Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Want To Eat For Your Heart? Avoid These 4 Foods

Want To Eat For Your Heart? Avoid These 4 Foods


If your dentist, your diet coach, and your personal trainer haven't already told you to stop drinking soda, then your financial advisor might be next on the list. Your soda habit is not only adding inches to your waistline, but it's expensive as well. For the sake of your health and for the sake of your wallet, now might be a good time to stop drinking soda.

Past tips have discussed the best foods for your heart. Today, we cover some foods and ingredients that are not so heart-healthy. Minimize these inflammatory aggravators in your diet to help promote optimal cardiovascular functioning.

  1. Trans-fats. Found in most margarines, snack foods, processed foods and some cooking oils, these fats (often listed on food labels as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil) can reduce HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Also, avoid heated polyunsaturated fats, such as vegetable or soybean oil used for deep-frying. These fats are oxidized or damaged, therefore regular consumption is likely to have a variety of negative health effects.
  2. Animal protein. Excessive animal protein has been shown to raise levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that in high concentrations may contribute to heart disease. Instead of animal protein, try whole soy protein – aim for two servings of whole organic soy, such as tofu or edamame, per day. You should track your homocysteine levels and if elevated, consider B-vitamin supplementation.
  3. Refined carbohydrates. Cookies, cakes, crackers, soft breads, chips and sodas can increase triglyceride levels and lower HDL.
  4. Sodium. Excessive sodium has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. The main sources of sodium intake are breads, processed and canned foods, along with restaurant fare. Adding a dash of salt to your homemade meals is negligible in comparison and may help provide enhanced flavor to keep you eating more at home.


Contact us with help determining the right path for you to take.

Health Wellness Associates

Foods, Uncategorized

Avocado Chicken Salad




Avocado Chicken Salad


Most store bought and deli chicken salad is made with a ton of high-calorie mayonnaise, dark and white meat chicken, and is slapped on some form of white bread. It might have a tiny piece of wilted lettuce to make you feel good. While you may think you’re making a healthy choice, in reality, that chicken salad sandwich is probably loaded with fat, sodium, and calories.


Make a better-for-you version with wholesome ingredients like white meat chicken breast, avocado, Greek yogurt, and plenty of veggies for a flavorful, creamy meal. It’s also loaded with protein from the chicken and yogurt and has satisfying healthy fats and fiber thanks to the avocado. It also has much less sodium and saturated fat than traditional chicken salad, making it a smart choice for lunch.



1 large chicken breast (about 2 cups shredded)

garlic powder, to taste

freshly cracked black pepper

1 small avocado, mashed

2 tablespoon plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

freshly cracked pepper

1/2 cup diced onion, any kind

1/2 cup diced celery (about 1 rib)


Heat oven to 350F.  Season chicken breast with garlic powder and pepper. Place in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 165F. Remove chicken and let cool before shredding.

In a large bowl, smash avocado. Stir in yogurt, lime juice, garlic powder and pepper. Stir in chicken, onion and celery. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Dress up your avocado chicken salad with cilantro, cumin, and diced jalapeno for a Southwest flavor.


For a dairy-free version, omit the yogurt and swap in more avocado (about the equal amount).


Cooking and Serving Tips

Save a step (and time) by making this recipe with leftover cooked chicken. You can make this recipe to have on hand for lunches all week long. It tastes great rolled in a whole wheat tortilla, on a sliced of toasted whole wheat bread, or on top of a fresh green salad.

Call us with all your food concerns, for your condition

Health and Wellness Associates


DR G Carney




Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Banning the Salt Shaker Has Little Effect on Your Heart Health


Banning the Salt Shaker Has Little Effect on Heart Health


If you think tossing out the salt shaker can help you cut down on sodium and boost your heart health, think again. Most of the salt that Americans consume comes from processed foods and restaurant meals — and is not added at the table or in home-cooked dishes, a new study finds.

The findings, published online in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, indicate only 10 percent of salt in the diets of 450 Americans came from food prepared at home. About half of that was added at the table.


But restaurant meals and processed foods — such as crackers, breads, and soups — accounted for nearly three-quarters of the participants’ salt intake


“Telling patients to lay off the salt shaker isn’t enough,” says Dr. Lisa J. Harnack, lead author of the study and a professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.


“Rather, commercially processed and restaurant foods should be the primary focus when educating patients on strategies for lowering sodium in the diet. Food manufacturers and restaurants should be encouraged to lower the sodium content in their food products to support Americans in consuming a diet consistent with sodium intake recommendations.”


The average American adult consumes far more sodium each day than the recommended maximum of 2,300 milligrams, researchers say. Sodium is an important contributor to high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke.


To get a clear picture of Americans’ swooning love affair with salt, Harnack’s team recruited 150 participants ages 18-74 in each of these three cities:


Birmingham, Ala.

Minneapolis, Minn.

Palo Alto, Calif.

Half the participants were male, and half were female. Equal percentages of the participants were:


Non-Hispanic white




Participants visited a clinic once at the beginning of the study and then kept records of daily food intake for four days, which they reported to researchers in four telephone interviews. They also provided samples of salt to replicate the amount they added to food at home.



Across age groups, the researchers found similar intakes of dietary sodium: an average of 3,501 mg per day (higher than recommended daily maximum of 2,300 mg — about a teaspoonful — for healthy adults). This average even more dramatically exceeds the 1,500 mg daily limit recommended for 70 percent of American adults based on their age, race or ethnicity, or existing high blood pressure.


In addition to restaurants and processed foods found in stores, the researchers found that the most common sources of dietary sodium were:


Sodium naturally found in food (14.2 percent)

Sodium added in home food preparation 5.6 percent)

Sodium added to food at the table (4.9 percent)

Sodium in home tap water, dietary supplements, and antacids accounted for less than 0.5 percent of total intake

Sodium can be difficult to avoid, especially when people eat a lot of processed food from grocery stores or restaurants. To address this serious health threat, the Institute of Medicine recommends gradually decreasing sodium levels in commercially processed foods.

According to the American Heart Association, restaurant and prepackaged food companies must be a part of the solution to reduce sodium and give Americans the healthy options they need and deserve. The AHA encourages packaged food companies and restaurants to reduce the sodium in their products to help make meaningful impact on the health of all Americans. The association has developed a sodium reduction campaign to help.


But there’s much consumers can do for themselves, Harnack says.


“If you’re aiming to limit your sodium intake to the recommended level of less than 2,300 milligrams per day, you’ll need to choose foods wisely when grocery shopping and dining out,” she notes.


“For packaged foods, the nutrition fact panel may be useful in identifying lower sodium products, and for menu items diners can request sodium content information. Also, if you frequently add salt to food at the table or in home food preparation, consider using less.”


A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that more than 89 percent of adults and 90 percent of children exceed the recommended limits for sodium, not including salt added to food at the table.


This includes more than 75 percent of these at-risk populations:


Adults over age 50


People diagnosed with either hypertension or pre-hypertension

The authors observed excessive sodium intake in all demographic groups. But they found that such intake was more common in men than in women (98 percent versus 80 percent), and in white adults than in black adults (90 percent versus 85 percent).


They also found that Americans ages 19-50 had the highest sodium consumption as well as the highest calorie consumption.


For More information on salt intake, sodium levels, and supplements needed to reduce salt, call us and make an appointment for your personal health care plan.


Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

Dr J Jaranson


Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Sodium: Myths and Facts


Know Your Sodium Myths & Facts


Did you know that 30% of Americans are currently living with the silent disease high blood pressure? In fact, half of those with high blood pressure do not have it under control and 30% of people with it do not even know they have it! Even if you do not have high blood pressure, most people are consuming way too much sodium. While it may not present itself as a problem today, too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and kidney disease, and once you have high blood pressure, you are at increased risk of heart failure, stroke, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Get your facts straight about sodium so that you make sure you are on the right path to a healthy life!

Myth: You can tell what foods are high in sodium because they taste salty.

Many times, when I am conducting a taste test, people think that their sugary cereal has minimal sodium. When comparing products, most people get it wrong. The same can be said about the amounts of added sugar. You cannot always taste the sodium found in products.

Did you know that sodium is commonly used as a preservative? Sodium helps preserve foods because it can kill off many harmful bacteria. When a food item is concentrated with sodium, certain bacteria are unable to thrive, allowing perishable foods to last longer (as long as they are refrigerated).

Sodium also allows the taste and quality to last longer, improving a product’s overall shelf-life. Check out the packaging of any processed foods, such as cereals, crackers, breads, or chips. Many people are surprised when they read the labels. Your sugary cereals are likely loaded with sodium. If you are reading the nutrition facts table, make sure that your total snack has less than 200 milligrams (mg) of sodium and that your total meal has less than 400 mg to 500 mg of sodium.

The worst types of foods include processed foods, such as pizzas, deli meats, soups, sauces, and cheese.


Fact: Most of the foods we eat contain too much sodium.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that thrives on convenient and quick meals and snacks. That means higher consumption of processed foods and lower consumption of homemade meals.

Ready-to-eat meals and snacks are loaded with ridiculous amounts of sodium. A single meal may even contain more than your recommended daily intake (RDI). Not only is sodium used for flavoring, but it is also used as a preservative. Unfortunately, this is the reason why people’s sodium intakes are through the roof, resulting in high blood pressure and increased risk of heart disease.

Your best bet is to consume whole foods and to be in control of your food preparation. Cooking can be quick, easy, fun, and tasty, but most importantly, it is almost always more healthful. You are in control of what goes into your dishes.

Myth: Food does not taste good without salt.

You would be surprised by the many ways in which you can add flavor to your dishes without reaching for that salt shaker. The vast variety of herbs and spices make your choices limitless. If you want something sweeter, consider using cinnamon or vanilla, and for spiciness, use chili powder or cayenne pepper. Try pepper or garlic instead of salt; just be careful to refrain from garlic salts, as these are just as high in sodium as regular salt.

Herbs also add a nice array of flavors and can give your dishes a potent kick by using a small number of dry ones or by using freshly chopped herbs. Do not be afraid to experiment. You will be pleasantly surprised as to how these flavors can make your mouth water.

You have heard me preach about TUMERIC.




Fact: Eating too much sodium can be harmful to your health.

About 20% of adults have high blood pressure and almost 30% of those cases are as a result of too much sodium! People are consuming more than 3,400 mg of sodium daily. The recommended intake for sodium is about 1,500 mg with a maximum amount of no more than 2,300 mg daily. That means that most people are consuming more than 1,000 mg above the maximum recommended levels.

Consuming such high levels of sodium can lead to several health complications, such as high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Additionally, it can be detrimental to your kidneys—especially for people with diabetes.


Myth: I don’t have high blood pressure, so I don’t need to watch my salt intake.

You always need to be ahead of the game when it comes to your health. It is important to make sure that you have a healthful, balanced diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy in order to prevent many debilitating diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. It is just as important to watch your salt intake to prevent high blood pressure and any health ailments that may come your way as a result of not taking preventative care of yourself.

It is easy to not have to worry about things while you are healthy, but that is the most important time to stay on top of it all. You want to maintain that health; therefore, you want to ensure that you watch your eating habits and participate in regular physical activity in order to prevent your health from deteriorating.

Fact: Kosher salt, sea salt, gourmet salt and smoked salt all have about the same amount of sodium as table salt.

Many people seem to think that one kind of salt is healthier than the other. To be honest, it is all about your own taste preferences. They all contain similar amounts of sodium, provide the same nutrients, perform the same functions, and can have the same effects on your health. Do not let anyone try to convince you otherwise.


Iodized salt is a must to have.  It is the only food that is iodized and this is important for normal thyroid function!


Health and Wellness Associates


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5 Foods that have more sodium than chips


5 foods that have more sodium than chips

Your body needs sodium—but there’s no denying that most of

us are getting way too much of it. According to recent stats from the American

Heart Association, the average daily sodium intake in this country is 3,600

milligrams—more than double the Association’s recommendation of 1,500

milligrams max. But avoiding clear offenders like salted nuts and potato chips

may not be enough to bring you down into the recommended range since there are

so many sneaky salt bombs out there. Just look at these seemingly healthful

foods—they all contain more than 255 milligrams of sodium, which is the amount

you’ll find in a 1 ½-ounce bag of Lays Classic Potato Chips.  Remember all

products are commercially prepared and do not confused sodium with salt.

1/2 Cup Nonfat Cottage Cheese

This packs a surprising 270 milligrams of sodium—and if you’re not careful,

it’s easy to eat more than ½ cup and really overdo it with the salty


A 6 1/2″ Whole-Wheat Pita 

Pitas come with a health halo—especially when they’re whole-wheat—and they can

be a good source of fiber. But they also come with a heavy dose of sodium: 284

milligrams in just one pocket.

2 Tbsp Reduced-Fat Italian Salad Dressing

Yup, you can take in more sodium in 2 Tbsp of your salad topper than in an

entire bag of chips: This variety is loaded with 260 mg per serving—although

plenty of other types of salad dressing pack just as much.

Veggie Burger

While the exact stats will of course vary from brand to

brand, the USDA says that one store-bought veggie burger patty tends to come in

around 398 milligrams of sodium—and that’s before you even consider all of the

salt in the bun (many types of bread are just as salty as pitas, if not more


1/2 Cup Canned Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce has its virtues—it contains lycopene, for example, a carotenoid

that research has linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and certain types

of cancer. But you have to eat it in moderation since each ½-cup serving packs

a shocking 642 milligrams of sodium.