One out of five people at risk of a heart attack don’t change their behaviors
Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

A study conducted on more than 45,000 people published this week in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that almost 20% of those with at least five out of nine modifiable risk factors for heart disease, didn’t think they needed to make any healthy lifestyle changes.

A summary of the study is at:

TheComplete journal article:

Use this news

First of all, let’s clear up what a risk factor is.  A risk factor is something that increases your chances, i.e. risk, of developing a disease. With all other things being equal, if you have heart disease risk factors, the chances of you developing heart disease or having a heart attack are greater than someone who doesn’t have them.

Heart disease risk factors are broken down into two categories, non-modifiable (not changeable) and modifiable (changeable).   The non-modifiable ones are those things we can’t do anything about – our age, genetics/family history, gender, race.

Modifiable risk factors we can do something about. They are the ones related to our lifestyles and the ones in the research above. There are nine modifiable or controllable risk factors that collectively account for more than 90% of heart attack risk.
They are:
·         smoking

·         high blood pressure

·         diabetes

·         abdominal obesity

·         high stress levels

·         less than five fruits and vegetables a day

·         more than four alcoholic drinks a week

·         physical inactivity

·         elevated lipoprotein levels

Making the lifestyle changes to address these risks can reduce your chances of a heart attack. It means taking responsibility for your health and doing all you can to prevent a heart attack in the first place rather than relying on a bypass or stent after the fact. It’s just like making sure you put gas in your car when it gets low. You don’t want to run out of gas and risk damaging the fuel pump. Yes, the fuel pump can be replaced, but at a cost much greater than simply filling up. 

Albeit, putting gas in your car is a whole lot easier than changing the way you live!  In fact, more than half of the study participants said lack of will power, work schedule, and family responsibilities stopped them from making the changes they knew they should make.

But, any step toward making those changes is better than no step at all. So, to reduce your heart attack risk:

-       Start with one behavior.

Trying to change everything at once is overwhelming and leads to nothing changing
Choose something small for starters – maybe just adding a salad to dinner every night, or walking for 10 minutes after lunch.

-       Be specific and realistic about what you want to accomplish.

I want to lose 20 pounds over the next 5 months (1-2 pounds a week) is specific and realistic.
I want to be a different size by the end of the week - is neither specific nor realistic.  

-       Do some research into the different options for changing the behavior.

If you want to quit smoking you can go cold turkey, use a nicotine patch, take medication and/or get hypnotized.  

Increasing physical activity doesn’t only mean joining a gym, you could walk more for starters.

-       Make preparations for your change.

If you’re going to increase fruit and vegetable intake, you need to buy fruits and vegetables.
If you’re going to try to reduce your stress, it might mean finding a yoga class that meets at a convenient time.

-       Write down one aim or goal for the first week

Make it something you can accomplish –

For example - My aim for this week is to:

o   not drink alcohol on Wednesday

o   have fruit during my coffee break

o   get my clothes ready the night before

-       Pick a change start date.

Once you have everything in place, decide on when you’re going to start the change.

-       Get others around you on board to help.

Don’t try to go it alone. You need all the help you can get from family and friends. Tell people you are quitting smoking, cutting back on drinking, walking more, etc.

-         Remember this is not a quick fix, it's a lifestyle change.

It took you a long time to develop the unhealthy behaviors, it will take time to change them. Keep in mind that change is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. This is not a race, it’s more like a stroll in the park.

For more information see:

Harvard Health Publications

American Psychological Association

Centers for Disease Control – Diabetes Lifestyle Change

Note:  Associates for Health Education and Behavior specializes in lifestyle behavior change for heart disease risk reduction. Working with each client as an ‘associate,’ together we develop a custom behavior change plan that reflects the unique life situation each person brings to the table.

FDA warning: Do not give kids codeine or tramadol for pain
Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

In a safety alert last week, the FDA announced a new warning against giving the opioid pain relievers codeine and tramadol to kids younger than 12 or those 12-18 who are obese or have sleep apnea because they can cause life-threatening breathing problems. Further, because these drugs cross into breastmilk, nursing mothers should also avoid taking them.

For the full FDA safety alert:

Use this news

In addition to codeine being prescribed alone, it is commonly found in combination with acetaminophen in a prescription for Tylenol # 3 and in prescription cough medications. Tramadol is in combination with acetaminophen in Ultracet and ConZip and alone as Ultram.

Parents should:

·         Reads the label on all medications to make sure they do not contain these opioids.

·         Ask the health care practitioner writing out the prescription or the pharmacist filling the prescription if the medication contains codeine or tramadol.

·         Discuss with the child’s health care practitioner alternative pain relief and cold and cough medication options that do not contain opioids.

 The FDA’s list of things to watch for in children taking these drugs includes:

·         slow or shallow breathing

·         difficulty or noisy breathing

·          confusion

·          more than usual sleepiness

For breastfeeding infants - trouble breastfeeding or limpness.

If any of these signs occur, stop the medication and take the child immediately to the emergency room or call 911.

For more information on:

Codiene -

Tramadol -

Need a reason to stop drinking diet soda?
New research finds an association between artificial sweeteners, stroke and dementia.

Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

Results of research published this week in the American Heart Association journal Stroke found that over a seven year period, people who drank one artificially sweetened beverage a day were almost 3 times (2.96 times to be exact) more likely to have a stroke caused by a blood clot than were people who didn’t drink artificially sweetened beverages. The same held true for dementia and Alzheimer ’s disease risk. Those who drank one artificially sweetened beverage a day had an almost 3 time greater risk of Alzheimer ’s disease and a two and a half times greater risk of dementia from all causes.

Article summary:

Article Abstract is at:

Complete article is available at:

Use this News

Although there have been many studies done over the years on the health effects of artificial sweeteners, the results have been inconsistent with some finding no health risks, and others finding there are health risks including: higher blood glucose levels, diabetes, obesity, fatty liver, changes in gut biome (bacteria) associated with diabetes and obesity, and now - increased risk of stroke and dementia.

Since there is on-going debate, it’s best to act prudently and try to eliminate artificial sweeteners if you can or at the very least, reduce the amount you use.

Possible substitutes for diet beverages and artificial sweeteners–

            Flavored seltzer
            Sparkling water
            Teas – iced or hot
                            Organic Rooibos
                             Wild Sweet Orange
                             Sweet and Spicy
                             Spiced orange
                             Raspberry Zinger
                             Ginger (from ginger root)

            To enhance your coffee try -
                             Almond milk
                             Coconut milk

  For more information see:

Harvard Health Publications
Artificial Sweeteners: Sugar free but at what cost?

National Institutes of Health
Taking a look at artificial sweeteners

American Heart Association
Artificial Sweeteners may increase blood sugar

Vacation time is near...
Don’t make bed bugs your souvenir!

Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

Research conducted at Purdue University and published in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that bed bugs are developing resistance to two insecticides commonly used today by pest control companies. Using bed bug samples from 10 states including New Jersey, they found that 25% of the bugs were still alive seven days after exposure to the chemicals.  This is in addition to the significant resistance bed bugs have to previously used chemicals.

Use this news

While bed bugs don’t cause or carry disease causing bacteria like ticks do, they are still parasites that feed on blood – your blood!  Bed bug bites do cause redness, itching and in some people, serious allergic reactions.

A little bed bug history for those ‘itching’ to know – around the middle of the 1940’s, bed bugs were pretty much eliminated with the use of DDT and Malathion. But, in the late 1990’s they started to reappear, in hotels world-wide. Increased traveling, bug resistance to the chemicals used to control them and changes in hotel pest control practices, allowed bed bugs to make a roaring come back.  

Here’s the thing about these little critters – they are stealth hitchhikers!  We pick them up in hotel rooms and bring them home without knowing it. That’s because they hide during the day and come out at night to feed – on us- while we’re asleep.

According to the University of Kentucky Entomology Extension, here’s where they hide during the day:

Seams, folds and crevices of mattresses, box springs

Box springs give them many places to hide, especially along the upper seams and underneath, where the bottom edge of the box rests on the frame.

Bed frames and headboards
Cracks and crevices of wooden bed frames. Bed bugs like wood and fabric more than metal or plastic.

Wooden support slats, screw holes, knots and other places they can crawl into are also common hiding places.

Headboards attached to walls, as common in hotels, provide hiding areas behind them and are often the first place bed bugs become established.

Items stored under beds provide great hiding places.

Upholstered furniture.
 Chairs, recliners and sofas especially if used for sleeping, are typically the next most   likely area for bed bugs to hide. They hide in the seams, skirts or in fabric folds.


Nightstands and dressers
          Bugs will hide in cracks, corners, and recesses.

Other common bed bug hiding places include:
  •  along and under the edge of wall-to-wall carpeting,  especially behind beds and sofas          
  • cracks in wood molding; ceiling-wall junctures behind wall-mounted pictures, mirrors, outlets and switch plates
  • under loose wallpaper
  • in closet clutter
  • inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors.

What to look for when traveling:
Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses

Dark spots (about this size: •), which are bed bug excrement  and bleed stains on the fabric like a marker would make.

                                                  Tiny, pale yellow eggs  and nymph shells. 

Live bed bugs.
(For more pictures of the above go to:

Itchy yet?

Here are some tips to reduce the chances of bringing them home with you from your vacation:  

1.       When you first enter your hotel room - Put your luggage in the bathroom.

2.       Unmake the bed. Check the mattress and lift the box spring for signs of bugs.

3.      Leave your luggage on the luggage rack (after checking the straps) or a hard surface, not on the carpeted floor.

Bring large plastic bags and put your luggage in them for extra safety.

4.      When you get home, make sure you wash and then dry all of your travel clothes in a hot dryer for 30 minutes to kill any bugs that came home with you.

5.      Store your luggage in the garage or a hot attic (120o) to kill bugs that may be hiding. (Consumer Reports,

The Environmental Protection Agency offers these other tips to prevent infestation:

  • Check secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
  • Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs and eliminates many hiding spots. The light color of the encasement makes bed bugs easier to see. Be sure to purchase a high quality encasement that will resist tearing and check the encasement regularly for holes.
  • Reduce clutter in your home to reduce hiding places for bed bugs.
  • Vacuum frequently to remove any successful hitchhikers and empty the canister or change the bag afterwards.
  • Be vigilant when using shared laundry facilities. Transport items to be washed in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove from dryer directly into bag and fold at home. (A dryer on high heat can kill bed bugs.)
  • If you live in a multi-family home, try to isolate your unit by:
    • Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
    • Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.
If you find bed bugs in your home, call a pest control company. They are extremely difficult to eradicate yourself.

For more information:

University of Kentucky – Entomology Extension

 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 Bedbug FAQs

Environmental Protection Agency
Protecting your home from bedbugs

Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

Researchers at NYU investigating the effects of weight loss/gain cycles (yoyo dieting) in people with coronary artery disease found that those with the largest weight gain/loss cycles had 136% more strokes, 117% more heart attacks, and 124% more deaths than those with the smallest weight gain/loss cycles. The research results were published in the April 6, 2017 issue of the
                                  New England Journal of Medicine.  

Summary of the research:

Journal article abstract:

Use this News

This is yet another study showing the association between yoyo dieting and poor health. In this case, it’s the increased risk of stroke, heart attack and death in people who already have heart disease.  

If you want to lose weight, dieting is not the way to go because by their very nature, diets are temporary.  You go “on” a diet, then you go “off” the diet. Going on and off a diet, losing and gaining weight is detrimental to health, as this research found.

So, to use this news if you have heart disease and want to lose weight, don’t diet. Instead, remember that weight management at its most basic level is a balancing act between the amount of energy you take in (calories) and the amount of energy you use.  

Here are some magic numbers to keep in mind – if you eat 3500 calories more than your body needs/uses, you will gain one pound. Consequently, if you eat 3500 calories less than your body needs, you will lose one pound. By reducing 500 calories a day through a combination of eating a little less and using a little more (moving more), you will lose about a pound a week. This does not mean ‘going on a diet.’ This means making small lifestyle changes that over time, will help you manage your weight.

The American Heart Association offers the following guidelines:

1.       Set realistic weight loss goals (1-2 pounds a week)

2.       Keep a food diary or log to record (Use paper and pencil,
           an online site or an app)

                The times you eat
                What you eat
                 How much you eat

3.      Manage portion size

        Know the difference between your portion size and a serving         size. A serving size is the amount used to calculate the                     calories and nutrients of a food. The portion size is the                  amount you eat. It is usually much more than the serving              size. For example, a serving size of pasta is ½ -3/4 cups of
         uncooked dried pasta or about 1 – 1 ½ cups cooked.

4.      Make smart choices

        Choose whole grains over refined flours because cause they         keep you fuller longer, choose fruits and vegetables over        
        processed high calorie snacks, choose unsweetened    
        beverages over those with sugar or artificial sweeteners.

5.      Get moving!
            Increase your activity level. Walk more, even 10 minutes             counts.

For More Information:

American Heart Association
No-Fad Diet Tips

Master the Scale

Choose My Plate
Healthy Eating Style

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 Losing Weight


Are “Low or No” Fat, Sugar or Sodium Foods Healthy? Maybe…Maybe not!
Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

Research published this week in the Journal of Academic Nutrition and Dietetics on foods labeled “low or no” fat, sugar or sodium found the labeling often misleading as these claims do not necessarily mean the product is healthier. Further, it isn’t clear what the ‘low or no‘ claims are based on – “low or no” compared to the regular version of the product or compared to other types of similar foods?

Link to summary of article:

Link to podcast of study results:

Use this news

Are you buying low fat, low sugar or low sodium versions of foods thinking they are healthier than the “regular” version?  As this research suggests, you may want to turn the package over and read the nutrition label. What you find may surprise you.

Sometimes the low fat versions have more sodium or sugar than the regular versions to compensate for the lack of flavor from less fat. In fact, a study published in 2016 comparing the sugar content of low fat vs regular fat versions of the same food, found the sugar content was higher in all the low fat versions -not healthier at all.

As far as sodium goes, low sodium means there is less than 140 mg of sodium per serving.    Be careful to read the food label to find out the serving size. A low sodium food is only low sodium if you eat one serving. Take low sodium deli turkey, for example. If you eat one serving, in this case 1 slice, it has 130 mg of sodium. A sandwich made with 4 slices has 540 mg of sodium – not so low sodium any more.

Foods labeled unsalted or no sodium added do not mean the food is low sodium or sodium free.  It means extra salt wasn’t added. A good example of this is no salt added pretzels.  There is still salt /sodium in the pretzel itself, but no salt was added to the outside of the pretzel.

Foods labeled less or reduced sodium are not low sodium. They just contain 25% less sodium than their original counterparts and still can have a hefty dose of sodium. Take low sodium soy sauce, for example. It has about 530 mg of sodium per tablespoon. True, that is less than the 890 mg of sodium in  regular soy sauce, but still a lot. Keep in mind that one teaspoon of table salt has 2300 mg of sodium or about the amount in 2 ½ tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce. While we wouldn’t dip our sushi into a bowl of salt, we think nothing of dipping it into a bowl of soy sauce.

Here’s what the different labels mean as defined in the 2013 Food and Drug Administration food labeling guidelines:


  • Salt or sodium free: less than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving
  • Very low sodium: 35 milligrams or less of sodium per serving
  • Low-sodium: less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving
  • Reduced or less sodium: at least 25 percent less sodium per serving than comparable food.

·         Sugar Free: Less than 0.5 grams sugars per serving

·         Low sugar: not used

·         Reduced or less sugar: at least 25% less sugars per serving than a comparable food


·         Fat free: less than 0.5 grams per labeled serving labeled serving Contains no ingredient that is fat or understood to contain fat.

·         Low fat: 3 grams or less per serving

·         Reduced or less fat: at least 25% less fat per serving than a comparable food that is not low fat

For more information:

Food and Drug Administration –

Food Labeling Guidelines

Sodium in your diet

                                    Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

The results of a study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that a single steroid injection to reduce disc inflammation in people with chronic low back pain provided  relief for a month in 55% of those treated. These results led researchers to conclude that steroids were not effective for long-term pain relief.

Journal article abstract:

Summary of research:

Use This News

According to the National Institutes of Health -  National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. Most of us have acute or short term back pain for a few days or weeks that usually goes away with over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory medication, heat/ice compresses, massage, and resumption of our normal activities as soon as possible.

Chronic back pain, the type addressed in the study above, is the kind that lasts more than 12 weeks. Since the research addressed in this article found steroid injections ineffective for long term pain relief caused by disc inflammation, below are some other non-surgical treatment options from the National Institutes of Health:

Chiropractic care
Provided by doctors of chiropractic care, these professionally licensed specialists use their hands to mobilize, adjust, massage, or stimulate the spine and the surrounding tissues. The techniques have been shown to provide small to moderate short-term benefits in people with chronic low back pain.

Provided by licensed professionals, this is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves the insertion of thin needles into precise points throughout the body. Acupuncture is a practice of traditional Chinese medicine that helps clear away blockages in the body’s life force known as Qi (pronounced chee). For those who may not believe in the concept of Qi, it is  theorize that when the needles are inserted and then stimulated (by twisting or passing a low-voltage electrical current through them) naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine are released.

This therapy involves the attachment of electrodes to the skin and the use of an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and self-regulate their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature. People regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques. Biofeedback is often used in combination with other treatment methods, generally without side effects.

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) involves intermittently  wearing a small battery-powered device connected to electrodes placed on the skin over the painful area. The device produces electrical impulses that block pain signals from the nerves. The idea is that by stimulating the nervous system the perception of pain can be reduced. Early studies of TENS suggested that it elevated levels of endorphins, the body’s natural pain-numbing chemicals.

Physical therapy
Provided by a licensed professional, physical therapy aims to strengthen core muscle groups that support the low back, improve mobility, flexibility, promote proper positioning and posture. It is often used in combinations with other treatments, most notably chiropractic care.

Massage therapy
Provided by a licensed professional, massage therapy encompasses many different techniques. In general, therapists press, rub, and otherwise manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. They most often use their hands and fingers, but may use their forearms, elbows, or feet.

Offered by a certified practitioner, yoga is a mind and body practice with origins in ancient Indian philosophy. The various styles of yoga typically combine physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. There are numerous schools of yoga. Hatha yoga, the most commonly practiced in the United States and Europe, emphasizes postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama). Some of the major styles of hatha yoga are Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vini, Kundalini, and Bikram yoga.

Not all therapies work for everyone, but they are worth checking into. If you suffer from long term, chronic back pain, talk with your health care provider about trying one or more of these options.

For more information see:

Mayo Clinic
Self-care approaches for acute pain

National Institutes of Health
Yoga or stretching eases low back pain

National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Low back pain fact sheet

National Institutes of Health - National Institute of Complementary and Integrative Health

National Health Service (UK)
Treatment for back pain

 Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

 A study published last week in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that yoga and controlled breathing relieved depression symptoms in people on antidepressants who still had symptoms.

 For the complete journal article:
For a summary of the research results:

Use this News

According to the researchers, yoga maybe a side-effect free treatment option for people with depression. With its focus on mindfulness, awareness of the breath and asanas (poses), yoga targets a different brain pathway than antidepressant medications.  This is particularly important, the researchers say, as up to 50% of people with major depressive disorder who take antidepressants - still have symptoms.

The type of yoga used in this study was Ilyengar yoga which focuses on precision - correct alignment of all body parts for each asana (pose). This builds strength, balance, flexibility and contributes to a sense of well-being ( It is a gentle yoga that is good for beginners.  In the study, yoga and controlled breathing exercises were done with a certified Illyengar yoga instructor two to three times a week for 90 minutes and practiced at home.

If you are being treated for depression, talk to your mental health care provider about adding yoga classes to your treatment regime. While there are a whole host of yoga videos, YouTubes and CDs available, it is best to attend a class with a certified yoga instructor to ensure you are doing the poses correctly, that your body is in alignment and you are breathing properly.

For more information:

Different types of yoga:

Harvard Health Publications
Yoga for anxiety and depression

National Institutes of Health - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health -
Yoga: In depth

How might yoga help depression?

According to new research - Our diets are killing us!
 Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

Research published in the March 7th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that almost half (45.4%) of the more than 700,000 deaths from heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes in 2012 were associated with diets that either had insufficient amounts of fruits/vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grain, polyunsaturated fats (vegetable oils), and seafood omega-3 fatty acids (fish) and/or had excessive amounts of sodium, unprocessed red meat, processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages.

The highest proportion of deaths were associated with diets high in sodium and processed meats and low in seafood omega-3 fatty acids (fish) and nuts/seeds.

For the article abstract see:

Use this news

From what this research revealed, the way we eat may be seriously detrimental to our health. To use this news and make some healthy changes to your dietary intake, consider the following recommendations of the American Heart Association, Choose My Plate, and the FDA  for the 10 foods/nutrients identified in the study -

Sodium – limit amount to 1500 – 2000 mg/day.  One teaspoon of salt (sodium chloride) has 2300 mg of sodium. So, the amount of sodium from all sources should be less than 1 teaspoon a day. Besides salt, some common sources of sodium include:  baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) soy sauce, MSG (monosodium glutamate), sodium preservatives, canned soups, vegetables and broths, baked goods, frozen meals and other prepared foods or processed foods and meats, certain cheese.

Processed meats – eliminate. These are meats that have been processed/preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or by preservatives. Ex: ham, bacon, pastrami, salami, hot dogs, sausages, deli meats.

Unprocessed red meat – limit amount to 18 ounces per week and 3 ounce portion size, about the size of a deck of cards.

Sugar-Sweetened beverages eliminate. Replace sweetened beverages with unsweetened ones. To give you a sense of how much sugar is in a 12 ounce serving of common beverages:

cranberry juice cocktail  - 12 teaspoons of sugar
               orange soda                         11
               cola soda                              10
               orange juice                         10
               sports drinks                         5
               Seltzer                                     0
               Unsweetened teas              0

Keep in mind that a level measuring teaspoonful of sugar contains 15 calories that have no nutritional

Fruits and vegetables – Eat between 5 – 9 servings each day

       One serving of whole fruit = size of baseball      
       One serving of frozen, sliced or chopped fruit = 1 cup
       One serving of dried fruit = ¼ cup
       One serving of raw leafy greens = 2 cups
       One serving of cooked leafy greeens = 1 cup
       One serving of most cooked, sliced or diced veggies = 1 cup

  Seeds and nuts – Eat 1.5 ounces per day of nuts to possibly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
        1.5 ounces = about 1/3 cup of shelled nuts
        1 ounce of seeds = 2 tablespoons           
       Be careful!  Nuts and seeds are healthy, nutrient dense, but also calorie dense!

Seafood Omega-3s – Eat a 3.5 ounce portion of seafood high in omega 3 fatty acids two times a week. Fish high in omega 3s include: salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna.  

Whole grains – Replace refined grains with whole grains. Whole grains are those that contain the whole grain kernel which included its fiber. Examples of whole grains are 100% whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat.

  Females nine years and older  - should eat between five-six
                                                                ounces of whole grain a day
 Males nine years and older      -  should eat between 
                 six-eight ounces.
            Younger children  
                         two-three years of age -  should eat three ounces
four-eight years of age -  should eat five ounces

One ounce = 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of cold cereal, ½ cup cooked brown or wild rice, whole grain pasta or cooked cereal.

Polyunsaturated oils (vegetables oils).  Replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats such as
soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, olive oil. No more than 6% of daily calorie intake should be from 
saturated fat, which means less than 120 calories (or about 1 ¼  tablespoons) for someone eating 2000 calories a day. Saturated fat is found in butter, cream, cheese, red meat, and tropical oils such as palm and coconut.

For more information see:

American Heart Association -
How much sodium should I eat

Saturated Fats

Harvard Health Publications
Cutting Red Meat for a longer life

Unprocessed Red and Processed Meats and Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Type 2 Diabetes – An Updated Review of the Evidence

American Institute for Cancer Research
Reducing meat intake

Choose My Plate




Nuts and seeds


Healthy Food Fads Are Less Than Healthy
oanna Hayden, PhD, CHES

A review of health food fads published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that juicing, coconut oil, high-dose antioxidant dietary supplements, going gluten-free, and eggs may not be part of a healthy diet after all.  

For the complete review:

Use this news

Below are the bottom line recommendations from the review:

Juicing concentrates calories which makes it much easier to ingest more calories than are needed. Whole food consumption is preferred.  Eat your calories, don’t drink them.

Antioxidant dietary supplements show no evidence of benefit.  Currently available evidence suggests that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest and most beneficial source of antioxidants.

Eggs and other cholesterol containing foods should be limited since dietary cholesterol raises serum cholesterol levels, although minimally.

 Coconut oil and palm oil (tropical oils) have harmful effects on heart disease risk factors. Current claims of documented health benefits of the tropical oils are unsubstantiated and use of these oils is discouraged.

Gluten-free diets in people without gluten-related diseases are based on unsubstantiated claims of health benefits.

For more information:

Mayo Clinic -
Heart Healthy Diet

American Heart Association
Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations

Cleveland Clinic
Heart Healthy Diet