Connecting the Dots Through Heart Healthy Nutrition Education

Xemanhdp Photos- Awesome Pictures Gallery
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When I was young, creating connect-the-dot pictures was a fascinating pastime. Moving the pencil, pen, or crayon from dot to dot through space, creating various angles, curves, and character or location features, watching the image appear before my eyes seemed magical.

Investigators in the medical field continue transformational connect-the-dot understanding of the major chronic diseases of our time such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes mellitus. There is a lot of overlap between the risk factors for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, so taking positive action to prevent one condition means that you are also preventing another, connecting-the-dots.

Heart disease refers to coronary artery disease, heart attack, congestive heart failure, and congenital heart disease. The connection between heart disease and cancer is that heart problems can arise from chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone cancer treatment. Spasms of blood vessels or irregular heart rhythms may appear at the time of treatment, while atherosclerosis and heart failure can show up years after treatment is completed. Hormone therapy that effectively inhibits cancer growth can increase the risk of blood clots, heart attack, and diabetes. People with diabetes have a higher- than- average risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Positively, every step taken to keep ABC’s (A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol) in a target range will help lower this risk.

Connecting these intimidating facts to positive steps for prevention is the hallmark of nutrition education programs offered by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. Nutritionists, Master Food Educators, and paraprofessionals will be offering the Dining with Diabetes and Eating Heart Smart workshops this winter.

The next Dining with Diabetes workshop series will be held on Wednesday, February 11, 18, and 25 from 9-11am. The location will be the STAR Health Sciences complex (formerly the Chrysler Administration building) in Room 232, Plinth Lab, 540 S. College Avenue, Newark. Participants should be those with diabetes, their family members, caregivers, or support persons. There is a $45 fee, but a scholarship can be requested. Call (302) 831-1239 to request a registration form and further information.

Eating Heart Smart workshops will be provided at YMCA-Bear/Glasgow, 351 George Williams Way, Newark on Thursday, February 19 at 2 times- 12:30 and 6:00pm. Contact Lisa Still at 9302) 836-YMCA (9622) for additional information.

For more information about Cooperative Extension nutrition programs, please visit this link: http://extension.udel.edu/fcs/

Cheryl D. Bush, MS,RDN,LDN

Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator

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