The Tightrope Balance
Pamela J. Speich, Ukrop’s Registered Dietitian, helps clients visualize someone walking on a tight rope, trying to balance sodium on one side and three other minerals on the other (postassium, magnesium and calcium).
She explains that while a diet high in sodium is the main culprit for causing high blood pressure, the three other minerals are important, too. A diet high in sodium can cause blood pressure to increase, while eating foods high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium can help decrease it. Keeping these minerals in balance is the key to lowering high blood pressure. The best way to achieve this balance is through diet. Here are her tips:
• Fruits and veggies contain potassium and magnesium, so increase your intake of these to at least 5-9 servings a day.
• Lowfat dairy products contain calcium. Aim to get 3 servings of these daily.
• Sodium is found in canned goods like soups and vegetables, many convenience-type foods, such as chips, pretzels and frozen foods, add salt. Try to keep your sodium intake to less than 2,400 mg a day by eating fewer processed foods and more plain foods, seasoning with herbs and spices instead of salt and buying low-sodium canned soups and vegetables.
And she always gets the supplement question, “What if I don’t like fruits and vegetables … can I take supplements to lower my blood pressure?” Her answer: “No – the research shows the improvement comes by changing your diet. Always consult your physician before starting any supplement.”
Theresa Kremer, RD, Wellness Program, University of Kentucky, holds an event called “A Holiday for Health&Humor, Kentucky Style” complete with a 5K in May. This event celebrates the health and rich culture of their bluegrass state. The day’s events include a 5K race/fitness walk and a wellness fair with blood pressure measurement and chair massages. FMI visit their Web site, which features other events (www.uky.edu/HR/wellness/).
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.