Healthy Meals, Healthy People

June 2010

According to the Institutes of Medicine, hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is one of the nation’s leading causes of death. Nearly one in three adults has high blood pressure, which placed an estimated $73.4 billion cost on the health care system in 2009. Diets high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure.

The "Healthy Meals in a Hurry" publication helped me lower the amount of sodium in my meals and I was able to cut my blood pressure medicine in half.

- Doug Kollasch, Kossuth County participant

Doug Kollasch and his wife were two of 20 people who attended a “Healthy Meals in a Hurry” program at the Kossuth County extension office. He had recently had a stroke and his doctor told him he should change his diet.

The “Healthy Meals in a Hurry” program emphasizes the need for people to lower the amount of sodium consumed. The average American diet contains about 3000 to 4000 mg of sodium every day, while the Institutes of Medicine recommends 2300 mg of sodium per day and 1500 mg for those over the age of 40 or for those with high blood pressure.

The Iowa State University publication contains recipes for a two week meal plan complete with a grocery list and a plan to make the meals now or freeze for later. The meals are inexpensive at less than one dollar per serving. The key to the recipes is to use the low-sodium soup mixes that are also included in the publication. Participants had a chance to make the low-sodium soup mix and a low-sodium taco seasoning mix to take home and try in the recipes.

Doug Kollasch and his wife credit the “Healthy Meals in a Hurry” cookbook for improving his health. They eat out less often and prepare the recipes in the cookbook and say the recipes taste great.

For more information about the "Healthy Meals in a Hurry" program contact:

For more information about these programs or Iowa State University Extension resources, contact the Kossuth County Extension Office at 515-295-2469.