Heart healthy diet tips: Steer clear of salt and processed foods

Heart Disease

Eating a lot of salt can contribute to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing the salt in your food is a big part of a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends no more than about a teaspoon of salt a day for an adult. That may sound alarmingly small, but there are actually many painless—even delicious—ways to reduce your sodium intake.

  • Reduce canned or processed foods. Much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods like soups or frozen dinners—even poultry or other meats often have salt added during processing. Eating fresh foods, looking for unsalted meats, and making your own soups or stews can dramatically reduce your sodium intake.
  • Cook at home, using spices for flavor. Cooking for yourself enables you to have more control over your salt intake. Make use of the many delicious alternatives to salt. Try fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or chives. In the dried spices aisle, you can find alternatives such as allspice, bay leaves, or cumin to flavor your meal without sodium.
  • Substitute reduced sodium versions, or salt substitutes. Choose your condiments and packaged foods carefully, looking for foods labeled sodium free, low sodium, or unsalted. Better yet, use fresh ingredients and cook without salt.

The DASH diet for lowering blood pressure

The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, is a specially designed eating plan to help you lower your blood pressure, which is a major cause of hypertension and stroke. To learn more, download the booklet from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute found in the Resources and References section below.

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Image Collection: Skin Problems

Medical- Medicine
Picture of Corns and Calluses

Picture of Corns and Calluses

Corns: Corns generally occur on the tops and sides of the toes. A hard corn is a small patch of thickened, dead skin with a packed center. A soft corn has a much thinner surface and usually occurs between the 4th and 5th toes. A seed corn is a tiny, discrete callous that can be very tender if it’s on a weight-bearing part of the foot. Seed corns tend to occur on the bottom of the feet, and some doctors believe this condition is caused by plugged sweat ducts.

Calluses:Calluses can develop on hands, feet, or anywhere there is repeated friction — even on a violinist’s chin. Like corns, calluses have several variants. The common callus usually occurs when there’s been a lot of rubbing against the hands or feet. A plantar callus is found on the bottom of the foot.

Boils Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Medical- Medicine

Should Boils Be Drained?

As long as the boil is small and firm, opening the area and draining the boil is not helpful, even if the area is painful. However, once the boil becomes soft or “forms a head” (that is, a small pustule is noted in the boil), it can be ready to drain. Once drained, pain relief can be dramatic. Most small boils, such as those that form around hairs, drain on their own with soaking and/or heat application. On occasion, and especially with larger boils, the larger boil will need to be drained or “lanced” by a health-care practitioner. Frequently, these larger boils contain several pockets of pus that must be opened and drained.

Boils Pictures Slideshow: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Medical- Medicine

What Is a Boil?

A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. Also referred to as a skin abscess, it is a localized infection deep in the skin. A boil generally starts as a reddened, tender area. Over time, the area becomes firm and hard. Eventually, the center of the abscess softens and becomes filled with infection-fighting white blood cells that the body sends via the bloodstream to eradicate the infection. This collection of white blood cells, bacteria, and proteins is known as pus. Finally, the pus “forms a head,” which can be surgically opened or spontaneously drain out through the surface of the skin.

Healthy Power Foods for Your Heart

Heart Disease

Our one-day heart-healthy menu is loaded with foods to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation.

For a Snack

Roasted lentils (serves 8): These are high in folate and magnesium, two nutrients that help reduce heart attack risk. Drain, rinse, and dry two 15-ounce cans of lentils. Combine in a bowl with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons zesty adobo seasoning. Roast on a baking sheet at 425°F until lightly crisp, 20 minutes.

For Dinner

Seared salmon: Nothing beats wild salmon for delivering omega-3 fatty acids, which can help fight inflammation and lower triglycerides. Sear it in a nonstick frying pan coated with olive oil 3 minutes per side. Then blend 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, 4 chopped scallions, and 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice for a creamy sauce. Top with a dollop.

Barley-shiitake pilaf: Barley is a great source of cholester-lowering fiber, and mushrooms are one of the few vegetable sources of heart-strengthening vitamin D.

Sautéed spinach: The folate in spinach counteracts a chemical called homocysteine, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke.

Healthy Power Foods for Your Heart

Heart Disease

Our one-day heart-healthy menu is loaded with foods to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and inflammation.

For a Snack

Fat-free Greek yogurt (1 cup): It has zero cholesterol, 14 g of protein to keep you full, plus calcium and potassium, which help regulate blood pressure.

Kiwifruit or papaya slices: These superfruits are dense in heart-healthy antioxidants.

For Lunch

Curried turkey salad (serves 4): Turkey is a lean protein that fills you up without delivering a lot of calories or fat. Combine 1/3 cup fat-free plain yogurt, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and salt and pepper to taste. Chunk 12 ounces of lower-sodium, deli-roast turkey breast; halve 3/4 cup green seedless grapes; and dice some celery, red onion, and parsley. Mix and stuff 1 serving into a whole wheat tortilla.

Dark chocolate with walnuts (1 ounce): The resveratrol in chocolate helps lower blood pressure and “bad” LDL cholesterol. Walnuts deliver alpha-linolenic fatty acids, which protect against heart attack.