SLCo Healthy Lifestyles Blog
Written by Emmalee Price:
Healthy Lifestyles promotes a focus on whole healthy foods, moderation
in all things and a mindful approach to hunger and eating. Focusing on whole
foods and listening to our bodies helps us to feel good, be energized and to avoid consuming large amounts of Tran-
What are Trans Fats?
There are two types of trans
fats: naturally-occurring and artificial. Naturally occurring trans fats are
found in animal food products, i.e. milk and meat, but it is usually very minimal.
Artificial trans fats, also known as trans fatty acids, are created in the
industrial process where hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make
them become more solid. Trans fats are primarily found in processed foods, called,
“partially hydrogenated oils.”
Why are they used?
Trans fats are used to
keep food from spoiling faster, giving it a longer shelf life. Some restaurants
also use it in their deep fryers because it doesn’t have to be switched out as
often as other oils.
How do they affect my health?
Trans fats not only
lower your good (HDL) cholesterol (picks up and carries excess cholesterol out
of your arteries), but they also raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol (builds up
and causes your arteries to narrow and harden). If the excess cholesterol isn’t
moved out of the arteries, it can cause fatty deposit (plaque) to build up. If
a piece of that plaque comes loose, it can cause a blockage of the artery,
leading to a stroke or heart attack.
How do I avoid them?
Substitute trans fats
with monounsaturated fats. When eaten in moderation, monounsaturated fats can
help decrease your level of bad cholesterol and also provide your body with the
nutrients it needs to keep your cells healthy. This type of fat is found in
olive, peanut, and canola oils. Nuts, fish, and other foods containing
unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids are also some healthier options.
What to look for on the nutrition label?
In the U.S., if a food
contains 0.5 grams or less of trans fat, the nutrition label can read 0g. Be
careful when consuming these types of food; the numbers can add up quickly. If
a nutrition label reads 0g of trans fat, double check the ingredients list for
“partially hydrogenated oils.”
What’s being done/regulations on Trans fats?
The FDA is now
requiring that all food companies stop their use of trans fat in their products
by the year 2018. This will help to control the use of partially hydrogenated
oils in the food production industry.
Focusing on whole foods cooked at home as often as possible is a good way to develop healthy habits for a lifetime of healthy eating.
Animals and health
Written by Keahi Higa:
Animals have become common companions in our society because
of the joy, love, and sense of completion they bring to our lives. We have created mutually beneficial
relationships with them, which can positively impact our overall health and
wellness. Our friends from the animal
kingdom provide opportunities for physical activity, mental stimulation, and at
times an emotional charge. Research
supports these conclusions through programs like therapy
animals in hospitals and the difference in physical activity
levels of pet owners vs. non pet owners.
We invite you to consider the opportunity to
reap these benefits through volunteering with our very ownAnimal Servic.
here are so many wonderful cats, dogs, and other friendly
animals that are waiting to interact with you.
Many of these animals could use the same benefits we receive from them,
friendship, compassion, and love. The
great staff at animal services is dedicated to the health and happiness of
these animals and what better way to lend a helping hand then joining them in
caring for the animals through volunteer opportunities.
As a volunteer you can help with:
- Exercise and socialization (These include
awesome activities like a running team and even swimming!)
- Grooming and training
- Other non-animal related activities (which still
benefit the animals, but if you’re not to the point where you are comfortable
with animals but still want to help, we need you too!)
The need for volunteers is there, but, because the county
cares for these animals so much, and, they want to make sure people have the
best experience they can with the animals, animals services has set up a
training program to benefit both the volunteer and the animal. This program includes:
- Watching an online training presentation
- Interactive questionnaire
- One-on-one meeting
This process only needs to be completed once and then you
are welcomed to enjoy our animal friends as often as you can! As you continue to progress in your health
and wellness goals, we invite you to find creative ways to build up your
different dimensions of health, and hopefully animal services can become a
beneficial resource for you and your loved ones.
For more information please feel free to contact
Kiera Packer, Volunteer and Special Programs Coordinator with Salt Lake County
Animal Services at 385-468-6026 or by email at email@example.com
Broaden Your Palate
Written by Christina McWhinnie
recommended 5 – 9 servings of fruit and vegetables can seem like a daunting
task, but check out these tips to see how tasty, cheap and easy healthy treats
can fit into your everyday!
Eat local & in season
employees have an awesome opportunity to join a C.S.A for highly discounted
produce sent right to your office! Check out our employee deal with Tagge’s or
Urban Farm and Feed for a discount on a weekly produce box.
the Jail produce sales or local farmer’s markets. Fresh, organic peppers or
peaches will reach amazing low prices during mid to late summer. This presents
the opportunity to try a vast array of different foods for extremely low prices.
your own (link to USU classes)! After a small amount of start-up cost, this
will provide a continuous supply of fresh produce to be picked whenever you
need or want it.
Keep them accessible, visible and ready to
we are deterred from purchasing produce because we don’t want it to go bad in
our fridge. I encourage you to change your mind set on this one by trying these
- Preparation- Cut up carrots, broccoli, celery
and cauliflower and put in small, convenient containers.
- See them/eat them - Wash grapes immediately in a colander and set
on the top shelf of the refrigerator for easy visibility and access to grab a
handful of ready to eat sweetness.
- Shop everyday like the French! - Swing by the grocery store for five minutes on
your way home from work to purchase the broccoli and onions for that night’s dinner
and cherries for dessert..
- Snack Smart-
Order an apple or banana with your coffee at the drive through Java Hut.
- Costco -
It may sound like a good deal to get 10lbs of carrots or a giant bag of apples,
but this is only a good idea if you have the time to utilize, preserve or
freeze it immediately. Otherwise, chances are you are better off buying smaller
quantities so you don’t wind up throwing it out.
- Frozen options - Another great option is to purchase frozen
fruits or vegetables. This is a good way to always have produce on hand and
ready to use. Frozen produce is blanched and frozen right after picking, which preserves
Vegetables around the clock
Hopefully the color your palate challenge
inspired you to ditch conventional thoughts about veggies and you’ve added them
to your daily routine.
Vegetables don’t have to be a
side dish; they can shine bright as the star of a meal! Start planning each
meal based around fruit and vegetables first. Vegetables are not just for
dinner. Start your day off with some greens with breakfast. Try making Breakfast Egg Muffins in advance, and have
them all week for a convenient, healthy and delicious breakfast. Cut up a
variety of vegetables and mix and match different combinations in each muffin.
America's Favorite Drug
Written by Emmalee Price:
What is the drug that almost 89% of U.S. adults are currently using? Caffeine
is classified as a drug because it stimulates the central nervous system. It
occurs naturally in over 60 plants (i.e. cocoa beans, kola nuts), or can also
be man-made. Caffeine’s main purpose is to increase alertness, which usually
kicks in 45 minutes to an hour after consumption, and can last anywhere from
4-6 hours. As people use caffeine each day, their bodies start to build up a
tolerance to it, and as they continue to have the same amount each day, the effects
are not as strong.
The Mayo Clinic has determined that 400 mg or less per day is an appropriate amount for adults. Children should try to avoid caffeine, or at least limit themselves to less than 100 mg of caffeine a day.
Caffeine can help you feel more awake, boosts your concentration and focus, and can also elevate
your mood. But, if you have too much it can make you feel jittery, keep you up
at night, increase your heart rate, alter your heart’s rhythm, raise your blood
pressure, and become somewhat addictive .
Heavy daily caffeine use — more than 500 to 600 mg a day — may cause side effects such as:
- Stomach upset
- Fast heartbeat
- Muscle tremors
If you experience these effects curb your caffeine consumption.
amounts of caffeine in common drinks/foods:
- Coffee=95-200 mg
- Tea=14-70 mg
- Soft Drinks=0-55 mg
- Dark chocolate bar=30 mg
- Milk chocolate bar=10 mg
Drinks=70-207 mg (depending on the brand)
- 5-Hour Energy Shot=200-207 mg
- Full Throttle=70-100 mg
- Rockstar=79-80 mg
- Red Bull=75-80 mg
- AMP=71-74 mg
* Be sure to watch out for drinks with more than one serving per package.
Moral of the story is, caffeine is alright, if consumed in moderation.
Read the nutrition label and be sure to know what you’re putting into your
We live in a world surrounded by germs,
bacteria, and all kinds of viruses.
Everything we touch, everywhere we go presents new opportunities for
these microorganisms to wreak havoc on our bodies. Although we all have experienced the common
cold and other nasty sicknesses caused by these little intruders, our bodies
have learned to live and thrive despite of these situations. This is because we have a complex protection
organization known as our immune system.
immune system can be thought of the collective efforts of various cells,
tissue, and organs for the sole purpose of preventing and/or limiting harm to
the body. From the marrow of our bones
to the first layer of skin, and everything in between, our immune system is
present everywhere on our body to communicate the appropriate response to
varying pathogens (disease causing agents) and circumstances. In order to have this extensive coverage, the
immune system depends on the flow of blood to allow the appropriate cells to
travel to areas that need attention.
Immunity is our
first line of defense during an immune response is known as innate
immunity. This first line of defense is
made up of specialized cells whose job is eliminating foreign visitors in our
body. These cells engulf infectious and
non-infectious germs, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Their main objective is to respond quickly
and remove problems as they arise. There
are times when these cells are unable to successfully remove/reduce the
threat. When this occurs our adaptive
immunity kicks in as the next line of defense. Cells
from the innate immunity response can communicate with the adaptive immunity
cells to start their immune response.
Adaptive Immunity can be thought of as more specific treatment to a
specific pathogen. Adaptive immunity
cells create antibodies, which bind to problem causing agents and essentially
“disarm” them and removing the threat of infection or damage. Adaptive immunity cells can also cause the
cell death of already infected cells.
The main difference, and function of adaptive immunity cells, is their
ability to build a memory of their protection history. This protection history is a full functioning
catalog that allows more effective responses to future immune threats to
problems it has already solved
This memory and history is the reason why young children
seem to be sick more often. It takes
time and exposure for your adaptive immune response to build up its catalog of
recognizing different immune system threats.
This is also why vaccinations play an important role in immunity. Vaccines offer these specialized cells to recognize
weaker, non-threatening forms of various illnesses, which help to kick-start
the catalog and create immunity. Whether
through organic exposures or introduced through vaccines, immunity is crucial
not only to our personal health, but also to the health of the people around
Immune System Support
Here are some suggestions from the Harvard Medical School on
behaviors that will increase your immune system effectiveness and response:
- Don’t smoke
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
and less saturated fat
- Be physically active
- Get adequate sleep
- Wash hands frequently
- Practice proper food sanitation
- Get regular medical screenings appropriate to
for your circumstances