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Interview with co-author of “Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies”

Hypertension cookbok photo

Cindy Kleckner, MS, RD, LD – co-author of Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies – and I sat for a chat about her book, high blood pressure and sodium. (Scroll to the end if you prefer to see the interview on YouTube.)

Neily Tell me Cindy, what was it like when you were invited to co-author this book?
Cindy It was really exciting. My co-author was Rosanne Rust, lives in Pennsylvania. She has written 3 other books. So when I had the opportunity, it was real fun for me to be able to exercise my creativity as a culinary expert along with my registered dietitian skills.
Neily Definitely, that’s great! So let’s talk about hypertension. Hypertension being the fancy, medical term for high blood pressure. Who is at risk for developing hypertension?
Cindy We have to look at age first. As you advance in age, you have more of a tendency to have high blood pressure: men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 50 are more at risk. Certain ethnic populations such as African-Americans, people who are obese are a great concern, people who smoke. All those things play into it: if you drink excessive alcohol, if you don’t manage your stress very well, those are the things that put as at most risk.
Neily And what is it: one of 2 people over the age of 60 have high or develop blood pressure?
Cindy Exactly! One in 3 Americans..that is about 76 million people right now. And it really puts as at risk for spending a lot of money in healthcare costs.
Neily Definitely. So, the book talks about the DASH diet. Tell us what the DASH diet is about.
Cindy DASH stands for ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’ and the original study showed that people who incorporated fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, watched the type of fat they were eating, how much they were eating, if you incorporated more fat-free, low fat dairy products and substituted beans for some of your animal protein and also reduction of sodium and salt – those are the things that constitute the DASH diet that really help to prevent high blood pressure.
Neily Great! So I imagine, those principles are probably things that you might have incorporated into the recipes: and there are a 150 recipes in the book?
Cindy Exactly.
Neily Great. So tell me a little more about the recipes in the book. Am I going to have to be a culinary expert to make them?
Cindy No. Not at all. In fact the goal is to get fresh food on the table fast. Smaller number of ingredients that are   very flavorful to take away the salt you have to add, herbs and spices and all that and also, we try to appeal to all masses – so adults, children (there is a section on feeding kids) and also vegetarians. So it is very   diverse.
Neily Great. So if I buy this or somebody bought this book for say their mother or father, for example, then there is   something for everybody to eat in the family.
Cindy Exactly. It’s a good book for prevention, as I said, incorporating a lot of flavorful ingredients. I think   everyone will love it.
Neily Great. Excellent. Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies. Please tune into the next couple of videos because we are going to make a couple of recipes from here!

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