Hearts, Flowers And A Little Less Salt

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? For me, it means a number of little indulgences – like flowers, time together with loved ones and maybe a special dinner out. I am planning a little indulgence of my own in the form of Indian food from Vij’s, which I love! But I know that for my health, eating South Asian food every night is not on the table.

Our blog last week talked about all the different ways to demystify restaurant eating so I won’t belabor the point. ‘Cause you already know, along with our friends at the Heart and Stroke Foundation that when it comes to nutritional info at restaurants, We Want It.

But Valentine’s Day is all about hearts, hearts and more hearts.  And speaking of healthy hearts, a recent study by hypertension researchers out of the U.S. and SFU says we need to reduce our salt intake.  They say we should be bringing it down by 1,500 mg a day, which equals less than 1 teaspoon of table salt.

So, where is all that extra salt hiding? We need to watch what we eat in restaurants, but also the foods we choose at the grocery store. The study identified processed and commercially prepared foods as containing 77% of the sodium people take in. So taking the shaker off the table is a great start, but preparing more foods fresh from whole ingredients is the key.

Getting active just 30 minutes a day is another great way to improve heart health. And don’t forget that physical activity doesn’t just happen in the gym – dance in the kitchen, go for a romantic walk in the moonlight or plant the flowers for your loved one to enjoy in the spring. Every little bit counts towards a happier, healthier life. By working our muscles, especially our hearts, we improve our odds of seeing many Valentine’s Days to come.

Samantha Hartley-Folz
February 14, 2013

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