Body image is the perception that someone has of their physical self. This includes any thoughts and feelings associated with that perception. For many individuals, there is a combination of positive, negative, and neutral experiences and thoughts related to their body image. It is important to understand the affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of body image. The affective aspect of body image is how one feels about their body in terms of satisfaction or self-esteem. The cognitive aspects of body image encompass what one believes or thinks in relation to their body. For instance, one might believe they will look better with more muscle mass. Finally, behavioral body image is when one engages in a particular behavior because of their affective and cognitive body image. Self-acceptance can be particularly challenging in a time of heightened social media use where comparison to others is at an all time high. Understanding how our thoughts can drive our behaviors is the first step in creating healthy mind body experiences. Some key things to engage in at home include avoiding negative self-talk and body comparison, especially in front of children. It is also important to be aware of what is read and looked at, especially online.
Salt substitutes have been a dietary means used to help maintain healthy blood pressure in at risk individuals. As of late, the use of herbs has become more popular in general leading to better health management overall. Sodium can raise blood pressure and cause health issues. NaCl, or table salt, does contain sodium; however, studies indicate that over 70% of dietary sodium comes from prepackaged foods versus table salt added during cooking. Moreover, the increasingly trending use of sea salt has spurred some iodine (an added element to table salt) deficiencies that is notable given its need for proper thyroid function. Overall, a more careful approach to buying prepackaged foods may be the best line of defense for maintaining health. In more severe cases in which as individual has kidney disease, for instance, monitoring table salt may also be required. In these cases, salt substitutes can be used to enhance meals. Salt substitutes come in a variety of options from potassium chloride salts to herbs and spices, depending upon the individuals’ needs. From garlic to lemon zest, onion powder and nutrition yeast, the options are endless.
Cheyenne is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist located in the Charleston, SC area.