My goodness, time is flying this New Year! If you’re like me, you’ve already got a full list of tasks and chores to take on at home, as well as a full work schedule. Isn’t it good to know that our friendly staff at Pathfinder Produce is here to help with all our fresh veggie and fruit needs?
Plan to stop by our delicious market at the Pathfinder Village Commons this Thursday, January 23, from noon to 5 p.m. to check out all the great buys. Our staff is starting a new discount table too, for those “ugly fruits and veggies” that our Quality Control Expert deems “not quite ready for prime time.”
Recently, I’ve been looking more closely at my food labels while shopping and I’ve been astonished by the levels of salt that are in processed and prepared foods. I mean, I knew that the salt was in there but I really had no idea how much.
For instance, one brand of oat breakfast cereal that I’ve purchased – because I thought its organic ingredients were healthy – has 240 mg salt per each serving. That amounts to 10% of one’s daily recommended salt intake. I’ve found another brand with healthy ingredients which is less salty – 150 mg or 7%. It’s not perfect but it’s a start.
Jars of pasta sauce are also salty (and sneaky); one brand that we’ve come to like has a whopping 500 mg of salt or 22% of one’s RDA. I think I’ll try to use canned tomato puree and paste (low salt versions) and my own spices for our next spaghetti dinner. It may take a few extra steps, but it should help bring our salt levels down.
So why am I so concerned about salt? Sodium chloride is tied to having higher blood pressure, and it’s always a good idea to reduce one’s BP as one can. American Heart Association guidelines recommend having your pressure checked regularly; a rate of more than 90 over 60 (90/60) and less than 120 over 80 is ideal. A reading of 140 over 90 (140/90) or higher (taken consistently over a number of weeks) is considered too high. Hypertension can lead to stroke, heart disease, renal failure, and vision loss.
(Not Fun Fact: 1 of every 3 American adults --75 million-- has high blood pressure. In 2011, total costs for hypertension-related issues amounted to $46 billion in health care services, medications, and missed days of work).
There are ways to lower your blood pressure in addition to diet, of course. My online research shows that Transcendental Meditation is a good practice to get control of your stress and lower blood pressure. Regular exercise and habits like yoga are also good; watching one’s weight, eating right, and avoiding alcohol can also be helpful.
So until next time, watch the salt, get into some healthy habits, and be well!