Heart Smart: Movie at the Loft Cinema Promotes Heart Health Education



Movie at the Loft Cinema Promotes Heart Health Education



The UA Sarver Heart Center Women’s Heart Health Education Committee celebrated its 10th anniversary with a new type of program in October. Instead of the traditional luncheon, the committee organized a panel discussion and special screening of the movie, “Fed Up” at the Loft Cinema in Tucson, led by program chair Sandy Katz, MD, JD.

The project inspired Sarver Heart Center physicians and staff to consider changes in the way we all eat in order to reduce sugar hidden in many processed food items. “In planning a photo for our promotional materials, we pulled various items out of the refrigerators around Sarver Heart Center and were astonished by the amounts of sugar,” said Nancy Sweitzer, MD, PhD, director of the UA Sarver Heart Center, who moderated the panel discussion that included Victoria Maizes, MD, executive director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, and Maia Ingram, MPH, deputy director of Community-based Evaluation Projects at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

“While the World Health Organization recommends an intake of 20-25 grams of sugar daily, there is no percent recommended daily allowance of sugar on labels, in contrast to almost all other types of food nutrients,” said Dr. Sweitzer. Here are some ideas for reducing sugar in your foods:

• Read labels to look for sugar content.

• Swap flavored yogurt (24 grams of sugar) for lowfat, plain yogurt (9 grams) and add whole fruit chunks (lower sugar in grams, plus beneficial fiber to help that sugar enter the body more slowly).

• Swap sweetened beverages (55 grams) for water (0 grams).

• Cook more whole foods and refrigerate/freeze leftovers to replace pre-packaged frozen meals.

• Mix oil, vinegar and herbs instead of using packaged salad dressing.

• Shop at farmers’ markets to buy more fresh, high fiber, locally-grown foods.

• Move toward a plant-based diet and run away from the SAD (Standard American Diet) – heavy in refined and processed foods, dairy and animal products; light in fruits and vegetables.