46 THE QUEENS COURIER • WELLNESS • MARCH 15, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
These health benefi ts of salt might surprise you
World Salt Awareness Week is being
celebrated this year from March 12 to
18 and is the perfect opportunity to recognize
Swap these 4 food fads with nutritious kitchen staples
With new so-called “healthy” food
trends popping up all the time, it’s hard
to keep track of what’s actually good for
your health and what’s just a fad. Luckily,
new research continually shows consumers
which fads to ditch and which kitchen
staples stand the test of time and should
be kept in our diets. For example, did you
know that coconut oil, a recent consumer
favorite in health and beauty circles,
has been found in a new study to actually
If you are looking for simple changes
that have a big impact on nutritional
health, consider clearing some unhealthy
eating habits from your diet. Here are a
few health fads that aren’t as nutritious as
you may have heard, and helpful swaps
that can benefi t your health.
Cooking with coconut oil
Over the last few years, coconut oil
has gained prominence on grocery store
shelves, in the news and on social media.
Long considered a multipurpose beauty
oil, coconut oil began to make its way
into recipes, and consumers hoped its
health benefi ts extended to the kitchen.
However, a recent study has found that
coconut oil increases cholesterol. Adding
corn oil to one’s diet, on the other hand,
was found by the study to result in better
cholesterol levels compared with coconut
oil. Similarly, a previous study published
in Th e Journal of Clinical Lipidology
found that corn oil can help lower cholesterol
two times more than extra virgin
olive oil. With a high smoke point, versatile
usage and a neutral fl avor, corn oil
makes a great staple for any pantry.
Juice diets and cleanses
While it’s important to include fruits
and vegetables in your diet, “cleansing”
your body with a diet limited to coldpressed
juices won’t provide enough
essential vitamins and minerals for a
healthy diet. According to research by
the National Center for Complementary
and Integrative Health, there is no real
evidence that juice cleanses work. Th e
human body is great at keeping the good
stuff in and fi ltering out the bad, and a
varied diet is important for maintaining
energy throughout the day. Plus,
according to Vive Nutrition, juice diets
tend to make people feel hungrier and
lead to overeating. If cold-pressed juices
are something you enjoy, go ahead and
include them in addition to your meals.
Everything in moderation! Indulging
every once in a while is an important part
of a balanced diet. Harsh dietary restrictions,
especially on the foods you love,
may lead to short-term results, but aren’t
sustainable in the long run, according
to research by the National Center for
Biotechnology Information. Rather than
cutting sugar completely, avoid binges by
allowing yourself a treat every once in a
while on a cheat day to maintain balance
in your diet.
Snacking on granola bars
Packed with whole grains, granola bars
seem like the perfect healthy snack, but
many contain an unhealthy amount of
added sugar, which creates a caloric and
less-than-nutritious food choice. In fact,
according to a survey in the New York
Times, less than 30 percent of nutritionists
would call granola a healthy food.
Replacing granola bars with healthier
options like whole nuts will greatly benefi
t your health. Th is snack choice is less
sugary, more fi lling and full of omega-3
fatty acids, which are shown to reduce the
risk of chronic diseases.
With contradicting information about
health coming out daily, it’s important to
research the facts to learn which tips are
fads and which are truly good for you.
By making these diet swaps that benefi t
your body, you can start the year as your
healthiest self ever.
all the many benefi ts of salt. Salt,
or sodium chloride, is essential for life.
In fact, no mineral is more essential to
human survival than sodium because it
allows nerves to send and receive electrical
impulses, helps your muscles stay
strong and keeps your cells and brain
functioning. However, sodium chloride
(salt) is a nutrient that the body cannot
produce, and therefore it must be consumed.
Th e other component of salt, chloride,
is also essential to survival and good
health. It preserves acid-base balance
in the body, aids potassium absorption,
improves the ability of the blood to move
harmful carbon dioxide from tissues out
to the lungs and most importantly, supplies
the crucial stomach acids required to
break down and digest the foods we eat.
Because the level of salt consumption
is so stable, it is an ideal medium to fortify
with other essential nutrients such
as iodine. Iodized salt was fi rst produced
in the U.S. in 1924 and is now used by
75 percent of the world’s population to
protect against intellectual disability due
to Iodine Defi ciency Disorders (IDD).
Iodine is an essential element in healthy
human life, enabling the function of thyroid
glands to produce needed hormones
for proper metabolism. When children in
the womb don’t get enough iodine from
their mother, fetal brain development
may be impaired. Iodized salt remains
one of the greatest public health success
Salt is also essential in hospital IV
saline, which is standard therapy and the
fastest way to deliver fl uids and medications
throughout the body. Th is saline
drip doesn’t just keep patients hydrated,
it delivers a 0.9 percent solution of salt.
Without this saline drip, patients can end
up with low levels of sodium in the blood,
resulting in a condition known as hyponatremia.
Th is serious condition can lead
to seizures, coma, permanent brain damage,
respiratory arrest and death, and it is
why the shortage of saline in hospitals is
of such critical importance.
Salt is also a vital component of hydration.
Aft er exercise, it is critical to replace
both water and salt lost through perspiration.
Th at is why all athletes make sure
they are consuming suffi cient salt during
and aft er a workout.
Th e average American eats about
3,400 mg per day of sodium, according
to Th e National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey, and this may be
on the low side of the safe range. A 2014
study, published in the New England
Journal of Medicine, tested sodium consumption
in more than 100,000 people
in 17 countries. Th e study found
that the healthy range for sodium consumption
was between 3,000 and 6,000
mg per day.
Seniors can be especially susceptible
to the dangers of low-salt diets. In 2013
a task force of 12 professional medical,
nursing and nutritional organizations
assembled by the Pioneer Network
published the “New Dining Practice
Standards.” Th eir report concluded that
low-salt diets were contributing to malnutrition
and weight loss among a significant
percentage of seniors in assisted living
facilities. Low-salt diets can also cause
seniors to suff er from mild hyponatremia,
an electrolyte imbalance in the blood that
can lead directly to walking impairment,
attention defi cits and a much higher frequency
Salt is the fl avor of life, and this year
we should all recognize its many benefi ts
while we celebrate World Salt Awareness
Week. To learn more visit www.worldsaltawarenessweek.