for you” with “tastes bad.”

*Experiment with new foods! Encourage kids to try one bite so they can expand their horizons. berries

* Don’t give up! Serve the foods your children previously resisted. It often takes several times of introducing a food before children eat and enjoy it.

* Try to resist the “forbidden foods” label! All foods can be part of a healthy diet.

* Encourage them in meal preparation! Let kids help fix items according to their age and skill level. Children are more willing to try foods, especially if they helped prepare them. Even young children can tear lettuce, rinse broccoli or even set the table. Let them pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try the next time they go to the store with you.

* Be a creative cook! Cut foods into interesting shapes and make the plate attractive.

Vegetable Train
* Name foods with cute names and offer finger foods, such as sliced fruit and vegetables. Kids like inviting foods just like adults do. Try raw vegetables with light dips. Serve broccoli trees or cauliflower clouds.

* Give your time! Make the meal or snack your sole focus. Conversation is good. TVs or other electronics should wait until the snack or meal is complete.

* Allow them time to eat! Try not to rush the children when they eat. Time pressure puts stress on eating and makes it less pleasurable.

* A child’s world is play! Make eating a fun time. Include discussions about colors, textures and flavors.

* Grow it yourself! If you have a garden or a few plants, include the children in planting and harvesting the produce. Children who participate in planting foods, or at least see where their foods come from are more likely to try them. Many schools now have gardens or container gardens. If your child’s school has a garden, talk to them about the foods they are growing. This is a great way for you to be involved with your child’s school!

These are just a few simple ways we’ve found to get kids to explore the world of healthy food. If they work for you, please share them with all your friends!

Source: Duyff, Roberta L. American Dietetic Association- Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 4th Edition, 2012.

Author: Liz Smith, Ohio State University Extension, Central Region SNAP-Ed, smith.3993@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

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With advances in medical care, longer life expectancies, and more people living with chronic disease more of us will be participating in the caregiver process. If you find yourself in the caregiving role, you may be experiencing a variety of feelings. Here are some feelings common among those caring for a family member.

Anxiety and worry – about additional responsibilities and expenses, the future…

Anger or resentment – toward the patient or the world in general…. Or even toward friends or others who don’t have the responsibilities of caregivers.

Guilt – You may feel like you should do more, or have more patience, or be more available.

Grief – You experience loss with the caregiving role… the future you envisioned, the health of the loved one you’re caring for… the eventual loss of your loved one if he or she is terminally ill.

Accept your feelings and know you are not alone. Find someone you can confide in to share your feelings and help you deal with them. You could seek additional support from other family members, friends, church, caregiver organizations or therapists.

caregiver-helping-elderly-woman-350

HelpGuide.org offers these tips for caregivers:

Learn about your family member’s illness and about how to be a caregiver. Knowing more will lesson your anxiety and increase your effectiveness.

Seek out others who are caregivers. It’s always helpful to know you’re not alone and others experience similar things. Is there a support group in your area? Family Caregiver Alliance offers resources for caregivers.

Trust your instincts when it comes to sorting through doctor’s treatment suggestions. You know your family member the best.

Encourage your loved one to be independent. Explore technologies or adaptive equipment that will allow your loved one to be as independent as possible.

Know your limits. Be reasonable about how much or your time and of yourself you can give. And communicate those limits to others… doctors, family members, extended family members. Ask for help or respite care when you need relief.

Caregiving comes with a lot of responsibility and burden at times, but can also be rewarding and satisfying knowing that you are sacrificing for a family member to help them feel more comfortable and loved.

Sources:

HelpGuide.org http://www.helpguide.org/articles/caregiving/caregiving-support-and-help.htm

Family Caregiver Alliance https://www.caregiver.org/state-list-views?field_state_tid=94

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County

 

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Exciting news, the 2015 – 2020 updated Dietary Guidelines were just released. These Guidelines are updated by a team of nutrition and medical experts from across the country focusing on scientific and medical evidence in the nutrition field. This exclusive group of committee members included experts from Harvard, Yale, Duke, Tufts University, and our own Ohio State University. The results of their work are found in five basic guidelines: dietary guidelines

  • Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. To reduce your risk of chronic disease, choose foods and beverages at an appropriate level to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. Plan to include a variety of vegetables especially dark green, red, orange, and legumes (beans and peas). Eat fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy and whole grains. Consume a variety of protein foods like seafood, lean meats, eggs, nuts, soy products, and legumes.
  • Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Look to foods and beverages in their simple state and avoid those with added sugars, fats, and sodium.
  • Shift to healthier food and beverages choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and reduce less healthy choices. Examples might include colorful vegetables and fruits, whole grain pasta or rice, low fat milk or yogurt, and a variety of proteins including beans, eggs, poultry, fish, and other low-fat choices.
  • Support healthy eating patterns for all. We each have a role in creating and supporting healthy eating – from home to school to work to community.

This eighth version of the Dietary Guidelines has less major changes than past versions, with the apparent changes being an increased focus on less sodium, fat and sugar (especially those that are added to foods or drinks); and less emphasis on cholesterol content of foods. By following a healthy eating pattern with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, proteins, seeds or nuts, and low-fat dairy we will all have less risk of chronic disease like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. This version of the guidelines also includes a wonderful reminder that we all have a role in making healthy eating a priority.

What change can you make to shift your diet to a healthier pattern? Small changes to improve, as well as poor choices both add up. For further information go to http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County.

Sources:

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.

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