Limiting the amount of salt and sugar in your diet is a key to good health, according to Get Healthy CT, the regional wellness coalition of hospitals, health departments and other health and social service providers. In its monthly health feature, “Skip the Salt and Sugar,” available online at www.GetHealthyCT.org, the group offers tips and resources to help achieve the proper salt and sugar balance in daily meals, including:
- Added Sugar Is Not So Sweet
- Sugar Sense
- Sugar Shocker
- Choose Health. Drink Water
- Cut Back On Your Kid’s Sweet Treats
- Why Should I Limit Sodium?
- The Salty Six
- High Sodium Foods, Ways to Reduce Sodium
- Spice Things Up
- Healthier Condiments
- Monthly Health Challenge – Jump Rope
- Monthly Recipe – Simple Corn Chowder
Most information in the packet is available in English and Spanish. Direct access is available at
http://gethealthyct.org/topic-of-the-month/. An archive of previous monthly features is also available.
Following are some highlights:
- The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 100 calories a day (6 teaspoons) from sugar for most women and 150 calories a day (9 teaspoons) for most men.
- On nutrition labels, sugar has many other names including fructose, glucose, dextrose, honey, molasses and maple syrup.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages, including soda and many fruit juices, are the leading source of added sugar in the American diet.
- Too much salt (sodium) in your system causes the body to retain water, which places an extra burden on the heart and may lead to high blood pressure and stroke.
- Most people know that canned soups contain a lot of added salt. But other high-sodium foods include breads and rolls, processed meats and even pizza (thanks to cheese and meat toppings).
Get Healthy CT focuses on a different obesity prevention topic each month and provides resources in print and online. Printed information packets are also available in some area libraries, community centers, regional health departments, and other locations.
Get Healthy CT is a community coalition that works in the greater Bridgeport, New Haven, and Greenwich regions to make the “healthy choice the easy choice.” Get Healthy CT provides information about being healthy and connects people to local resources to support healthy eating and physical activity through its website GetHealthyCT.org. More than 150 large and small businesses and nonprofit and community organizations have joined the coalition, along with individuals and families.
Obesity in the Region
Obesity rates in the United States are increasing due to factors such as portion sizes, food choices, lack of convenient supermarkets in neighborhoods, consumer advertising, food costs and more sedentary lifestyles. Likewise, it is clear that obesity contributes to other serious health complications including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. According to the Greater Bridgeport Community Health Assessment (2013), survey respondents in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Stratford, and Trumbull report obesity rates ranging from 16 percent to 32 percent. The Greater New Haven Community Health Index (2013) lists obesity rates in the New Haven region from 18% to 31%