Time Crunch is Stealing Healthy Years from Canadians - February 2014
A mix of real and perceived barriers contribute to shortened lifespan
HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION WARNS:
TIME CRUNCH IS STEALING HEALTHY YEARS FROM CANADIANS
Canadians are so focused on the here and now that they are losing out on the opportunity to live a full and healthy life, warns the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC). Its new survey of more than 2,000 adults found that even though Canadians know how to protect their heart health, the majority fail to do so because they can’t or won’t commit the time needed.
“Eight out of 10 Canadians know that heart disease and stroke can be prevented, postponed or treated by making healthy lifestyle choices but they are focusing on the barriers rather than the opportunities,” says David Sculthorpe, CEO, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
- Almost half of Canadians (46%) cite long work days and lack of time as a reason for not getting active on a regular basis.
- Between work, family and other obligations, 44% say they have no time for regular physical activity.
- Forty-one per cent of respondents say healthy meals take too long to prepare.
“Tackling the time dilemma is absolutely critical,” says Dr. Beth Abramson, cardiologist and HSFC spokesperson. “The disturbing statistics tell the tale: One in three Canadian deaths is from heart disease and stroke, and it is the number one killer of women.”
What’s more, some of the barriers to healthier living cited by survey respondents may be more perceived than real.
While it’s true that Canadians face a number of time crunches, Statistics Canada, reports that almost a third (29%) of those 20 years or older spend two or more hours a day (15 or more hours a week) watching television. And 15% of Canadians age 20 and over report spending at least 1.5 hours a day of leisure time on their computers.
“Some of the time spent in sedentary leisure activities could easily be devoted to more active and healthy pursuits,” said Dr. Abramson. “Those who say they have no time should take comfort in the knowledge that stints of 10 minutes are beneficial.”
When it comes to food preparation, there are many ways to save time; these start with planning meals for a week, picking recipes, making a grocery list and sticking to it. The Foundation’s Health Check program helps Canadians make healthy choices by identifying them in grocery stores and restaurants.
Meanwhile, the benefits of finding time for healthier living are clear:
• Getting 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity per week reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes by30 %.
• Eating 5+ servings of fruit and vegetables a day can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by about 20%.
• Controlling high blood pressure can cut the risk of stroke by 40% and of heart attack by up to 25%.
“We all need to carve out time to take the simple steps that can prevent the devastating effects of heart disease and stroke,” added Sculthorpe. “We know our goal can only be achieved through solutions found in partnership with the Foundation, governments and Canadians.”
The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke, reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living and advocacy.
The Heart and Stroke 's Bio: The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based organization, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy. Okanagan Area Office: 4-1551 Sutherland Ave, Kelowna BC V1Y 9M9, Phone: 250-860-6275 - The Heart and Stroke Foundation Website - Email
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|Tuscan Leek & Bean Soup|
Description: Welcome those crisp winter days with a pot of hearty Tuscan bean soup. Leeks are a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.
A good source of dietary fiber, leeks also contain goodly amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Easier to digest than standard onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties.
Leeks contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Leeks are low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks contain 61 calories. Further, their elongated stalks provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels, which helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Leeks are great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions. 100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
In addition, leeks are one of the good source of vitamin A (1667 IU or 55% of RDA per 100 g) and other flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, K, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, its stalks have small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb).
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Tips for Preparing Leeks - Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.