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President Barack Obama has proclaimed November 2016 as National Diabetes Month. In his proclamation he states, “I call upon all Americans, school systems, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, health care providers, research institutions, and other interested groups to join in activities that raise diabetes awareness and help prevent, treat, and manage the disease.” Today’s blog is one effort to help in raise awareness and inform you about a free online educational opportunity to learn more about managing diabetes.

idf_infographics_en-2Additionally, November 14, 2016 is World Diabetes Day. It was created by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to rising concerns about the increasing health risks of diabetes. This year’s theme is EYES ON DIABETES. Its focus is on the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

One in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed. Diabetes is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputations. Over one-third of all people currently living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes will develop some form of damage to their eyes that can lead to blindness. These complications can be prevented or delayed by maintaining proper blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  Screenings can detect complications in their early stages and treatment plans can prevent vision loss.

Healthy eating also is an important part of managing all types of diabetes. Do you want to learn more about healthy eating and diabetes?  A team of Ohio State University Extension educators and researchers have developed a self-paced online course to help participants learn, share and chat with health professionals about managing diabetes.The course, Dining with Diabetes: Beyond the Kitchen focuses on carbohydrates, fats, sodium, vitamins, minerals and fiber. The easy to follow three-module course includes lessons, videos and activities to complete.

Participants can expect to learn:

  • How important blood sugar and carbohydrates are for managing diabetes.
  • How fats and sodium affect a healthy diet.
  • The role vitamins, minerals and fiber play in a healthy diet.
  • How to make healthy food choices when eating out and grocery shopping.

After completion of the course, participants receive a printable certificate. They are also automatically entered in a quarterly drawing for a $100 Amazon.com gift card.

Sign up is easy and free. Visit go.osu.edu/DWD_BTK and click “buy now.” The course will be added to cart for checkout at no cost. After completing the transaction, participant will be required to create an account with campus.extension.org to take advantage of all the materials.

Written by: Susan Zies, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County

Reviewed by: Dan Remley, Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, and Wellness, Ohio State University Extension

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Did you know the body needs only a very small amount of sodium in the diet to function? According to the American Heart Association, that amount is less than 500 mg per day, which in cooking terms is about ¼ of a teaspoon. The reality, unfortunately, is that very few of us come close to keeping our sodium intake that low.   Most people consume a lot more—a whopping 3,400 milligrams per day on average.  What’s even scarier? 97% of Americans do not know, or seriously underestimate, their daily sodium intake. The newly released 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting our daily amount of sodium consumption to 2,300 mg or less per day.

The majority of sodium we consume in the diet is in the form of salt. Where is it hiding, you ask? Approximately 77% of sodium intake comes from restaurant meals, processed foods and prepackaged foods.  To illustrate, fresh broccoli contains a mere 27 mg of sodium. However, if it’s processed into canned cream of broccoli soup, it shifts from 27 mg to 770 mg of sodium!

Which foods are the top sources of sodium? The list includes:

  1. Breads
  2. Lunch Meats
  3. Pizza
  4. Soups
  5. Sandwiches, including burgers
  6. Cheese

Here are five tips to help you limit your sodium intake:

*Read labels and make yourself aware of serving sizes. This can be a real eye opener when looking at the sodium content in many products sold at the grocery stores.  Foods that contain 20% or more of the % Daily Value for sodium are considered high in sodium; 5% or less is considered low.

*At a restaurant, ask the chef or cook to prepare your food without salt.

*When shopping, choose fresh and/or less processed vegetables. If purchasing frozen, try to avoid added salts and sauces.

* Don’t put the salt shaker on the table. Even though salting at the table only accounts for about 6% of our total salt intake, every little bit helps.

* Use herbs and spices to flavor food instead of cooking with salt.

 

Sources: The American Heart Association  http://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/

 

Written by: Susan Zie, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension – Wood County, zies.1@osu.edu

 

Reviewed by: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extesnion- Erie County, Green.308.osu.edu

 

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Join the American Diabetes Association® to put good food and good health on the table during American Diabetes Month® this November. Whether you are one of the nearly 30 million Americans living with diabetes or the 86 million Americans with prediabetes, or you simply want to live a healthier lifestyle, the Eat Well, America!sm campaign will show you how easy and joyful healthy eating can be for everyone in our Ohio State community!

Looking to prepare a healthy Thanksgiving Day meal? They have seasonal recipes and tips to ensure you don’t miss out on the autumn and holiday flavors you love. Also, view the American Diabetes month newsletter for facts and figures on diabetes in the United States.

 Interested in learning how make healthy choices when eating out and grocery shopping? Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educators/Program and Field Specialist designed an online course with your needs in mind. “Dining with Diabetes: Beyond The Kitchen” is a dynamic, free online course that provides three modules that you can work on at your own pace. The first module addresses carbohydrates and diabetes. The second covers fats and sodium, and the third explains the role of vitamins, minerals and fiber. In this online educational program you can share ideas and experiences with your classmates, chat with a health professional, and learn about new technology including websites and mobile apps.

Why not sign up today and learn how to make healthy choices for yourself and family members!

For more information or to enroll please contact Dr. Dan Remley at remley.4@osu.edu

Written by: Susan Zies, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Wood County, Erie Basin EERA,  zies.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Dan Remley, MSPH, PhD, Assistant Professor, Field Specialist, Food Nutrtition and Wellness,   remley.4@osu.edu

Sources:

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/landing-pages/adm/cooking.html

http://main.diabetes.org/dorg/adm/adm-2015-fact-sheet.pdf

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Most Americans need to lower their sodium intake. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day; however, the current national average daily intake far exceeds the recommendation. The national average intake is about 3,400mg sodium per day. So, where is the salt intake coming from?  Processed foods contain the majority (77%) of the salt we consume. This chart breaks down the different food categories, showing a clearer picture of where the majority of Americans are getting their sodium from on a daily basis. It is surprising how much sodium we get from yeast breads, which is something that many people would not think about when asked to name a high sodium food.

sodium graph

Fast food items are frequently high in sodium. It is reported that only 6% of the sodium that Americans consume comes from salt added at the table and 5% is added during cooking time.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a large amount of the sodium Americans get in the diet comes from only 10 types of foods. These 10 foods are

  1. Breads & rolls
  2. Cold cuts and cured meats
  3. Pizza
  4. Fresh and processed chicken and turkey
  5. Soups
  6. Sandwiches
  7. Cheese
  8. Pasta dishes with sauce
  9. Mixed meat dishes, such as meat loaf with sauce
  10. Snacks such as chips, pretzels and popcorn

When we look at this list of the 10 types of foods, it is evident that many of the items are heavily processed.

Here are 4 tips to help you cut out sodium:

  1. Make more meals from scratch.  One of the best things one can do to cut back on sodium is to prepare more meals from scratch, vs. relying on prepackaged processed foods.
  2. Use herbs and spices for added flavor instead of salt.
  3. Eat more fresh veggies.  If fresh vegetables are not in season or if the price is too high, canned varieties are a good substitute; but be careful on sodium intake.  Rinse canned vegetables thoroughly before cooking or consuming. This will cut the sodium, and they will still have a good taste.
  4. Stay hydrated every day. By drinking proper amounts of fluid, sodium can be flushed out of the body, as long as the kidneys are working properly.

If you would like to read more about strategies for eating less sodium, I would highly recommend American Heart Association’s new book, Eat Less Salt.  Check out the link for this book: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/General/American-Heart-Association-Eat-Less-Salt-Sample-Recipes_UCM_452096_Article.jsp#

Written by:  Susan Zies, Extension Educator, FCS, Wood County, Erie Basin EERA

Reviewed by:  Cheryl Barber Spires, RD LD, Program Specialist, SNAP-Ed, West Region

Source:

“Sodium, Salt and Our Food Supply.” Eat Less Salt: An Easy Action Plan for Finding and Reducing the Sodium Hidden in Your Diet with 60 Heart-healthy Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2013. N. pag. Print

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Increases in blood pressure increases your risk for heart disease. People from very young to seniors can take steps each day to keep blood pressure levels normal.

  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating healthfully can help keep your blood pressure down.  Eat many  fresh fruits and vegetables of varying colors which provide nutrients such as potassium and fiber. Also, eat foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  Avoid sodium by limiting the amount of salt you add to your food. Be aware that many processed foods and fast foods are high in sodium.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can raise your blood pressure. Losing weight can help you lower your blood pressure!
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help lower blood pressure. The Surgeon General recommends that adults should engage in moderate physical activities for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Move more!
  • Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body. High levels in the blood can lead to heart disease and stroke.
  • Saturated fats come largely from animal fat in the diet, but also from some vegetable oils such as palm oil.  Studies1 have shown that people who eat a healthy diet can lower their blood pressure. For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, see CDC’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Program Web site

Sources:

  • NIH: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)
  • NIH:, MD: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2003. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure

Author: Marie Economos, Ohio State University Extension Educator,  Family and Consumer Sciences.

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The recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend that everyone, young or old, reduce sodium consumption.  Although we need some sodium in our diet, almost everyone is consuming too much.  Research has shown that the higher our sodium consumption the higher our blood pressure.  Research also indicates that if we reduce our sodium intake the blood pressure level also decreases.   By keeping your blood pressure in the normal range you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease.

To reduce your sodium intake you will need to use the Nutrition Facts label on foods and check the sodium content.   Try to buy foods with sodium at 5% or less.   If buying canned foods look for labels with “reduced sodium,” “low sodium” or “no salt added.”  Check different brands as sodium levels can vary greatly.  Rinsing your canned foods will also help remove some sodium.  Most frozen entrées and cured meats also are high in sodium.  However, just eating foods with moderate levels of sodium many times a day can quickly cause your sodium levels to be higher than you thought.   Be cautious about yeast breads, chicken and chicken mixed dishes, pizza, and pasta and pasta dishes.

Don’t add salt (sodium) when cooking or eating.  Try adding spices and herbs instead.  Take the salt shaker off the table.  Try preparing more foods at home from fresh ingredients.  When eating out ask the restaurant not to add salt to your food.

Eating more potassium rich foods can also help lower blood pressure, and reduce your risk of developing kidney stones and decreased bone loss.   Vegetables, fruits, beans, milk and milk products are good sources of potassium.

Reference:  http://www.dietaryguidleines.gov

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