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Yes, May is Stroke Awareness Month, and not smoking, maintaining a lean weight, leading an active life and choosing a more plant-based diet will reduce your risk for strokes. But a study reported in the professional journal Stroke reminds us of the importance of keeping sodium intake down.
The Northern Manhattan Project examined the diets of >2600 participants for more than 10 years. And ta-da…
the higher the sodium intake, the greater the risk for having a stroke.
More study results:
Those study participants who had the highest sodium intake …
Bottom line: Cut your sodium intake to keep your blood pressure in good control and reduce your risk for having a stroke!
Kitchen tips to reduce sodium:
Sugar… hmm, we all would probably say that we like sugar and sugar-containing foods. But USDA research of dietary habits of Americans indicates that added sugar intake is on the rise. It is estimated that 15% of calories come from added sugar – or about 21 teaspoons ( 360 calories/day). The primary source of added sugar is sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages and energy or sorts drinks.
High added sugar intake may be associated with:
Nutrition label and ingredient lookout:
The new 2010 American Heart Association Added Sugar Guidelines:
It will be pretty much impossible to completely eliminate added sugars – you will have to be very vigilant with looking at the nutrition and ingredients labels on food products.
Check out the sugar content – it will be listed in grams. Try to keep foods to 5 grams of added sugar or less per serving. For example, a serving of Raisin Bran has 17 grams of sugar but a serving of Cheerios has only 1 grams of sugar. What a difference!!
Do not worry about the natural sugars in fruits, milk, plain yogurt and certain vegetables (carrots and beets). These are very healthy foods that contain loads of good nutrition.