During September and October, citizens from West Feliciana, East Feliciana, and East Baton Rouge Parishes participated in the four-part hypertension program “Break Up with Salt”. Layne Langley, LSU AgCenter Area Nutrition Agent conducted a morning and evening series at the West Feliciana Parish Extension office at no charge to the participants.
Participants learned about hypertension and the difference between controllable and uncontrollable risk factors. They learned about the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet and why it is used for the treatment of hypertension/high blood pressure. Participants also learned how to read and use nutrition facts label on food packages and which nutrients to focus on to help control high blood pressure as well as portion sizes. Langley provided tips on how to lower blood pressure by making small lifestyle changes. She encouraged the participants to choose healthy options, exercise and/or adopt stress management skills. Langley also discussed habit formation and urged the participants to set realistic, manageable goals for a healthier lifestyle.
Langley led a Grocery Store Tour in the office by showing power point slides of food package labels from all five food groups of the MyPlate. Participants discussed which food options were the healthiest and what to look for on the nutrition facts labels while shopping for dairy, meats, grains, and produce. Additionally, there was discussion on how to make healthy choices when eating out. The participants learned how to identify menu items that are high in sodium and food preparation methods that are lower in sodium. Money-saving tips when buying herbs and spices were also provided. Langley also discussed which herbs and spices can be used to replace salt and which pair well with each other.
Both groups will reunite in early January for the fifth class- a reunion class to check on their progress and see how they have been managing their high blood pressure.
For more information about Break Up with Salt or other nutrition programs in East or West Feliciana Parishes contact Layne Langley at 225-635-3614. Langley will be offering Break Up with Salt again. Feel free to contact her to be put on a waiting list for the next time she offers the series.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture