Heart-Healthy Diets: What You Should Be Looking For

Heart-Healthy Diets: What You Should Be Looking For on onebeatcpr.com

You may be having an improper relationship with the word “diet” and not even know it

We tend to announce we’re “going on a diet” when we gain unwanted weight. It’s usually just a temporary thing.

The true meaning of a diet may be different than what you think. The word itself is based on the Latin diaeta. It means “a manner of living or a way of life.” Diet is not something we take up for a while. It’s a fundamental choice.

Here are some choices you should make when you decide to eat the foods that make up a heart-healthy diet.

Portion control

You might get away with blaming this on your mother. She’s probably the one who made it mandatory for you to eat everything on your plate. She had good reasons, though. Your mother was making sure that you were consuming enough food to assist with the growth of your young body.

Our need for healthy food never changes, but our caloric intake does. How much you eat is just as important as what you’re eating. Restaurants can often take the place of your mother in enticing you to eat more than you need.

Any heart-healthy diet includes controlling the amount of food you eat. Use a smaller plate or bowl to help you reduce the size of serving portions. Choose larger portions of low-calorie fruits and vegetables. Significantly cut down on the size of high-sodium, refined processed foods.

Making this a conscious effort often helps people start to lose weight. A commitment to eating this way permanently helps them start to live healthier.

Another way to develop a permanent change in the way you approach portion control is to keep track of the number of servings you eat. There are many online sources that can help you determine a serving size and even help you track them.

Just be warned that initially, those serving sizes might be a bit surprising and depressing. A standard serving of pasta is about only half a cup – or about the size of a hockey puck. A standard serving of meat is only about two to three ounces – or about the size and thickness of a deck of playing cards.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Sure, no major surprise about this tip. They’re “good for you.” What you might not know is why they’re good for a heart-healthy diet. Most plant-based foods contain substances that have been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Vegetables also tend to be low in calories but high in dietary fiber, the latter of which may help you feel full.

One of the easiest ways to increase your dietary consumption of fruits and vegetables is to give them the starring role in your food preparation. A bowl of fruit in the kitchen isn’t just a decorative prop. It’s a regular reminder – every time you pass by – to help yourself to something that’s low in calories but great for your health.

Make vegetables the main ingredient in your dinner entrée. Sure, sautéed mushrooms are a great topping for a grilled steak. But have you ever tried a marinated and grilled portabella mushroom? You might decide you like the flavor and the texture as much as that medium-rare cut of beef.

Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits are the best choices. If you do opt for canned vegetables, look for ones that are labeled as having low sodium content. Often, the canning and preparation process uses high amounts of sodium. Look for canned fruit that’s been packed either in plain water or juice from the fruit itself.

Grainy days

Much of the breads and grain-based foods we find at the grocery store have been highly processed – to make them look and sometimes taste better. Unfortunately, this processing removes the parts of grains that provide us with beneficial heart-healthy nutrition. That favorite white bread you remember eating as a kid? It’s so highly processed that the manufacturer actually adds nutrition back into it.

Whole grains are excellent sources of fiber and nutrients which play a role in regulating blood pressure – but only when they are unprocessed. It’s easy to increase your intake – just look for breads and other grain-based products that say they are made of whole grain.

For breakfast, look for high-fiber cereal made of whole grains, or better yet, opt for oatmeal. Avoid frozen waffles or biscuits. They’re usually made with highly-processed grains.

Seeking out whole grain alternatives doesn’t mean you have to give up pasta. It is possible to find delicious whole-grain versions of your favorite types. You may not even be able to taste a difference – but over time, your heart will thank you.

Fat attack

Saturated and trans fats are bad news for your heart. Removing them from your diet now is an important step to reducing blood cholesterol and lowering your risk of heart disease. Eating food high in these types of fats is believed to lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries. This can put you at a higher risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Check the nutritional labels of the food you plan to eat. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your daily consumption of saturated fat to no more than about 13 grams. That’s going to be about 6% of total daily calories. As for trans fats, the American Heart Association recommends you avoid them altogether.

Limit your intake of creamy sauces, nondairy creamers, food made with hydrogenated shortening or margarine, and fast-food products made with palm, cottonseed, or palm-kernel oils.

Processed foods like cookies, cakes, frostings, chips, and crackers might be listed as “reduced fat,” but often it means they have been made with trans fats, instead. Avoid foods which state they have been made with oils that have been “partially hydrogenated.”

Fat of any kind is high in calories. Monounsaturated fats like olive or canola oil are wise choices when consumed in moderation. Fish, avocados, seeds, and nuts contain polyunsaturated fats. Both of these types of fats may help you to lower your total blood cholesterol.

Choose protein wisely

Lean meat, poultry, and fish are excellent sources of protein. Diets high in protein are good for heart health. Beware, though, of how much fat you consume as a result of this protein. Chicken breasts are great – until they become fried chicken patties at your favorite fast food outlet.

Also, opt for legumes. Lentils, beans, and peas are excellent sources of protein – but they contain far less fat and no cholesterol.

Shy away from sodium

Many highly-processed foods don’t taste like much of anything. They also must be highly seasoned to make them appealing. The most common seasoning used for this purpose is sodium.

Consuming too much sodium can contribute to high blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends that we consume no more than about 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. That’s only about half a teaspoon of salt.

Avoiding canned or processed foods can help you to stay in this optimal sodium-intake range. Many canned soups or prepared meals have high sodium contents – and don’t be confused by labels boasting that sea salt was used instead. It has the same sodium value as regular salt.

Ease into your heart-healthy diet

A diet should be a way of life. It’s a permanent shift, and these choices can help you to make a long-standing move toward better heart health. Some of the advice might be a bit hard to handle if you do it all at once – and maybe you’re just not ready to give up on those highly-processed egg noodles yet.

A diet is supposed to reward you with a better way of life. Allow yourself an indulgence from time to time as a way to reward yourself for eating well. You’ve earned it.

One Beat CPR + AED provides American Heart Association CPR certifications for groups and individuals. Our programs cover advanced, basic, and infant CPR courses. For more information, or to sign up for classes, contact us today!

The Recovery Position: What It Is, and Why Everyone Should Know About It

The Recovery Position: What It Is, and Why Everyone Should Know About It on onebeatcpr.com

The recovery position guards against a restricted airway

Would you know what to do if an individual had been rendered first aid, but was still unconscious?

You’re waiting for emergency professionals to arrive and take over. Is there anything else you should do? There often is, and it’s called the recovery position. Here’s what you need to know:

When to use the recovery position

Unconscious and breathing – these are the two conditions which indicate it’s time to take this next step in providing first aid. The recovery position keeps an individual’s airway clean and open, ensuring that the tongue or fluid won’t make them choke. This is a real and serious possibility.

When an individual is unconscious and lying on their back, the jaw tends to slump, which allows the tongue to fall to the back of the throat. This could block the airway and make it impossible to breathe. Likewise, someone may vomit while they’re unconscious, also blocking their airway.

There are 7 steps to placing someone in the recovery position. While that might seem like a lot of steps to remember, they all make sense in getting someone into the position you see in the photo above.

  1. If you’ve administered CPR, the person will already be on their back. Otherwise, move them to this position. Then, kneel on the floor next to them.
  2. Place the arm nearest to you at a right angle to their body. Angle their hand upwards, towards their head.
  3. Tuck the other hand under the side of their head. The palm of this hand should be facing down so that the back of their hand is touching their cheek.
  4. Now, bend the knee farthest from you as close to a right angle as possible.
  5. Carefully roll them onto their side. Use the bent knee to help you with this.
  6. You’ll see why you started by positioning their arms first. The top arm will support their head, while the bottom arm will keep them from rolling over too far.
  7. You’ve successfully maneuvered this person into the recovery position – but your job isn’t done yet. Now, you’ll want to open their airway by positioning their head to assist with breathing. Gently tilt their head back and lift their chin. Check to see that nothing has blocked the airway.

When NOT to use the recovery position

Moving someone into the recovery position is dangerous and may cause further harm if you have any reason to believe they’ve suffered a spinal injury. It’s best not to try to move them at all until emergency professionals arrive to assess the situation.

It’s still important, however, to open their airway. Remember that you want to prevent any movement to their neck while doing this. Put your hands on either side of their head. Then gently lift their jaw with just your fingertips.

It’s best to receive professional training to apply for the recovery position correctly. When it’s done right, it can save a person from death or lasting injury due to a restricted airway.

One Beat CPR + AED offers professional, accessible, American Heart Association-approved CPR coursesFor more information or to find a training facility near you, connect with us online or give us a call at 954.321.5305.

What is Hands-Only CPR and Who Can Do It?

What is Hands-Only CPR and Who Can Do It? on onebeatcpr.com

Recent AHA CPR changes emphasize a chest-compression-only technique for certain conditions

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), 90% of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) victims who aren’t under medical supervision don’t survive. The good news is that immediate administration of CPR can as much as triple the chance of surviving cardiac arrest.

In response these tragic statistics, the AHA re-analyzed their recommended CPR techniques. Research had indicated a reluctance of bystanders – due to hygienic or knowledge concerns – to perform the mouth-to-mouth aspect of CPR. While doing away with assisted breathing might seem like a massive change, the technique might not have been as necessary as formerly thought.

Compression-only CPR and the Bee Gees

In general, the hands-only approach is only recommended if nobody on the scene knows full CPR, the individual isn’t an infant or small child, or if performing mouth-to-mouth is otherwise inadvisable. The technique involves two basic steps:

  1. Call 911. The first step in any emergency should always be to call for professional medical help. The dispatcher will need to know the address, details about the state of the victim, and may provide medical instruction.
  2. Once the individual is in position, pump the heart. Chest compressions manually circulate blood through the body. The compression point should be about parallel with the nipples on an adult, in the center of the chest. The beat to the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” is about the perfect rhythm for chest compressions (other popular songs that will work are “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira and Johnny Cash’s “Walk the Line”). Compressions should be applied with locked arms and be maintained until help arrives, and the chest should be depressed approximately 1½ to 2 inches, again for an adult.

Why make the change?

Surprisingly, the AHA’s inquiry revealed that focusing entirely on chest-compressions is about as effective as incorporating mouth-to-mouth – at least within the first few minutes. In addition, when it comes to cardiac arrest, doing something is always better than doing nothing. Most people feel more comfortable with compression-only CPR, and dropping the mouth-to-mouth requirement increases the likelihood of help from bystanders.

Another aspect the AHA found favorable is a confidence boost in applying CPR. When bystanders don’t know what to do, they’re often concerned that attempting CPR could only make matters worse. The compression-only technique is so simple, people are more likely to remember how to do it – and therefore, more likely to take action.

Is it really just as effective?

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine assessed 1,941 instances of out of hospital cardiac arrests. Approximately half were given chest-only CPR. The study’s authors concluded, “we observed no significant difference between the two groups in the proportion of patients who survived to hospital discharge.”

Those with CPR certification are still advised to perform traditional CPR. Furthermore, the AHA continues to recommend mouth-to-mouth, or “rescue breathing,” for infants, children, and in cases of drug overdose, drowning, or for victims who collapse due to difficulties breathing.

Who can do hands-only CPR?

As previously stated, the compression-only approach is only recommended for bystanders without CPR training, or in cases where bystanders might not be willing to perform mouth-to-mouth.

In short: Almost anyone can perform hands-only CPR.

Hands-only CPR is only the beginning for South Florida

The AHA campaign to promote the hands-only approach is bound to save lives, however, there’s more to proper CPR than this simple approach.

Full CPR training includes knowing how to recognize when CPR should be administered, how to properly apply the full technique, and what to do when a victim is revived. Classes also include automated external defibrillator (AED) training.

One Beat CPR + AED sets the standard for South Florida’s AHA and American Safety Health Institute certified training facilities. We offer group and individual classes for everyone from medical professionals to new parents.

For more information about lifesaving classes, connect with us online or give us a call at 855-663-2328.

CPR Training Demystified

CPR Training Demystified on onebeatcpr.com

Have you ever wondered what CPR training entails? Here’s what you need to know.

When the heart slows significantly or goes into cardiac arrest, blood circulation comes to a halt, threatening damage to the brain and other vital organs. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is essentially a short-term manual-override of the heart. CPR compresses the heart to simulate normal beating, causing it to continue blood circulation until a normal rhythm is restored. Most forms of CPR include rescue breathing, which supplies oxygen to individuals who have stopped breathing on their own.

A brief history of CPR

While mouth-to-mouth resuscitation was first introduced by the Paris Academy of Science in 1740, the modern incarnation of CPR didn’t take shape until 1960. The following years and decades saw advancements in emergency response, such as the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), and, most recently, less emphasis on the mouth-to-mouth element of CPR. However, possibly the most significant development was the accessibility of the technique to the general public—practically everyone can learn and apply CPR.

Today, CPR is known to be helpful whenever the heart stops beating or an individual is unresponsive and stops breathing—such as near-drownings, allergic reactions, electrical shocks, or excessive loss of blood. Understanding when to administer CPR is just as important as knowing how.

A general CPR syllabus

CPR training courses vary. For example, medical professionals require more in-depth training, and certain courses focus on CPR for infants and small children. In general, here’s what lifesaving courses cover:

Course execution, to some degree, depends on the facility and trainer. Typically, CPR training courses are composed of these basic elements:

  • A one-day class. While comprehensive and thorough, most CPR courses can be completed in a single day.
  • Introduction. Instruction usually begins with general information about CPR. Situations, where CPR can be applied along with the importance of being a first responder, might be used to help formally introduce the class to cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Review the manual. Each student receives an illustrated manual the instructor will walk the class through.
  • Videos. Video demonstrations are typically shown to classes to provide visual supplementation to the manual.
  • Hands-on training. Watching is helpful, doing is transformative. After being carefully instructed on CPR, students are then required to practice on manikins while receiving feedback from their teacher.
  • Written exam. CPR training ends with a multiple-choice test. Tests are graded immediately—students who don’t pass are given the opportunity to take as many as three re-tests on that same day.

Types of certifications

CPR certification can be specialized. Some lifesaving courses may provide a general certification, others are intended for those whose vocation requires specific training, such as child care and medical professionals.

Some certifications involve the use of AEDs or CPR for infants and children. In advanced lifesaving curricula designed for medical/emergency professionals, courses might involve proper use of oxygen tanks, how to insert breathing tubes, and the use of artificial breathing apparatuses.

CPR certification expires after two years. Recertification is typically achieved by demonstrating the required CPR techniques.

Who’s required to know CPR

While it’s a good idea for everyone to be trained in CPR, these are some of the professions that require (or often require) it:

  • Medical doctors
  • Nurses
  • Physical therapists
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists
  • Flight attendants
  • Coaches and athletic trainers
  • Lifeguards

In addition, teachers, camp counselors, and allied health workers are often mandated to undergo CPR training. Other industries that benefit from CPR training are construction, food service, coaching, and electrical workers.

Where to obtain CPR training in South Florida

The first step in CPR training is finding an American Heart Association-approved facility. Classes can be taken on an individual or a group basis and at a dedicated training facility or a specific workplace.

In South Florida, OneBeat CPR+AED provides CPR and AED certification at affordable rates, with highly-qualified, AHA-certified instructors. If you’re considering becoming a life-saver, visit our website to find the best course for your needs—or give us a call at 954-321-5305.

Allergic Reactions Can Be Life Threatening: Is Your Staff Prepared?

Allergic Reactions Can Be Life Threatening: Is Your Staff Prepared? on onebeatcpr.com

19 things everyone in the office should know about dealing with severe allergic reactions

Every three minutes at least one person suffers an emergency-level allergic reaction. Severe allergic reactions are becoming more and more common. According to FoodAllergy.org, between the late 90s and mid-2000s, child hospitalizations for allergic reactions tripled.

While most of your staff may be aware of the dangers of allergic reactions, it’s less likely they know how to respond to such an attack.

Anaphylaxis 101

Some allergic reactions don’t amount to much more than an inconvenience – itchy skin, watery eyes, and runny nose – while others are significant.

Shock, dramatic blood pressure loss, and troubled breathing are signs a person is experiencing anaphylaxis—the medical term for a life-threatening allergic reaction. Other symptoms include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Swollen eyes, lips, throat, tongue, and/or face
  • A weak, rapid pulse
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Itchy, pale, or flushed skin
  • Trouble breathing—wheezing/constricted airways
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Fainting

Anaphylaxis can be caused by allergies to foods, insect stings, or medications. People with a history of severe allergies are encouraged to carry an epinephrine injector with them at all times.

What to do when someone suffers a severe allergic reaction

Don’t wait. Call 911 immediately if someone’s showing signs of anaphylaxis. In some cases, without proper treatment, such reactions can be fatal within 30 minutes.

After calling emergency services, take the following 9 actions:

1. Call 911. It’s worth repeating—the first step is calling for help.

2. Get information. If the victim is conscious, ask if they’re carrying an epinephrine pen. Also, find out if they have any instructions for helping them.

3. Administering the injection. First ask if they’re capable of giving themselves the shot. If they’re unable, it’ll have to be given to them—most auto-injector pens are operated by pressing the injector onto the thigh.

4. No drinking. While it might seem natural to offer a person suffering from anaphylaxis a drink of water, don’t. Shock causes the digestive system to shut down—they might not be able to swallow, thereby making that seemingly helpful sip of water harmful.

5. Keep them calm. Maintain a scene that’s free of panic. If there are people present who are panicking, they should politely be asked to leave. Help the victim lay on their back—unless they’re vomiting or bleeding from the mouth or nose; if such a choking hazard exists, have them lay on their side. Also, loosen clothing such as neckties, collars, etc.

6. Elevate their feet. To help increase circulation and relaxation, raise their feet approximately one foot from the floor.

7. Keep them warm. Shock causes the blood vessels in the extremities to constrict in an effort to maintain core organ temperatures. Cover the victim with a blanket, coat, or other articles of clothing that will help maintain their body temperature.

8. CPR. If the victim isn’t breathing – coughing means they’re breathing – and they’re unresponsive, administer CPR. CPR should be continued until emergency services arrive. If the individual has gone into sudden cardiac arrest and an AED is available, follow the instructions and use it.

9. See a doctor. In some cases, symptoms might dissipate before receiving medical attention. While the patient might seem fine, it’s still possible for life threatening conditions to erupt again. Doctors typically recommend at least several hours of hospital observation after a severe allergic reaction.

The importance of preparing South Florida

A general understanding of what to do for someone hit with a severe allergic reaction is a solid first step towards saving lives. However, there’s a difference in knowing the basics and being trained in how to respond.

Lifesaving training can help prepare your staff for anaphylaxis. Courses provide students with hands-on experience so when an emergency happens, they are prepared to act.

One Beat CPR+AED offers group classes to help prepare South Florida’s businesses for emergencies. For more information on lifesaving classes for your staff or on an individual basis, call us at 954.321.5305, or connect with us online today.