What effect does sodium have on your blood pressure?

Almost at the halfway mark, the American Heart Association’s free blood pressure awareness program, the Check It! Challenge, has a reach of 315,000 people. Participants are checking their blood pressure twice monthly and taking advantage of American Heart Association resources provided to them. Each month during the four-month program that began in February, the Check It! Challenge presents a free Community Conversation that is available to the public, and explores ways to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, FROM NOON TO 1 P.M., three experts will discuss ways to reduce sodium in your diet in an online Community Conversation titled “Eat Smart & Reduce Sodium.”  The Zoom link to register and attend is Home | Check It! Challenge (bizzabo.com).

The session’s experts are:

  • Morgan Scott, 7, founder and CEO of Berry Very Munch, who, with the help of her parents, creates organic drinks, treats and jams that can be found at pop-up markets, birthday parties, events, and lunch boxes
  • Linda Altenburger, MS, RD, CDN, Program Manager, Human Development & Diabetes, Senior Nutritionist SNAP-ED Long Island Region, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Suffolk County
  • Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN, CDN, Manager, Lifestyles and Wellness, Price Chopper/Market 32, and longtime American Heart Association volunteer.

Tompkins is the sponsor of this Community Conversation. Carol Schmitz, Senior Vice President, Community Banking Manager, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, will provide opening remarks.

Ken Jubie, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations at SEFCU, will moderate the session, which will provide time for questions and answers.

“Tompkins is proud to be part of the Check It! Challenge, and sponsor the Community Conversation about sodium and healthy eating,” Schmitz said. “We are longtime supporters of the American Heart Association, which offers great opportunities for people to take action to improve their health. I encourage people to join in on Wednesday – you’ll learn a lot.”

“We know that high-sodium foods raise blood pressure,” Wilson said. “I’m happy to be sharing some inside tips that can help you keep sodium down and flavor up.”

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is known as a silent killer. It typically has no symptoms, but can lead to deadly health consequences such as heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. About half of all Americans have high blood pressure, but many are unaware of it.

Statewide, sponsors of the Check It! Challenge include SEFCU, UHS, Kinney Drugs Foundation, PCSB Bank, Ellis Medicine, Baxter (Hillrom is now a part of Baxter), and Tompkins.

To register for the Check It! Challenge, go to www.heart.org/checkitny