Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Hold the Salt!

February is Heart Month and its only fitting to talk about sodium and how decreasing your sodium helps improve blood pressure and heart disease.

On average, Canadians consume approximately 3400 mg of sodium per day.
½ tsp of salt =1,150 mg

Where does it all come from?

- 77 % of sodium intake comes from processed packaged foods.
- 11% comes from salt added at the table and during cooking.  

How much sodium should we have?

- Hypertension Canada and the World Health Organization recommend reducing your intake of sodium down to 2000 mg/day.

How to do it?

- Prepare more food at home and limit eating out or away from the home.
- Eat less processed or packaged foods.
- Use spices for flavourings instead of salt (vinegar, pepper, lemon, herbs, Mrs Dash TM).
- Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
- Limit snack foods.
- Limit condiments and sauces.
- Choose smaller portion sizes of the foods that are higher in sodium.

What about sea salt, Himalayan or pink salt?

- Gourmet salts are made of 100% sodium chloride, therefore just like regular table salt they have the same negative effect on blood pressure and health.

How do I know if a product is low in sodium?

- Label reading is a great way to help to monitor your salt.
- Look at the ingredient list: if any words such as Salt, Sodium and Soda are listed within the first 3 ingredients or listed more than 3 times on the ingredient list, you probably want to choose another product!
- Look for labels such as “sodium free” or “low sodium”.
- Choose foods that are 5% or less using the Daily Value on the food label. Click here to learn how to read the food label for sodium using Health Canada’s 5-15%.


What about Salt Substitutes?

- Talk to your health care professionals or pharmacist about whether a salt substitute is right for you.

For more information on Sodium and other tips for Heart Month, check out:

Sodium 101
Free Sodium App: Sodium 101: Salt is Everywhere - iTunes
Hypertension of Canada
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Heart Healthy Education Class at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network – call 780-986-6624 to register.

Andrea Shackel is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Play Exchange winner is announced

Congratulations Trottibus!

The Edmonton and area Primary Care Networks, surrounding municipalities, the City of Edmonton, the YMCA and Alberta Health Services are proud partners in a ground-breaking collaborative initiative in the Edmonton area known as “Prescription To Get Active”.  This program brings primary care providers and local wellness organizations together to increase the physical activity levels in our population using a “prescription” for physical activity.
We received great news this fall that “Prescription To Get Active” was one of six finalists across Canada for the Play Exchange grant!  The Play Exchange is a national challenge to find and support schools, students, families, not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, and businesses that are promoting active living across Canada. Prescription To Get Active was chosen as one of the top six entries out of over 400 submissions - and now we are looking to our partners for help!
All six finalists were featured on a television special for the Play Exchange on CBC on Friday, January 9thClick here to watch the show online. During the week that followed, Canadians selected the winning idea by voting online. Trottibus will receive an investment of up to $1-million from the Government of Canada.
To read the official news release and to find out more about Trottibus, please click here.

Thank you for your support!