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Archive for January, 2019

The DASH Diet. By Our January Student Pharmacist, Brayson Ramirez.

At this point, we are a little bit more than a week into 2019. Many people have made New Year’s resolutions and a large chunk of them most likely want to lose some unwanted weight. Weight loss is not a bad idea, but a lot of people do not know how to do it in a healthy way. Some believe eating less is the way to lose weight, but that can be unhealthy and even dangerous.

The best way to lose weight is through diet and exercise, but also keeping in mind what is reasonable and what one is individually capable of doing. Some progress is better than no progress. Some diet changes may show change, but some may just lead to a happier, healthier life.

I recommend focusing on the happier, healthier life and the rest will come with time.

The first place to start a dietary change would be with the DASH diet. This diet has been proven through multiple scientific studies to help lower or prevent high blood pressure and can also help with weight loss and diabetes. The focus of this diet is on foods that have always been considered healthy, such as fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and nuts. The DASH diet also tries to keep sodium, sweets, added sugars, and fats in moderation. By adjusting the serving sizes of each group, more nutrients can be ingested while limiting the harmful saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol.

Blood Pressure Monitor

To figure out your diet, all you do is check your daily calorie needs for your age and level of activity. Age, is of course self-explanatory, but activity level can be tricky. The DASH diet divides activity level into sedentary, moderately active, and active. Sedentary is only completing your activities to get through the day. Moderately active is walking 1-3 miles a day at a low speed. Active is considered walking more than 3 miles per day and some light physical activity. Females have lower calorie needs on average, as seen in this chart provided by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Chart 1 Calorie Needs

Making this change in diet too quickly can lead to some diarrhea and other uncomfortable problems due to the increase in fiber. Slowly adding a serving or two of vegetables, grains, or fruits each week to transition to the DASH diet can help limit digestive issues and make the change as comfortable as possible.

The hardest part to follow in the DASH diet is knowing the servings needed of each group and what counts as a serving. This is where the diet gets tricky. The NHLBI has a great chart that breaks everything down as shown here.

Chart 2 Food Groups

My advice on this concept is to check out the food groups listed and just try to stay around the top. Maybe try a couple of the meal ideas pre-made on the site or create your own with the recommended food groups. See if there are any meals you enjoy; if you do, start introducing one or two of them every week.

Hopefully, you could get to the point of an all DASH diet approved meal plan, but if you are at least choosing the healthier of two options then that is some important progress. Remember, some progress is better than none and if you are living a happier, healthier life that is most important.

 

For all my reference material and more information on the DASH diet. And for various resources to use in any dietary adjustments please visit https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/heart/dash_brief.pdf

 

Please Welcome Our January Student Pharmacist, Brayson Ramirez.

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This month, we are joined in the pharmacy and lab by Brayson Ramirez, a fourth year pharmacy student from The Ohio State University’s College of Pharmacy. Brayson will graduate in May 2019 and will then take the test to become a registered pharmacist. Brayson will be with us throughout January, so please stop by and meet him while he is in the store. Show him the Plain City hospitality!

Here is what Brayson tells us about himself:

My name is Brayson Ramirez and I am in my last year of pharmacy school at Ohio State. I am from Mansfield, Ohio where most of my family is still located today. I am the first on my father’s side to graduate from college with any type of degree. On my mother’s side, my uncle was the first to attend college. My uncle went to Ohio State for pharmacy, as well, and graduated about 20 years ago. In that time, he has had a huge impact on my life personally and professionally. Growing up, I always looked up to my uncle and, after talking to him many times about pharmacy, I considered joining the profession.

One day when I was in eighth grade, my little sister, who I have always been very protective of, became very sick. She was initially a little sick with strep throat but that appeared to have gone away. She progressively got worse to the point that my mother looked at her once in the morning and immediately took her to the hospital. Some tests were run at the local hospital, but nothing was very clear. At that point, she was taken to Nationwide Children’s here in Columbus. It was determined that she was in diabetic ketoacidosis and that she was a Type 1 diabetic. My family had no idea what any of that meant. All we knew was that my sister looked horrible, could not do anything, and we were all very scared and helpless. One of the first people to stop by and visit my family was my uncle the pharmacist. He explained the disease to my parents and helped assure them that she was going to be okay. Hearing from my uncle provided relief we desperately needed and made me decide I wanted to be equipped with the same knowledge to be able to provide the same relief to others.

Many people came to talk to us over the next few days at the hospital and everything went by so fast, way too fast. In the chaos of the situation, my family felt ill-prepared to handle this disease we knew my sister was going to have to maintain for the rest of her life. We knew there were a lot of pokes and shots but there was no comfort or confidence. It was not until we visited our local pharmacy that we could feel empowerment to take control of the disease. The pharmacist there noticed every new prescription and took the time to show us in a more relaxed setting how each thing worked including how to monitor glucose, inject insulin, carb count, and what to do in situations where glucose was too high or low. At this point, my family was able to overcome our collective fear for my sister and I decided that I wanted to be the one to address situations like that in my community as a pharmacist.

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