Posts Tagged “American Heart Association”

Take Avocados, Other Fruits and Veggies to Heart, During American Heart Month

By |

DSCN8788By Hass Avocado Board

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – February is American Heart Month – a critical time to raise awareness about the importance of heart health and the harmful consequences if ignored. As part of its four-year collaboration, the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is teaming up with the American Heart Association during American Heart Month to encourage Americans to consume the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables in an effort to improve the health of all Americans which is associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease and stroke. American Heart Month comes on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement that raw fruits and vegetables – including fresh avocados – now qualify for the “Dietary Saturated Fat and Cholesterol and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease” health claim.

As part of its American Heart Month support, HAB via its Love One Today® program is implementing a three-pronged approach to target consumers, general market and Hispanic media and health professionals through a variety of tactics that will help create and promote heart-check certified recipes and highlight the health benefits of avocados. This includes a recipe contest hosted by the American Heart Association open to consumers and health professionals, and supporting influencer and traditional media relations.

  • The Take Avocado To Heart recipe contest, open February 9 – 27, encourages consumer and health professional participants to submit their favorite original heart healthy avocado recipes for the chance to win a variety of prizes, including the grand prize of $1,000. The official contest hashtag is #AddAvocado. Entry information can be found at heart.org/avocadorecipecontest.
  • Influencer relations will take the form of a blogger network partnership, intended to not only promote participation in the recipe contest, but generate additional avocado recipes that are Heart-Check certified by the American Heart Association. The recipes will be housed on LoveOneToday.com.
  • Traditional media relations will be enhanced by American Heart Association Ambassador and Go Red For Women spokesperson, Chef Hamlet Garcia.
  • Facebook, Instagram and other engaging platforms will be used to further drive the heart healthy discussion on HAB and the American Heart Association’s social channels.

“American Heart Month is an ideal time to reinforce our relationship with the American Heart Association. In doing so, we are supporting their Healthy for Good movement, which aims to inspire Americans to create lasting change for better health,” said Emiliano Escobedo, Executive Director of the Hass Avocado Board. “The efforts during the month of February clearly demonstrate our commitment to finding new ways to showcase how avocados can contribute to a healthy lifestyle, boost heart health and ultimately save lives.”

For more information about how fresh avocados can help keep your heart healthy, visit Love One Today.

About the Hass Avocado Board

The Hass Avocado Board (HAB) is an agriculture promotion group established in 2002 to promote the consumption of Hass avocados in the United States. A 12-member board representing domestic producers and importers of Hass avocados directs HAB’s promotion, research and information programs under supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. Funding for HAB comes from Hass avocado producers and importers in the United States.

In 2010, HAB established a Nutrition Research program to increase awareness and improve understanding of the unique benefits of avocados to human health and nutrition. Fresh Hass avocados are a delicious, cholesterol-free, whole food source of naturally good fats. The Nutrition Research program is an integral part of Love One Today, HAB’s multi-year, science-based food and wellness education program. Love One Today encourages Americans to include fresh Hass avocados in everyday healthy eating plans to increase fruit and vegetable intake.

Read more »

Fruits, Veggies Powerful Rx for Kidney Disease

By |

DSCN2822+1Patients with kidney disease eating three to four more servings of fruits and vegetables every day could lower their blood pressure and nearly cut  medication costs by 50 percent, new research suggests.

The findings stem from the multi-year tracking of a small group of patients, in which standard medical treatment was compared with the simple nutritional intervention.  The goal: to see which approach did a better job at driving down both blood pressure and drug expenses.

The result on both fronts showed a clear win for healthy food.

Dr. Nimrit Goraya, author of the study, described the links seen between increased fruit and vegetable intake, kidney disease control and lower medication expenses as “huge.”  And “the impact was visible from the very first year.  This study has been done over five years, but every year since the therapy with fruits and vegetables began, we were able to lower medications,” she noted.

The program director for nephrology with Baylor Scott & White Healthcare in Temple, TX and  her colleagues recently presented their findings at an American Heart Association meeting on blood pressure, in Orlando, FL

The heart association points out high blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure.  The kidneys and the circulatory system depend on each other for good health.

In all, 108 kidney disease patients were enlisted in the study, all of whom were taking similar doses of blood pressure drugs.  Patients were divided into three groups. One group was treated with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), the standard treatment designed to neutralize the lingering acid that kidney patients typically struggle to excrete. Failure to excrete can lead to abnormally high acid levels, a condition known as “metabolic acidosis.”

A second group was not prescribed sodium bicarbonate, but instead was provided three to four servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  These patients were not instructed to alter their usual diet beyond consuming their new fruit and vegetable allotment.

A third group was not treated in any way.

The result: After five years, systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) was pegged at 125 mm Hg among the fruit and vegetable group, compared with 135 mm Hg and 134 mm Hg, respectively, among the medication and no treatment groups.

What’s more, those in the food group were taking considerably lower doses of daily blood pressure medication than those in the other groups, the study authors said.

This translated into a near halving of the food group’s total expenditure on such drugs, down to roughly $80,000 over five years compared with an average total of more than $153,000 among each of the other two groups.

Read more »

Heart Health of Youth Boosted by Fruit, Vegetable Consumption

By |

DSCN2899+1Young adults can preserve their heart health decades later by eating fruits and vegetables, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
The study concluded “higher intake of fruits and vegetables during young adulthood was associated with lower odds of prevalent coronary artery calcium after 20 years of follow-up,” according to the article. “Our results reinforce the importance of establishing a high intake of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy dietary pattern early in life.”
Coronary artery calcium is used to measure the atherosclerosis, a disease that hardens arteries is a factor in many types of heart disease, according to a news release from the American Heart Association.
Researchers found that people who ate the most fruits and vegetables at the study’s start had 26% lower odds of developing calcified plaque two decade later, compared with the those who ate the least amount of fruits and vegetables, according to data from more than 2,500 study participants.
The research represents the first study to evaluate whether eating more fruits and vegetables as young adults could produce a measurable improvement in heart and blood veseels years later.
“People shouldn’t assume that they can wait until they’re older to eat healthy — our study suggests that what you eat as a young adult may be as important as what you eat as an older adult, ” lead author Michael Miedema, senior consulting cardiologist and clinical investigator at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minneapolis, Minn., said in the release.
“Our findings support public health initiatives aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable intake as part of a healthy dietary pattern,” Miedema said. “Further research is needed to determine what other foods impact cardiovascular health in young adults.”

Read more »

Eating More Produce in Youth Linked To Healthy Heart

By |

VegBananas1by American Heart Association

Researchers found that eating more fruits and vegetables as young adults was associated with less calcified coronary artery plaque 20 years later. Coronary artery calcium can be measured by a CT scan to detect the presence and amount of atherosclerosis, a disease that hardens arteries and underlies many types of heart disease.

The researchers divided data from 2,506 study participants into three groups, based on their daily fruit and vegetable consumption. Women in the top third ate an average of nearly nine servings of daily fruits and vegetables and men averaged more than seven daily servings. In the bottom third, women consumed an average 3.3 daily servings and men 2.6 daily servings. All servings were based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet.

Researchers found that people who ate the most fruit and vegetable at the study’s start had 26 percent lower odds of developing calcified plaque 20 years later, compared to those who ate the least amount of fruits and vegetables.

Previous studies have shown a strong association between eating more fruits and vegetables and reduction in heart disease risk among middle-age adults. However, this is the first study to examine whether eating more fruits and vegetables as young adults could produce a measurable improvement in the health of their heart and blood vessels years later.

“People shouldn’t assume that they can wait until they’re older to eat healthy—our study suggests that what you eat as a young adult may be as important as what you eat as an older adult, ” said lead author Michael D. Miedema, M.D., senior consulting cardiologist and clinical investigator at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Researchers studied health information from adults in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a government-funded study of black and white young adults, which started in 1985.  At the study’s start, participants provided a detailed diet history, information on other lifestyle variables and cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, whether or not they smoked cigarettes, weight and others. Twenty years later, participants underwent a CT scan to check for buildup of calcium on the walls of the arteries of the heart, which is calculated as a coronary artery calcium score. Higher coronary calcium scores are associated with a higher risk for heart attacks and other coronary heart disease events.

“Our findings support public health initiatives aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable intake as part of a healthy dietary pattern,” Miedema said. “Further research is needed to determine what other foods impact cardiovascular health in young adults.”

Read more »

Eat More Broccoli to Support a Heart Healthy America

By |

Sakata Seed America, IncBy Sakata Seed Co., Inc.

Broccoli is known for its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, which benefit more than just the heart; in fact, studies show that broccoli consumption can lead to better vision, healthier skin, reduced cholesterol, stronger immune system and improved digestion. Better yet, broccoli delivers a powerhouse of nutrients, while remaining low in sodium and calories.

‘Need-to-Know’ Broccoli Nutrition Facts

  • Good source of fiber
  • Good source of Potassium
  • High in Vitamins: A, B6, C
  • Nutrients: Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Iron

Sakata urges you to eat healthy, exercise and educate yourself on how to prevent heart disease. A heart healthy America starts with you. Here are some important steps for decreasing risk for yourself and others.

6 Steps Toward Building a Heart-Healthy America

  1. Increase knowledge
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Eat healthy
  4. Manage stress
  5. Regulate weight
  6. Spread awareness

The American Heart Association has deemed February American Heart Month. As a continued supporter of the American Heart Association, Sakata is doing their part to promote a heart-healthy America. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death of American adults today. Proper diet and exercise are the building blocks of heart disease prevention, which is why finding foods that naturally prevent heart problems is crucial.

Read more »

Potato Bowl Football Game is in Boise Dec. 20th

By |

IPotBowlf for whatever reason you are stuck in Boise, ID this weekend waiting for a load and looking for something to do, hit your potato shipper up for a free ticket to the Potato Bowl football game.  If using a broker, perhaps the broker has an in with the shipper.

In college football, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl will pit the Air Force Academy against Western Michigan University, Saturday, December 20th at Albertsons Stadium in Boise.

The  Potato Bowl is one of 11 postseason games owned and operated by ESPN Events.  ESPN television and radio broadcasts start at 3:45 p.m. MT.   Western Michigan enters the game 8-4; Air Force is 9-3.

As in prior years, the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck will be in the stadium parking lot for pre-game festivities.  The 6-ton potato recently finished its third cross-country tour.  The truck is a sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.  Potatoes have a heart-healthy certification from the organization.

The truck will help raise funds for Boise’s American Heart Association chapter by collecting signatures — with a $1 donation per signature, up to $500.  The Idaho Grower Shippers Association will donate three potatoes to the Idaho Food Bank’s Eastern Idaho branch for each fan who attends the game. Last year about 42,000 pounds were donated.

 

Read more »

Parents Overwhelmingly Support Fruits & Vegetables In School Meals

By |

DSCN3877+1by United Fresh Produce Association

WASHINGTON, DC – United Fresh President & CEO Tom Stenzel issued this statement in response to a national poll of parents’ opinions of school lunch standards released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Heart Association.

Parents nationwide want their children to have healthier meals and snacks at school, according to the poll. An overwhelming 91 percent of parents support requiring schools to include a serving of fruits and vegetables with every meal and more than 72 percent of parents support national nutrition standards for school meals and snacks sold in schools.

This new national poll underscores the strong support by parents for the new healthier school meal standards that require more fresh fruits and vegetables. Their voice joins public health authorities, the National PTA, teachers and others in their steadfast support for healthier school foods.

The childhood obesity crisis is real – with early onset of diabetes and the enormous burden of healthcare costs on society. Moms and dads know the challenge of helping our kids’ make healthier choices – but we don’t opt out of trying. We put our kids’ health first and Congress must continue to do the same.  There can be no going back to water down the modest requirement that children take at least one-half cup of fruit or vegetable at breakfast and lunch.  Instead, we should be looking for ways to reach our public health goal of half the plate being fruits and vegetables, not just half a cup.

The national poll was commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the American Heart Association and was conducted by Hart Research Associates and Ferguson Research between June 19 and 28, 2014 among registered voters who are parents of public school children.

Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh-cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. And, through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400.

Read more »

Pistachios May Contribute To Heart Health In Adults With Type 2 Diabetes

By |

DSCN2934By American Pistachio Growers

FRESNO, Calif. — The benefits of including pistachios in a healthy diet extend to adults with type 2 diabetes, according to a Pennsylvania State University study published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes, who were otherwise healthy, participated in a randomized, controlled clinical study and showed a more positive response to stress following a diet containing pistachios than when following a standard low-fat control diet. The healthy diet, which included two servings daily of pistachios, significantly reduced peripheral vascular resistance, increased cardiac output, improved some measure of heart rate variability and importantly reduced systolic ambulatory blood pressure.

Dr. Sheila G. West, principal investigator and professor of biobehavioral health and nutritional sciences at Penn State, and her colleagues reported similar beneficial results in a study of adults with elevated LDL cholesterol and stress, published two years ago. Increasingly it has been found that pistachios, both salted and unsalted, contribute to a heart-healthy diet in high-risk groups. Pistachios contain good fats and fiber, potassium and magnesium.

In this Penn State study, test diets included a low-fat control diet with high carbohydrate snacks (27 percent fat and 7 percent saturated fat) compared to a moderate-fat diet (33 percent fat and 7 percent saturated fat) that included 3 ounces, or 20 percent of the calories, from pistachios. The servings consisted

of equal amounts of salted and unsalted nuts. All meals were provided to the 30 participants, an equal number of men and women, ages 40-74. The calorie levels for the subjects were based on the Harris-Benedict equation so that calories and body weight did not change throughout the study.

A two-week run-in period on a typical western diet preceded the first test diet. Participants discontinued all dietary supplements at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the study. These adults were then administered each test diet for four weeks, separated by two-week compliance breaks, randomized and in a counterbalanced order. At the end of each diet period, including the run-in weeks, participants underwent comprehensive testing.

Researchers measured blood pressure and total peripheral vascular resistance, both at rest and during stress tests, which consisted of holding a hand in ice water for more than two minutes and a difficult math challenge. “After the pistachio diet, blood vessels remained more relaxed and open during the stress tests,” confirmed Dr. West. She continued, “The pistachio diet reduced their bodies’ responses to stress.”

Twenty-four hour systolic blood pressure was significantly lower following the pistachio diet compared to the control diet, with the largest reduction observed during sleep. According to Dr. Kathryn Sauder, a co-investigator who conducted the measurements, “This finding was important because individuals who do not display a dip in blood pressure during sleep may be more likely to experience a cardiovascular event.”

Dr. West concluded, “A moderate-fat diet containing pistachios may be an effective intervention to reduce cardiovascular risk in persons with type 2 diabetes.” In spite of being obese and having a diabetes diagnosis, participants had normal blood pressure and only moderate dyslipidemia. However, even in relatively healthy diabetics, there is room for improvement. The results of this study suggest that a healthy diet containing pistachios can add to the protective effects of drugs for persons with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers suggested future studies should enroll larger samples, include ambulatory blood pressure as a primary outcome and test the effectiveness of pistachio consumption on cardiovascular risk factors in a free-living setting.

The study was supported by the American Pistachio Growers, Fresno, Calif., with partial support   from the National Institutes of Health-supported Clinical Research Center at Pennsylvania State University.

Read more »

Spud Truck Hits Road with Heart-Health Message for Women

By |

SpudTkBOISE, Idaho – The head-turning, jaw-dropping Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck is back on the road for its third consecutive cross-country tour with a new message for women: Take care of your heart! The five-month long, 2014 Big Idaho® Potato Truck Tour kicked off in Boise, Idaho with waves, cheers, and hugs from the students of Riverside Elementary School and salutes from soldiers at the Air Force Base in Mountain Home.
In 2011, fresh Idaho® potatoes were certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check Food Certification Program by meeting the program’s nutrition requirements and they now bear the highly recognized and respected Heart-Check mark on the packaging. This recognition is profoundly helpful in reminding consumers that Idaho® potatoes can be a part of their everyday diet. Knowing that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women (mothers, sisters, daughters, friends) and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined, it’s more important than ever that women understand the role both diet and exercise play in achieving a healthy lifestyle.
“The Idaho Potato Commission’s (IPC) support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement provides another new and exciting way we can remind consumers, especially women, of the nutritional benefits Idaho® potatoes offer,” said Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC. “In addition to a new charity beneficiary, we’ve rebranded the Truck so it showcases fresh Idaho® potatoes prepared in various ways and creatively communicates the potato’s nutritional benefits.”
“The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is grateful to the Idaho Potato Commission for supporting us in our fight against heart disease in women,” said Bernie Dennis, Chairman, American Heart Association National Board of Directors. “This is an exciting opportunity for the Idaho Potato Commission to help educate consumers on ways they can prevent heart disease through diet and exercise.”

In 2014, the truck will visit 26 states and travel close to 19,000 miles during a five-month period. The Truck and its seasoned traveling Tater Team will stop at high traffic events like the Kentucky Derby, the Art Car Parade and Festival in Houston, Texas and the 55th World Lumberjack Competition in Hayward, Wisconsin. In between events, the Truck will visit key retailers and foodservice operators, and local places of interest it finds along the way.
The Truck The Great Big Idaho® Potato weighs more than 6 tons (the equivalent of 32,346 medium-sized Idaho® potatoes). It has become a traveling ambassador for the country’s most famous potato. After being seen by hundreds of millions of Americans in person and in the IPC’s national television commercial, the most frequently asked question is, “Is it real?” We’ll never tell… but in the event it is, the Great Big Idaho® Potato:

  • Would take more than 10,000 years to grow.
  • Is 1,102 times heavier than the largest potato ever grown, which weighed 11 pounds.
  • Would take 2 years and 9 months to bake.

The Great Big Idaho® Potato Truck was created and built by Chris Schofield and Sharolyn Spruce of Weiser, Idaho. With the help of a few specialized contractors, they spent an entire year designing and building this incredible vehicle. The Kenworth Sales Company and Western Trailer, both based in Boise, Idaho, also aided with the construction.
The Tour To find out when the Great Big Idaho Potato Truck will be in a city near you, please visit www.bigidahopotato.com. The website provides in-depth information about the Truck, the IPC’s support of the Go Red For Women movement and weekly updates with tales and photos from the road.

Read more »

Georgia Pecan Shipments to Increase in Coming Years

By |

Georgia ranks number on in USA pecan pecan shipments and the loads should just keep increasing in coming years.  Georgia growers have enough new trees in the ground to increase production by about 50 percent between now and 2020.

The state shipped 125 million pounds last season.  This year it was  thought volume would be around 70-75 million , but that figure has now been revised to least 100 million pounds.   Enough new pecan trees are now planted in Georgia to increase loads to 150 million pounds by 2020.

Shipments this year have started 10 days to two weeks earlier thanks to a mild winter, followed by a mild summer.

In May, Georgia pecans were added to the American Heart Association list of certified heart-healthy foods, earning the right to display the AHA Heart-Check mark

Read more »