Health Guide

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The American Heart Association (AHA) has listed 7 common mistakes that may result in erroneously high BP measurement and an inaccurate diagnosis of hypertension. These include:

  1. Having a full bladder can add  10-15 points to your reading.
  2. Slouching, unsupported back or feet. Sitting with no support to back or feet can increase the BP reading by 6-10points. Make sure that the patient is sitting in a chair with back support and feet flat on the floor or a footstool.
  3. Unsupported arm: While measuring BP, the arm should be placed on a table or flat counter, so that the measurement cuff is level with the heart. The BP reading increases by up to 10 points if the arm is hanging by the side or if it has to be held up to see the reading.
  4. Sitting with crossed legs may increase a blood pressure reading by 2-8 points.
  5. Wrapping the cuff over clothing increases reading by 5-50 points to your So, the cuff should be applied over a bare arm. When taking a BP reading, the patient should be sitting comfortably in a chair, with legs uncrossed and feet flat on the floor and back and arm supported with the right-sized cuff applied over a bare arm.
  6. Using a too small cuff increases BP reading by 2-10 Select the right size when measuring BP.
  7. Answering questions, talking on the phone, can add 10 points to the measured BP reading.

Ask the patient to stay still and silent while the BP is being measured.

These factors may be the cause of white coat hypertension, where the BP reading is higher than normal or compared to those obtained via monitoring BP at home or in other out-of-office settings. Herein lies the significance of 24-hour ambulatory BP monitoring to accurately measure BP and confirm the diagnosis of hypertension.

(Source: AHA, April 30, 2018)

Health Benefits of Milk

A glass of milk contains three of the four nutrients

— calcium, vitamin D and potassium. Thus individuals ages 9 and older consume three servings of milk, cheese or yoghurt each day; those 4 – 8 years should consume 2-1/2 cups each day. One serving of milk is one 8-ounce cup.

Milk is an important component of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet designed to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. This diet, which includes three servings a day of low- fat and fat-free milk, yoghurt and cheese, and 8 to 10 servings daily of fruits and vegetables, has also been shown to reduce other risk factors for heart disease.

Milk produced in California abides by higher nutritional standards, exceeding the federal standards for protein, calcium and other nutrients. California milk producers accomplish this by fortifying milk with nonfat milk solids, which improves taste and adds additional nutritional benefits. This is important in bridging nutrient shortfalls, specifically calcium, which is especially important among our children and adolescent population. Specific levels of nutrients in California milk can be found by contacting the manufacturer or by reading the label.

There are no sugars added to fat-free, low-fat, reduced-fat or whole milk. The sugars listed in the tables below refer to the natural  sugars  (primarily lactose) found in milk. The nutrient content of chocolate and other flavoured milk is similar to that of unflavored milk with the addition of sugar or a sugar substitute. If sugar or high-fructose corn syrup is used, it generally adds about 13 grams of sugars (about 60 calories) per cup.

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