Category: nutrition

October 14, 2021

Recipe: Pumpkin Mousse

When fall hits in Florida, you may start to feel a cool breeze and change in the air. You may also start feeling the urge to visit those picturesque pumpkin patches. Pumpkins are a symbol that fall is here, not to mention they are in season August through October, so there is no better time to enjoy your favorite pumpkin treat.

If you are craving that pumpkin flavor, check out this easy crowd-pleasing pumpkin mousse recipe.


Pumpkin Mousse

Serves: 8          Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 small packages of instant sugar-free vanilla pudding
  • 2 cups of no-fat (skim) milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 8 ounces of fat-free Cool Whip

Preparation

  1. Prepare instant pudding according to package directions.
  2. Stir in pumpkin spice.
  3. Fold in cool whip and pumpkin.
  4. Serve chilled and garnish with an extra dash of pumpkin spice!

When fall hits in Florida, you may start to feel a cool breeze and change in the air. You may also start feeling the urge to visit those picturesque pumpkin patches. Pumpkins are a symbol that fall is here, not to mention they are in season August through October, so there…


September 30, 2021

What’s Really In Your Pumpkin Spice Latte

“I’ll have a pumpkin spice latte, please.”
If you frequent coffee shops, you’ll probably hear this phrase more than a few times over the next several months. The infamous “PSL” is the most popular seasonal drink around, but do you know what is really in it?

According to How Stuff Works, your favorite caffeinated beverage could be loaded with calories. If you drink black coffee or coffee with low-fat milk only, you don’t need to worry much about calorie intake. But, if you regularly consume some of the “fancier” coffee beverages, you may want to take a closer look at the calorie count. Any beverages with whole milk, whipped cream or flavored syrups will add lot of calories. Here are some examples:

  • A McDonald’s large mocha has 400 calories.
  • The Venti White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks contains 580 calories.
  • A Dunkin’ Donuts frozen cappuccino with whole milk has a whopping 610 calories.

Serving Size Matters

Let’s take a closer look at our beloved pumpkin spice latte. First thing to decide on is the size of our drink. The size will affect calories, sugar and caffeine consumed. At Starbucks, did you know you can order a 8oz (called a ‘Short’), 12oz (called a ‘Tall’), 16oz (called a ‘Grande’), and a 20oz (called a ‘Venti’)?

Now, let’s compare Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte to a regular flavored latte from your local coffee house. For this we will go straight to the source, Starbucks. For comparisons sake, we will choose the Short Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is 8oz, contains 210 calories, 27 grams of sugar and 75 mg of caffeine. This is in comparison to other flavored lattes that have an average of 134 calories and 63 mg of caffeine.

If you are concerned about calories or sugar content, you may want to treat those specialty drinks as an occasional indulgence. For your daily cup of joe, opt for skim milk and “just say no” to whipped cream and flavored sugary syrups.

Coffee Characteristics

Not all coffees are created equal. The caffeine content of coffee can vary depending on several characteristics. If you are drinking your favorite flavored beverage for the jolt of caffeine you may want to check out these factors:

  • Type of coffee beans: There are many varieties of coffee beans available, which may naturally contain different amounts of caffeine.
  • Roasting: Lighter roasts have more caffeine than darker roasts, although the darker roasts have a deeper flavor.
  • Type of coffee: The caffeine content can vary significantly between regularly brewed coffee, espresso, instant coffee and decaf coffee.
  • Serving size: “One cup of coffee” can range anywhere from 30–700 ml (1–24 oz), greatly affecting the total caffeine content.

Regardless of your choice when you step up to the counter to order, we most importantly want you to be aware of what you are consuming. And if all this talk about pumpkin spice lattes has created the urge to have one, check out this article from Health and learn how to create your very own PSL at home.


Want to learn more?

Check out How Many Calories Are In Coffee? and How Much Caffeine in a Cup of Coffee? A Detailed Guide from Healthline to see the breakdown of both caffeine and calorie content in your favorite flavored specialty coffee drinks.

“I’ll have a pumpkin spice latte, please.” If you frequent coffee shops, you’ll probably hear this phrase more than a few times over the next several months. The infamous “PSL” is the most popular seasonal drink around, but do you know what is really in it? According to How Stuff…


September 23, 2021

What’s Your Number?

Do you know what your cholesterol number is? Do you know what your cholesterol numbers mean?

If your answer is no or you aren’t that sure, then you have come to the right place. Numbers regarding our health can be confusing, but it’s also important to know some basics. At the Y, we want to help you feel knowledgeable and confident about your health, including your numbers. In honor of Cholesterol Education Month, let’s learn some truths about cholesterol.


The Importance of Managing Cholesterol

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the U.S. More than one million Americans have a heart attack each year and about 500,000 die of heart disease. High blood cholesterol is one of the major risk factors for heart disease, causing heart attack and stroke.

So what is Cholesterol anyway?

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. Your liver makes cholesterol for your body. You also can get cholesterol from the foods you eat. Meat, fish, eggs, butter, cheese, and milk all have cholesterol in them. Fruits, vegetables, and grains (like oatmeal) don’t have any cholesterol.

Cholesterol is in every cell in your body. You need cholesterol to help your brain, skin, and other organs do their jobs. But eating too much isn’t good. Cholesterol floats around in your blood and can get into the walls of the blood vessels. This can cause the blood vessels to get stiffer, narrower, or clogged. If the clogging gets worse over many years, it can cause a heart attack or stroke in adults.

Now that you know the basics, let’s learn the difference between cholesterol myth and fact. The CDC has come up with some commonly asked questions and myths and helped us to set the record straight.


Cholesterol: Myth vs. Fact

Myth: All cholesterol is bad for you.

Fact: Some types of cholesterol are essential for good health. Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and building cells.

Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called lipoproteins. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body:

  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein), sometimes called “bad” cholesterol, makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, carries cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.

When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called plaque. As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing can restrict and eventually block blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina (chest pain) or a heart attack.

Myth: I would be able to feel it if I had high cholesterol.

Fact: High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too late—when you have a heart attack or stroke. That’s why it’s so important to get your cholesterol levels checked at least every 5 years.1,2

Occasionally, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels. Learn more about getting your cholesterol checked.

Myth: Eating foods with a lot of cholesterol will not make my cholesterol levels go up.

Fact: It can be complicated. We know that foods with a lot of cholesterol usually also have a lot of saturated fat. Saturated fats can make your cholesterol numbers higher, so it’s best to choose foods that are lower in saturated fats.

Foods made from animals, including red meat, butter, and cheese, have a lot of saturated fats. Instead, aim to eat foods with plenty of fiber, such as oatmeal and beans, and healthy unsaturated fats, such as avocados, olive oil, and nuts. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDC’s nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.

Myth: I can’t do anything to change my cholesterol levels.

Fact: You can do many things to improve your cholesterol levels and keep them in a healthy range!

  • Get tested at least every 5 years (unless told otherwise by your doctor).1,2 Learn more about cholesterol screenings.
  • Make healthy food choices. Limit foods high in saturated fats. Choose foods naturally high in fiber and unsaturated fats. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDC’s nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.
  • Be active every day. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Learn more about physical activity basics and tips.
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. Smoking damages your blood vessels, speeds up the hardening of the arteries, and greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Learn more about tobacco use and ways to quit at CDC’s smoking and tobacco use website.
  • Talk with your health care provider about ways to manage your cholesterol; if any medicines are given to you to manage your cholesterol, take them as they are prescribed. Learn more about medicines to lower cholesterol.
  • Know your family history. If your parents or other immediate family members have high cholesterol, you probably should be tested more often. You could have a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

Myth: I don’t need statins or other medicines for my cholesterol. I can manage my cholesterol with diet and exercise.

Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Million Hearts also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.

It’s important to communicate with your Health Care Provider and see what options are available as well as what medications may work best for you.


Let’s all commit to getting our cholesterol checked this year so we know our numbers and our risk for heart disease and stroke. Find your closest Healthy Living Center and have your numbers checked for free.

Learn more about Healthy Living Centers


References

Centers for Disease Control. Getting Your Cholesterol Checked. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/cholesterol_screening.htm; 2020.

  1. Grundy SM, Stone NJ, Bailey AL, Beam C, Birtcher KK, Blumenthal RS, et al. 2018 ACC/AHA/AACVPR/AAPA/ ABC/ACPM/ADA/AGS/APhA/ASPC/NLA/PCNA guideline on the management of blood cholesterol: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guideline. Circulation. 2018;0:CIR.0000000000000625.
  2. National Cholesterol Education Program. Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III) Final Report. NIH Pub. No. 02-5215. Bethesda, MD: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2002.
  3. HealthFinder.gov. Get Your Cholesterol Checked. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2018.

Do you know what your cholesterol number is? Do you know what your cholesterol numbers mean? If your answer is no or you aren’t that sure, then you have come to the right place. Numbers regarding our health can be confusing, but it’s also important to know some basics. At…


September 7, 2021

Eat Fresh Eat Local

Florida’s warm climate means we have a variety of fresh foods that have the ability to be grown year round. Florida’s First Coast is full of farm land, local seasonal fresh produce, and an abundance of farmers markets and food delivery services that offer locally farm fresh food options.

What are some benefits to eating locally grown fresh foods?

According to Michigan State University Extension Offices buying locally grown food has the following benefits:

  • Local food has more nutrients. Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, maximizing the amount of vitamins and minerals in your local produce.
  • Locally grown food is full of flavor. When grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness. Providing us with a product packed full of flavor and nutrients.
  • Eating local food is eating seasonally. We are blessed to live in Florida where many of our crops can be grown year round. However, when we do eat seasonally, it provides us with a variety of nutrients and an opportunity to try new things.
  • Local food supports the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community.
  • Local food benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods, you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community.
  • Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps there are between you and your food’s source, the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution.
  • Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.
Resource: Annual Peak Produce Chart

Interested in growing your own vegetables?

Get started with this article from Blue Zones on 7 easy-to-grow plants.

Read the article

Want to learn more about what’s right for your specific body needs? Try out our VirtuWell Coaching or consult with one of our Registered Dietitians.

Florida’s warm climate means we have a variety of fresh foods that have the ability to be grown year round. Florida’s First Coast is full of farm land, local seasonal fresh produce, and an abundance of farmers markets and food delivery services that offer locally farm fresh food options. What are…


August 26, 2021

Recipe: Garden Vegetable Soup

Want to utilize all those fresh vegetables you got from your recent trip to the farmers market? Garden Vegetable Soup is a great and healthy way to do just that. This easy recipe is full of nutrients and will leave you feeling satisfied. Check it out!


Garden Vegetable Soup

Serves: 8-10      Prep time: 10 minutes    Cook time: 6-8 hours

Ingredients

  •  8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (15oz.) can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (24oz.) jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1lb lean ground beef (optional)
  • 4 cups fat free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on “low” for 6-8 hours or until beef is cooked and carrots are soft.

Make It Ahead:

  1. Combine all ingredients except the chicken broth in a freezer storage bag. Label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  2. When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Add thawed mixture and chicken broth to cooker and cook on “low” for 6-8 hours.

Want to utilize all those fresh vegetables you got from your recent trip to the farmers market? Garden Vegetable Soup is a great and healthy way to do just that. This easy recipe is full of nutrients and will leave you feeling satisfied. Check it out! Garden Vegetable Soup Serves:…


August 19, 2021

Why is Hydration Important?

Living in Florida, we know a thing or two about how to stay hydrated, especially during these summer months. But why is it so important to drink water specifically?

According to Harvard School of Public Health, drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition and mood.

Our body is composed of 60% water, and it can go rather quickly. We are constantly losing water and electrolytes throughout the day via breath, sweat, urine and bowel movements, so even mild dehydration can exhaust you and affect many of your body’s daily functions. Dehydration is simply the state where more water is leaving our bodies and cells than is coming in.

Water is the best way to rehydrate and stay hydrated. One major dehydration culprit is sugar, which can be included in many of our favorite beverages including vitamin waters, sports drinks, juices and sodas.

Check out these resources below to learn more about staying hydrated:

Want to learn more about what’s right for your specific body needs? Try out our VirtuWell Coaching or consult with one of our Registered Dietitians.

Living in Florida, we know a thing or two about how to stay hydrated, especially during these summer months. But why is it so important to drink water specifically? According to Harvard School of Public Health, drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep…


February 24, 2017

An Apple A Day…

March is National Nutrition Month. With a balanced approach, even the busiest families can discover ways to eat healthier and feel better. Here are some quick and easy recipes to try at home.

Apple Nachos

Total time: 10-15 mins
Serves 1-4

Ingredients:

Mix of apples (Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala) – 1 per serving
Sun butter or peanut butter
Coconut Flakes
Raisins

Directions:

Core and slice apples, lay out on plate
Heat nut butter until creamy, drizzle over apples
Let each person choose their own toppings to sprinkle on top

No-Cook Strawberry Applesauce

Total time: 10-15 mins
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

4 apples (suggested: Honey Crisp, Fuji, Gala, Red Delicious, McIntosh)
10 strawberries

Directions:

Core and chop apples
Remove strawberry tops
Blend apples and strawberries together in food processor or blender
Serve cold

Cinnamon Applesauce

Total time: 20-30 mins
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

4 apples (suggested mix: Honey Crisp, Granny Smith)
1 cup of 100% apple juice or 100% apple cider (may substitute water)
1 tablespoon of Cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)

Directions:

Core and chop apples
Add apples, 100% juice and cinnamon to saucepan on medium heat (cover)
Allow apples to simmer and mash softened apples in saucepan or add to blender
Serve warm or cold

March is National Nutrition Month. With a balanced approach, even the busiest families can discover ways to eat healthier and feel better. Here are some quick and easy recipes to try at home. Apple Nachos Total time: 10-15 mins Serves 1-4 Ingredients: Mix of apples (Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, Fuji,…


November 4, 2016

Stick a Fork In It

End the cycle of boring lunches with these healthy-living solutions.

By the YMCA’s Sara Glenn and Kimberly Lewis for Edible Northeast Florida

Back in the day, lunch was “dinner” and dinner was “supper” because everyone went to bed at sundown. Most ate their biggest meal of the day between noon and 2 p.m., and supper was a light snack, eaten before bedtime. It wasn’t until the 20th century, with work being farther from home, when lunch became something lighter, carried with you to the workplace.

It’s a problem we tackle at the YMCA when creating healthy-living solutions for our members and the entire community. Many of the professionals we work with feel maintaining healthy eating habits at the office adds another project to their workday. However, by debunking common myths about lunch at work, eating healthy can be quick, easy and make you feel happier in the long run.

MYTH #1 – LUNCH EQUALS A SANDWICH

Growing up, your mom may have made you a sandwich in a brown paper bag, but that doesn’t mean you have to continue the tradition. Lunch could be a handful of your favorite snacks and fruits assembled in a bento box. It could be breakfast or even dinner. There is more than one way to eat a healthy lunch. Keep it interesting and pack a meal with creativity.

Today, collaborative workspaces and teams can also mean a collaborative lunch. At the Y, we select a salad day to enjoy the harvest greens from our vertical tower garden created by the SEEDifferently initiative. The team brings in their favorite salad toppings for a potluck style lunch. Lunch by teamwork means that rather than carrying an entire meal, you team up with your colleagues to complete a lunch with ingredients that you may have never tried before—it’s a good way to add variety to your plate or lunch bag.

MYTH #2 – WORK CANNOT WAIT

According to the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods Foundation, 70 percent of Americans eat at their desks several times a week. In reality, you have to take care of yourself first in order to deliver the best work product.

If taking a full hour seems impossible, at least try to step away from your desk. Ask a co-worker to walk a couple of blocks with you and pick up a veggie burrito or a bowl of pho to break up your work day while getting physical activity. An active lifestyle can lead to healthier eating habits. When you have to stay in for lunch, eat in the break or conference room with others, where you can share conversations, which also encourages us to choose healthier options and eat less.

MYTH #3 – YOU MUST PLAN AHEAD

Planning ahead is a common recommendation for almost any situation, but we know that it simply does not always happen. As working parents or professionals, we often do not have the time to plan and prepare for our own lunches. However, juggling family, friends and work schedules does not mean that we are trapped into eating French fries and a hot dog.

As healthy eating becomes a higher priority in today’s world, many convenience stores now carry more than candies and sodas; fresh fruits, protein bars and healthy options may be only a few steps away from your office. Local delis usually offer specialty items that differ from day to day. Even with your last-minute decisions, healthy choices can be found around the corner.

MYTH #4 – EATING HEALTHY IS BORING

Healthy doesn’t have to mean eliminating your options. In fact, healthy meals feature a variety of food types. Keep a balanced plate in mind. Visualize it—half your plate should be fruits and vegetables, one quarter of the plate should be protein and one quarter should contain starch/grain. Right there you have four opportunities to create an exciting lunch.

Instead of eating a plain chicken sandwich on a whole-wheat bun, add a slice of pineapple. Try to replace the ketchup and mustard with teriyaki sauce and a crunchy piece of lettuce to add texture. One small change can enhance the flavor, interest and overall experience of your meal.

Now that we’ve debunked some popular myths, it’s time to figure out what works for you. Consider what you need in order to plan ahead, think about when it makes sense to grab lunch with a colleague and determine how you can up your lunch game with healthy yet tasty foods that will not only bring you lasting energy, but also a more productive mind.

RECIPE FOR A HAPPIER WORK LUNCH

End the cycle of boring lunches with these healthy-living solutions. By the YMCA’s Sara Glenn and Kimberly Lewis for Edible Northeast Florida Back in the day, lunch was “dinner” and dinner was “supper” because everyone went to bed at sundown. Most ate their biggest meal of the day between noon…


May 2, 2016

Farewell to Food Guilt

Stuffing food in an envelope and mailing it oversseas seems an unorthodox form of protest. Unless you’re an 8-year-old who is forced to finish her dinner because “there are starving children in Africa.”

While we would have hoped the protesters of our youth might have gone on to start a revolution, sadly, most have likely joined the eight out of 10 American women who suffer from food guilt. And yes, we mean suffer! Food guilt has many flavors, new ones we’re learning more about each day. It’s about what we eat and what we don’t eat, what we feed our families and having the perfect relationship with food.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE FROM EDIBLE NORTHEAST FLORIDA

Authors

KimSaraSara Glenn is the Director of Strategic Development of Healthy Living Innovations: Nutrition & Obesity for the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and leads the Y’s nutritional services, including the vertical garden initiative, SEEDifferently.

Kimberly Lewis is the Annual Campaign & Volunteerism Director for the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast, is passionate about teaching kids to volunteer, and has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than a decade.

Stuffing food in an envelope and mailing it oversseas seems an unorthodox form of protest. Unless you’re an 8-year-old who is forced to finish her dinner because “there are starving children in Africa.” While we would have hoped the protesters of our youth might have gone on to start a…


February 24, 2016

Too Much Sodium in Your Child’s Diet?

Sara Glenn
Director of Strategic Development of Healthy Living Innovations: Nutrition & Obesity for the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast

If you think heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure are only present in adults, think again. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about one in six children ages 8 to17 years has raised blood pressure.

American Heart Month Kids Sodium Intake Infographic

American Heart Month Kids Sodium Intake Infographic

The Dietary Guideline recommends children eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. However, studies show that kids in America ages 2 to 19 eat more than 3,100 milligrams of sodium every day. Eating too much sodium can result in high blood pressure in children and teens, and the effect is greater if they’re overweight or obese.

As a mom, I am always looking for new ways to encourage my kids to eat healthy and stay active. Even with a career in health and wellness, I still have to stop my daughter from emptying the saltshaker. As a partner in the health of our community, we are dedicated to supporting families in the overall health of their children. In celebration of American Heart Month, below are some steps you can take to help reduce sodium in your family’s diet.

Enjoy Home-Prepared Meals

Outsourcing family meals to restaurants may be convenient, but preparing you own foods allows you to control the amount of salt in them. The Nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest analyzed a range of processed foods and found, for instance, ready-made roasted carved turkey contains up to 5,410 milligrams of sodium per serving.

When cooking and preparing meals at home, involve your children. Research shows that the more we include our children in food choice and the process of cooking, the more likely they are to eat a healthy diet. From toddlers to teens, there’s a job for everyone when it comes to preparing meals.

American Heart Month Kids and Sodium Infographic

American Heart Month Kids and Sodium Infographic

Adjust Your Kid’s Taste Buds

Cut back on salt little by little—and pay attention to the natural tastes of various foods. Your kid’s taste for salt will lessen over time. Additionally, keep salt off the kitchen counter and the dinner table and substitute spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice to season foods. Lastly, be aware of the “hidden” sodium in your kid’s everyday foods such as pizza, soups and sandwiches.

Model Healthy Eating

Children are great imitators. Just when we think they aren’t watching or listening, they surprise us with what they know. We can use this to their benefit when it comes to eating healthy. If we, as parents, model low-sodium intake using alternatives to add flavor to our food, then our children will follow suit.

 Look at the Label

 Packaged foods and beverages can contain high levels of sodium, whether or not they taste salty. That’s why it’s important to use the Nutrition Facts Label to check the sodium content.

The percent daily value (%DV) tells you how much of a nutrient is in one serving of a food. The %DV is based on 100 percent of the Daily Value for sodium (less than 2,300 milligrams per day). When comparing and choosing foods, pick the ones with a lower %DV of sodium. As a general rule:

  • 5% DV or less of sodium per serving is low
  • 20% DV or more of sodium per serving is high

The First Coast YMCA offers a community of diverse individuals who can help families to meet their health and well-being goals. The new Healthy Living Centers in Mandarin and Ponte Vedra brings medically integrated programs from Baptist Health into the Y and making these programs more accessible to the surrounding community. Whether you want to talk to a doctor about your child’s heart condition or need advice for adopting a healthier lifestyle, the Y is here to help!

About the Author 

Sara Glenn and DaughterSara Glenn, MEd., is the Director of Strategic Development of Healthy Living Innovations: Nutrition & Obesity for the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast and leads the Y’s nutritional services, including the Y’s vertical garden initiative, SEEDifferently. Sara lives in Jacksonville with her husband and two-and-a-half year-old daughter, Charley, who she is determined to raise as a healthy foodie!

 

Sara Glenn Director of Strategic Development of Healthy Living Innovations: Nutrition & Obesity for the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast If you think heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure are only present in adults, think again. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), about one in six children…