A Hearty Solution

RBP9037046 Woman with Pear

Young children are consuming larger than healthful amounts of sodium according to current research presented via the American Heart Association.1 Nearly 75% of packaged meals and snacks designed for children ages 1 to 3 years are high in sodium; some meals contain 40% of a toddler’s daily limit for sodium! Although packaged and processed foods are notorious for high sodium content, these results are striking since large amounts of sodium early in life may increase preference for salty foods and excess salt consumption is directly linked to high blood pressure. Indeed, about one in three adults (31.9%) over the age of 20 has hypertension, or high blood pressure, which increases risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.2  

Although these data are alarming, there is a simple solution: Decrease processed food consumption by adding more fresh fruits and veggies every day. A diet high in fresh or plain, frozen fruits and vegetables protects the heart.3 Keep it simple! Make more fresh foods at home, starting with fruits and veggies as the foundation for every meal. Add or mix in fruits or veggies to foods your family already loves, such as sandwiches, cereals, and sauces. Need an even simpler solution? Add one piece of fruit as a snack each day and you’re one bite closer to heart health!

1    American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/127/12_MeetingAbstracts/AP253?sid=9a73903b-2517-4164-b859-ff621b4749cd
2    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010 data http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/hyprtens.htm
3    Circulation, American Heart Association http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/meeting_abstract/127/12_MeetingAbstracts/A001?sid=bbf3aeff-f191-4aa0-803a-ea58f2ff4bfd

About Amy Kweller MS, RD

As a Registered Dietitian, I have a professional relationship with pears. But as someone who loves great food, I also have a personal relationship with pears! So there is no better way to spend my time than blogging about this lovely fruit. I will blog about pears from farm to table; healthy living, cooking, and recipes; the therapeutic benefits of pears and a wholesome diet; and how pears can fit into your lifestyle. I have a background in clinical and community nutrition, and teaching others how to lead healthy, fulfilling lives is my goal and passion – so send me your questions. My hope is that everyone who visits this site will find something that lingers long after the browser closes, and I expect that will be a deeper love of pears!

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