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February is heart month and we want to share as much heart healthy information as we can with you. So everyday we will write a post about something heart related.

Today, the American Heart Association lowered the recommended daily sodium intake to 2200 milligrams, which is 40% less than previously recommended. The average American consumes around 3600 milligrams of sodium a day! The Los Angeles Times article by Melissa Healy reports that if people dropped their intake to 1500 milligrams a day, that could save 1.2 million lives a year from heart disease related deaths! The National Institute of Health also recommends 2400 milligrams for people with normal sodium levels, but 1500 for those with Hypertension. While there is a lot of debate still on whether there is a direct correlation between high sodium diets and heart attacks, there is no doubt that high sodium diets contribute to high blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease.

So, what do you do if you have high blood pressure or a high sodium diet? First step is to start reading ingredients and labels on your food.  Processed foods are the enemy and fast foods are a killer! Sodas, breads, salad dressings and snack foods can be loaded with sodium. Secondly, try and add fruits and vegetables into your diet. Do not add salt when cooking or eating out. Try taking the salt shaker off the table at home if that helps you. Try eating natural/organically raised/hormone free meats without seasoning, whole grains and healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil.

Cutting out salt is not easy, especially for salt lovers, but your heart will thank you!

My ginger friends are not going to like this, but according to a new study released today in the Los Angeles Times, gingers have an elevated risk of skin cancer even when covered up! The study was published in the Journal of Nature and used mice (boo hoo) to discover that the reddish-yellowish pigment that give ginger’s their gorgeous hair and freckles can trigger melanoma. Watch out Lindsay Lohan!!

According to  Med Page Today (11/1, Smith) reports, “In the absence of UV light, less than a quarter of both the black and the white mice developed melanoma after a year. In contrast, half the red mice had developed cancer by year’s end,” the researchers found. “The key appears to be the gene for the melanocortin 1 receptor, MC1R.”

But what to do if you’re ginger or even fair skinned? Hello??!! People, wear your sunscreen! A hat helps and so do long sleeves and pants when outside for long periods of time. No one expects you to lock yourself inside and never see the light of day but there are ways to be smart about spending time in the sun. Look for clothing with an SPF- Coolibar is one of the best places to find these items. I love their big rimmed hats!  Remember to reapply sunscreen every 30 minutes or after you swim or sweat. A visit to your Dermatologist for a mole check couldn’t hurt either. 

Coming to beach bags this spring/summer- GOLDFADEN MD’s SUN VISOR! No, it is not a visor-it’s a 30 SPF mist and it is fantastic! SUN VISOR not only protects but also has a cooling effect. Stay tuned for launch date!

So if you’re in a sunny climate today remember to put on your sunscreen and a hat! Have a happy, sunny day!

Actual food ingredients in skincare products seems to be a rampant trend as of late. We’ve been hearing about mushrooms for a while thanks to Dr. Weil and Green Tea is everywhere, but do they really work?  According to a story in the Los Angeles Times they may NOT.  Dr. Leslie Bauman, a Miami based dermatologist, terrific author and researcher brings up the point that just because the food is good to ingest, does not mean that it works when applied topically. However, there are still a few that offer anti-aging protection and aid in restoring skin.

Being the Princess of Natural Skincare, I like to take my self appointed name and earn it. So, I have to experiment in order to report back to you. Saturday night I decided to try one of the oldest food ingredients on my face to see what all the fuss was about. For years I have been reading about the benefits of olive oil, not only to eat but for the skin and hair. It felt great going on if not a little greasy (go figure), and I smelled delicious. I only put it on one side of my face in order to compare it to the other in the AM.  When I woke up my face did not feel any more hydrated on the olive oil side. And I used Extra Virgin……  Is it a wives tale or just for Greek beauties, like my next door neighbor in college?

According to Emily Sohn’s LA times article there are some food ingredients that do work without breaking the bank.  Read through them and then let me know if you’ve ever tried anything crazy on your skin or hair!