Building Healthy Communities Newsletter: Volume 4

Saundra Raines, Langston, Marianna L., Seay, Brittney, Robinson, Carolyn, Crawford, Terri L., Stephens, Cynthia, Lawrence, Alethia, Agan, Cathy B.  |  4/28/2017 7:54:52 PM

Attached is the March Issue of our "Building Healthy Communities" newsletter. Feel free to print it and share it with a friend! We hope you enjoy it!

NUTRITION: Margarine vs. Butter

Margarine is a non-dairy product made from vegetable oil, water and salt. It can be used as a substitute for butter. Hard margarines contain a high amount of trans fat, in addition to saturated fat. Butter, on the other hand, is made from cow’s milk. Animal fats and products made from them are very high in saturated fat.

The most important thing to know when looking at butter and margarine, is knowing and understanding fats and how fats affect heart health.

Fats to be avoided are saturated fats and trans fats. These fats increase cholesterol levels in the blood and also increase the risk for heart disease.

Trans fat lowers HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol). Fats that are hard at room temperature have higher amounts of saturated and trans fats. It’s best to stick with softer margarines, like the ones that come in tubs.

The good fats include unsaturated fats– polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. These fats actually help lower LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol) in the blood.

Because butter is high in saturated fat it is on the “use sparingly” list. Margarine can be a substitute, but caution is recommended. Pay close attention to labels when purchasing these products. Look for margarines or spreads with no trans fats, the least amount of saturated fats, and try to find one that has a low percentage of daily cholesterol.

Healthy options to use instead of butter or margarine are oils. Some heart healthy oils you can use are: canola, olive, safflower and soybean oils. These not only add the “good” fats to your food, they add loads of rich flavor!

FINANCIAL HEALTH: Are you ready in case of an EMERGENCY?

It can happen at any time: loss of a job, medical crisis, car breaks down, natural disaster or unexpected death. Life doesn’t give us warnings, it just happens. We are never ready emotionally, but before a major event takes place, we do need to think about finances. It is important to plan ahead.

Emergency fund. Having money set aside just for emergencies is almost a MUST have these days. Most experts agree that $1000 is a good amount to start off with. Remember, this goal is personal, and should be adjusted to fit your own personal budget.

Life insurance policies. If you are healthy, and a non-smoker, a life insurance policy is a great way to ensure your family is taken care of if something happens to you. Some policies even build cash value, so that in the event of an emergency, you can borrow against that amount.

Other insurances, like cancer policies, disability policies and accident policies can pay off in an emergency. Too many policies, however, can get pricey. Shop around for the best deals, and base your decisions on the ones you think you really need.

Know your local resources. Each community has different agencies designated to assist with different needs. Learn about these local agencies, like the Workforce Commission, the Department of Children and Family Services, or the Medicaid office. Maybe you will never need their services yourself. You never know who you might point in the right direction, in their own emergency.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: Staying Hydrated While Exercising

Water plays an important role in our health. Water protects our tissues, spinal cord and joints. It is used in all of our cells. Water regulates our body temperature, and aids in digestion. The liver and kidneys use water to flush out waste.

Water is vital to us.

We lose water when we breathe, cough, sweat, digest food, sneeze, talk, or go to the bathroom. Its important to replenish water stores so we do not become dehydrated during physical activity, it is especially important to pay attention to hydration.

Because of accelerated heart rates, increased movements and sweating, water loss during physical activity can be sudden, and it can have severe consequences.

It is suggested that you drink:

17-20 oz.- 2-3 hours prior to a workout

8 oz. - 30 minutes before a workout

7-10 oz. - every 10-20 minutes during a workout

8 oz. - no longer than 30 minutes after a workout

Signs of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Cramps
  • Dry mouth
  • Fast, hard heartbeat
  • Lack of sweat

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek emergency medical attention right away!

Children need a MINIMUM of an hour of physical activity per day, and adults need at least thirty minutes per day.

Be safe. Stay hydrated.

HEALTHY HOMES: Asthma Triggers in the Home

Our homes are safe places, safe from the outside world. For a child (or adult) living with asthma, this may not be the case. There are things we do and allow in our homes everyday that create an unsafe environment for the person suffering with asthma. Common indoor triggers include candles, wood burners, aerosol sprays, like air fresheners, cleaners or hair sprays, perfume and cigarette smoke. Other triggers include dust mites, mold and pollen. For a normal person, these things have little to no affect on them. But for a person with asthma or other breathing issues they can trigger a flare up or an attack, that can be serious, or even fatal.

Eliminating the triggers in your home does not have to be hard. Don’t use aerosol sprays. Use mattress and pillow covers to protect against dust mites. Also, no stuffed animals, they harbor dust mites. Run your air. Your air unit filters the dust. Try and rid your home of pests. Keep pets outside or at least out of the individuals bedroom. Do not let anyone smoke in your home.

For more information on making your home asthma trigger free, visit:

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