JRMCU: Direct Access Testing

jrmcu4x4_DAT_ColorJoin Jamestown Regional Medical Center (JRMC) on Wednesday, June 19 at 12:00 p.m. for a free educational forum on Direct Access Testing in the Laboratory. This forum is part of the “JRMC U” education series and will be hosted by Mary Bowder, JRMC laboratory manager.

Direct Access Testing provides lab testing at the convenience of the patient. Patients can order certain laboratory tests (mostly screening type tests) without the order of a physician. Lean more at the free monthly educational seminar about this new service at JRMC.

A free, light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to 701-952-4796 as space is limited.

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New Year New You: Limit your sodium intake to keep a healthy heart

About 90 percent of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended for a healthy diet. Too much sodium increases a person’s risk for high blood pressure, which often leads to heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association has recently lowered its recommendation to 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily for the general public. Americans eat on average about 3,300 mg of sodium a day.

Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and foods prepared in restaurants. Sodium is involved in the preservation of foods and cannot be removed. However, manufacturers and restaurants can produce foods with less sodium. At a restaurant or grocery store, select lower-sodium foods when possible. You can also cook more foods yourself to better control how much sodium you eat.

More than 40 percent of sodium comes from the following 10 types of foods:

  • breads and rolls
  • cold cuts and cured meats
  • pizza
  • poultry
  • soups
  • sandwiches
  • cheese
  • pasta dishes
  • meat dishes
  • snacks

 

Ideas to reduce salt intake

  1. Eat more fresh foods and fewer processed or packaged items. Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium.
  2. Choose fresh and frozen poultry or meat that hasn’t been injected with a sodium-containing solution. Fresh meat is lower in sodium than more processed meat choices.
  3. If you do choose to buy processed foods, look for those labeled “low sodium.”
  4. Remove salt from recipes whenever possible. You are able to remove salt in casseroles, stews and other main dishes.
  5. Remove the salt shaker from the table and taste your foods before adding additional seasonings
  6. Limit the use of condiments such as soy sauce, salad dressings, sauces, dips, ketchup, mustard and relish.
  7. Use alternative flavorings to enhance foods. Try using fresh herbs, spices, zest from citrus fruits, or fruit juices to jazz up your meals.
  8. When dining out share entrees, order small portions, and ask for your meal to be prepared without salt. Ask for no sauce or have it on the side and use it sparingly.

Use the nutrition label to help make low sodium purchases:
Sodium Free: each serving contains 5 mg (milligrams) of sodium or less.
Very low sodium: each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
Low sodium: each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.
Reduced or less sodium: each serving contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the original version.
Light in sodium: each serving contains at least 50 percent less sodium than the original version.
Unsalted or no salt added: no salt has been added during processing.

Work on decreasing your salt intake slowly. Your taste buds will gradually adjust and you will begin to enjoy the true flavor of food while you reap the benefits of eating healthy for your heart.

New Year, New You: High-fiber choices improve meals

Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body is not able to digest or absorb. Following a high-fiber diet has many health benefits that may include:

  • Softening and normalizing bowel movements by increasing stool weight and size.
  • Helping to maintain bowel health by preventing pockets from forming in the colon (diverticular disease).
  • Aiding in weight loss. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you are no longer hungry; therefore you are less likely to overeat.
  • Helping to control blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

Current fiber recommendations for adults are as follows:

  • Men age 18-50 should get 38 grams of fiber daily.
  • Men age 51 and above should get 30 grams of fiber daily.
  • Women age 18-50 should get 25 grams of fiber daily.
  • Women age 51 and above should get 21 grams of fiber daily

Fiber is commonly classified into two categories: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber has the ability to dissolve in water to form a gel-like material. Insoluble fiber is the type of fiber that does not dissolve in water.

Foods high in fiber include: fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds. Foods labeled “high in fiber” must contain at least five grams of fiber per serving. Cooked vegetables change in texture, but do not lose their fiber content. Eating a diet high in fiber can help with the sense of fullness for a longer period of time, potentially leading to a decreased overall intake of total calories throughout the day.

Increase your fiber intake with these tips:

  • Add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your food.
  • Eat whole grain breads and cereals. Look for choices with 100% whole wheat, rye, oats or bran as the first or second ingredient.
  • Try brown rice, wild rice, barley and whole wheat pasta instead of the white alternatives.
  • When baking, replace half of the white flour with whole wheat flour.
  • Add fresh or frozen vegetables, beans, peas and lentils to soups, sauces, casseroles or salads.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables with peels and skins on since a majority of the fiber is located in the skin.
  • Choose fresh fruits and vegetables instead of juices.
  • Snack on dried fruit, raw vegetables, low-fat popcorn or whole grain crackers.

Be sure to gradually add high-fiber foods to your diet over a period of a few weeks.

Adding too much fiber too quickly may lead to intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping.

Drink plenty of fluids. Set a goal of at least eight cups per day. You may need even more with higher amounts of fiber. Fluid helps your body process fiber without discomfort.

Make the most of every meal by adding more high-fiber foods. Your health, waistline and digestive tract will be thankful you did!

Stay Hydrated, Stay Healthy

New Year New You 2013
Stay Hydrated, Stay healthy
By Joan Enderle, American Heart Association

The human body is made up of about 10 to 12 gallons, so replenishing your body’s water supply is crucial for proper function and health.

Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles remove waste so that they can work efficiently. If you are well hydrated, your heart does not have to work as hard and helps your body regulate temperature. Adequate hydration can help you feel more energetic and help your skin look better.

Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

Water is best
For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. There are no calories in water. Additional sources of water also include foods, such as fruits and vegetables which contain a high percentage of water.

Sports drinks with electrolytes may be useful for people doing high intensity, vigorous exercise in very hot weather, though they tend to be high in calories. It may be healthier to drink water while you are exercising, and then when you are done, eat a healthy snack like orange slices, a banana or a small handful of unsalted nuts.

Other beverages such as sugary drinks, soda, coffee drinks and juices contain water but also may have a large number of calories, contributing to weight gain.

Young woman drinking water at workout, outdoorsHow much water do you need?
The amount of water a person needs depends on a number of factors: climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration. A person who perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also mean you need to drink more to avoid over-taxing the heart or other organs. Some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid.
Thirst isn’t the best indicator of hydration status. If you get thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. The easiest thing to do is pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.

A safe bet is to drink at least eight cups of water each day to make sure you are properly hydrated. The Dietary Reference Intakes from the Institute of Medicine recommends a total daily beverage intake of 13 cups for men and 9 cups for women.
If you want to know exactly how much fluid you need during exercise, experts recommends weighting yourself before and after exercise, to see how much you’ve lost through perspiration. A rule of thumb is every pound of sweat you lose, that’s a pint of water you’ll need to replenish.
Not sweating during vigorous physical activity can be a red flag that you’re dehydrated to the point of developing heat exhaustion.

Getting enough fluids during the winter is just as important as when temperatures are high. When you’re exposed to extreme temperatures – whether it’s very hot or very cold – your body uses more water to maintain is normal temperature. Also, in the winter you’re exposed to heated air, which evaporates water from your skin.

Physical Activity vs. Exercise

“I don’t understand. I am busy and active with tasks all day long, but I just can’t seem to lose any weight.”

A common misconception is that physical activity and exercise are one and the same. While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a very important difference in the purpose and outcomes.

Physical activity is defined as the process of exerting energy for a task. Exercise is physical activity that is planned, structured and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning the body. Exercise is prolonged physical activity that is of a higher duration than typical daily tasks.

Many of us get physical activity during working hours or at home with chores. During this time the heart rate is increased above the resting state, but only for a few minutes. We work hard for a short interval followed by rest, allowing the heart rate to lower again. Incorporating this type of physical activity into your day is encouraged and beneficial. However, when it comes to a goal of improving cardiovascular health or weight management, your body needs planned and structured exercise.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, adults are to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. An example of this would be to ride a bike for 30 minutes for days per week. It is also acceptable to accumulate this in short 10-minute bouts throughout the week. More exercise, 300 minutes per week, is recommended to improve health status or to reduce body weight.

Adults should also incorporate resistance training to improve muscular strength and endurance. Increased lean muscle tissue boosts the metabolism so that the body burns more calories even in the resting state. Strong muscles allow you to more easily complete regular daily activities, reduce fall risk and create an appearance of a toned body.

The annual New Year, New You community wellness challenge begins Monday. Get your co-workers, friends, or family together and form a team to compete within our community for a healthier lifestyle. The challenge is a great opportunity to start or support your current personal wellness plan through motivation, accountability, variety and education.

Registration information can be found at http://www.jrmcnd.com or call the Jamestown Regional Medical Center Wellness Center at 701-952-4891 for details.