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Friday, May 20, 2011

Smarty Pants

Healthy eating is a big topic these days.  It's all over the TV, magazines, newspapers, internet.  So many people know what it takes to eat a healthy diet (even though most of us don't actually do it).  A recent survey conducted by the American Heart Association, though, shows that most Americans don't understand specifics.

For example, most Americans know that wine (especially red wine) is good for your heart.  According to the survey, however, most don't understand that limiting intake of wine (and any alcohol, for that matter) is critical to a healthy heart.  Men should limit their alcohol consumption to 8 ounces a day; women to 4 ounces.  Too much alcohol can lead to heart disease, obesity and high blood pressure among other things. 

How many of us got awfully happy when we heard that dark chooclate was good for our hearts?  Sorry, sitting with a bag of chocolates isn't going to help our tickers.  But it was worth the try, huh?  You know who you are.

The survey also looked at Americans' view of sodium in a heart-healthy diet.  Most respondants knew that limiting sodium is important for a healthy heart.  But 46% believed that table salt was the biggest culprit in America's high sodium intake.  In fact, 75% of sodium in this country is ingested through processed foods--frozen meals, canned soups, jarred pasta sauces, etc. 

If you really want to limit sodium, control your consumption of foods like those and be sure to read the nutrition labels.  The AHA says that you should have no more than 1500 miligrams of sodium each day.  The only way to know if you're doing that, is by knowing how much sodium is in the processed foods that you eat.

You can read more about the study in an article by Health Day. 

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