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Coldwater Community Schools Chartwells Dining Services
Heart Healthy
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Nutrition Facts & Myths
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Information reflects recommendations from the American Heart Association.


  • A healthy salt intake is 2400 mg per day
  • Sodium comes in two forms:  natural and as an additive.  This is why it is important to read food labels.  Watch for words like "soda", "sodium", and the symbol "Na" on the food label.  These foods contain sodium products.
  • Some medications also contain sodium.  It is important to read food labels of over-the-counter medications that contain 5 mg or more per dosage unit.  Some manufacturer are now even producing medications that are low sodium.  Check with your physician to ensure you are using the correct medication for your current health condition.
  • Foods bearing the claim "healthy" must not exceed 360 mg sodium unless they are an entree'.  "Healthy entrees" must not exceed 480 mg sodium.

  • Three types:  Saturated, polyunsaturated, and monosaturated fatty acids.
  • Recommended that the average person limits total fat intake to 30% of total calories.
  • What is saturated fat?  Saturated fats are fats that typically are solid at room temperature.  Saturated fats are the primary contributor to high cholesterol.  Examples of saturated fats are:  Whole milk, cream, cheese, butter, lard, coconut, palm kernel oil, and some meats.
  • Monosaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol level when utilized in place of saturated fats.
  • Polyunsaturated fats:  Safflower, sesame, soy corn, and sunflower oils
  • Monounsaturated fats:  Olive, canola and peanut oils.


  • Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found in the bloodstream and all body cells.
  • Cholesterol is necessary for the body to function.  It forms cell membranes, hormones, and other body tissues.  Your body gets cholesterol in two ways.  First, your body produces cholesterol daily.  Secondly, cholesterol is obtained through one's diet.
  • A high level of LDL (greater that 130 mg/dl) indicates an increased risk of heart disease.  This is why LDL is often deemed as the "bad" cholesterol.
  • HDL cholesterol, otherwise known as the "good" cholesterol, tends to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver.  The liver eliminates it from the body.  A high level is thought to protect one from a heart attack.  A low HDL level (less than 35 mg/dl) indicates greater risk of heart disease.
  • Cholesterol is only found in animal products (such as eggs, meat & fish).  Plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds do not contain cholesterol.

Additional Resources:

American Heart Association

American Dietetics Association