Healthy Tips - May/June 2018


Topics This Issue:

Osteoporosis 101

This “silent disease” causes bone tissue and mass to deteriorate over time. As the bones thin, lose density and become frailer, there is a higher risk for serious fractures. Because osteoporosis takes place gradually over years, people may not know that they have an issue until a sudden strain or fall causes a fracture. This is why screening is so critical.

Older women are particularly susceptible to osteoporosis. Risk factors include:

  • Being female
  • Going through menopause
  • Male or female - being slim and less than 130 pounds
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking excess alcohol (more than three glasses daily)
  • Having a first-degree relative with osteoporosis
  • Age—the older you are, the greater your risk

Screening for osteoporosis involves a bone density scan.

This quick, painless procedure uses an enhanced, low-radiation form of X-ray technology called DXA (pronounced “dexa”). Generally, a DXA screening for women over age 65 is highly recommended. Men over 70 should discuss screening with their primary care doctor. Of course, if you have risk factors, ask your doctor for guidance at any time.

So, what preventive steps can you take?

Two key steps are to get the daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D, and to consistently engage in weight-bearing, impact-based activity. See our related articles on walking and good bone nutrition! Talk with your primary care doctor for guidance.

Find a primary care provider at PacMed! Already diagnosed with osteoporosis? Learn more about our Rheumatology team.

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Cataracts 101

What is a cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. Just like a camera with a smudged lens, if the eye’s lens is cloudy, the quality of vision will be poor.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

A person with a cataract may notice that their vision has become blurred or duller. They may have trouble reading or identifying colors, in particular blues and purples. Night vision may be compromised and light-sensitive; for example, headlights may seem too bright or have streaks radiating from them.

Who is at risk?

Although most cataracts occur in older people due simply to aging, cataracts also can be caused by surgery, steroid use, exposure to radiation or an eye injury. Some diseases such as diabetes can contribute to your chance of developing cataracts earlier.

Can I reduce my risk?

You may be able to reduce your risk of a cataract. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid UV exposure. Wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses or regular clear glasses with a UV coating.
  • Get good nutrition—in particular, green, leafy vegetables, fruit and other foods with antioxidants.
  • Receive regular, preventive eye care from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. A typical eye exam is painless. Your eye doctor will track your vision health over time and answer your questions.

How are cataracts treated?

Nonsurgical treatments aim to improve vision as much as possible. These include altering glasses prescription and adding a tint to cut glare. Reading in good light and choosing books with a larger font are other steps. Surgery may be recommended once the symptoms have progressed to a point that it interferes with your daily activities. In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is replaced with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens.

The PacMed Optometry team can assess your eye health, and our Ophthalmology department offers cataract surgery.

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What's Cooking: Tofu Banh Mi

A traditional Vietnamese banh mi is typically made with pork, but this vegetarian makeover uses crispy tofu, vegetables and zesty sriracha mayonnaise. Tofu, an excellent source of protein, iron and calcium, will keep up your energy and bone health, and it’s a great, affordable option for your meatless Mondays.

Serves 5. Prep Time: 50 minutes (includes marinating time) Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 12 ounces (1 package) extra-firm tofu
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 radishes, sliced thinly
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, or veganaise if avoiding animal products
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha hot chili sauce
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • ½ cucumber, peeled into ribbons
  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced, seeds removed (optional)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 20-inch baguette


1. Cut tofu into five 1-inch thick slabs. Combine 1 tablespoon water, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in an 8"×8"baking dish. Arrange tofu in the marinade in a single layer and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then turn tofu pieces and refrigerate another 15 minutes.

2. To quickly pickle, place radishes, vinegar, black pepper and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3. Stir together mayonnaise, sriracha sauce and lime zest. Set aside.

4. Heat canola oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Arrange tofu in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on one side or until lightly browned. Flip tofu and cook another 5 minutes until browned. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly.

5. Prepare carrots, cucumber and avocado as described in ingredients list.

6. To assemble sandwiches, slice baguette in half lengthwise. Evenly spread 5 tablespoons sriracha mayo on bottom half of baguette and 5 tablespoons mashed avocado on the top half. Place tofu slabs on the bottom half. On top of tofu, evenly distribute cucumber ribbons, carrots, radishes, optional jalapeno and cilantro. Put upper half of baguette on top and cut into five 4-inch sandwiches.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 sandwich

Calories 362 Total fat 13g Sat. fat 2g Chol. 0mg Sodium 841mg Carb. 48g Fiber 6g Sugars 4g Protein 17g

Adapted from original recipe by Deborah Murphy, MS, RDN:

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Nutrition Corner: Eat Right for Strong Bones and Good Vision

Bone Health: Increasing your intake of dietary sources that are rich in calcium, vitamin D and magnesium can support a personal health goal to maintain strong, resilient bones. As always, work closely with your medical provider to create a care plan that’s right for you.


Calcium is found in dairy products (for example, milk, yogurts and cheese), fortified juices, canned salmon and some plant sources such as tofu. Try making “tuna melts” with salmon instead of tuna, or enjoy plain, low-fat yogurt with fresh fruit for a mid-morning snack. Other excellent sources are figs, cooked bok choy, sardines, almonds, sesame seeds and cooked white beans.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is in milk and some yogurt and can also be found in eggs, mushrooms and some fortified foods. Starting your day with a hardboiled egg or having a glass of milk instead of your midday soda can help.


Foods rich in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts. Fresh fruits and vegetables also provide a modest amount of magnesium.

Eye Health: Studies have shown that some nutrients may help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common eye condition and the leading cause of vision loss in people over 50 years old. But are supplements the best path forward to ensuring you eat the right nutrients for good eye health?

While specific vitamins and supplements are promoted as beneficial, experts agree that the best method is to consume a varied diet that’s rich in antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin. Sounds easy enough. But what food items contain antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin?! Try these recommended sources:

  • Most fruits and vegetables, but especially dark green vegetables and yellow and orange vegetables and some yellow and orange ones such as: corn, nectarines, oranges, papaya, squash and sweet potatoes.
  • Egg yolks

In addition to diet, certain lifestyle factors can also affect eye health. Be sure to exercise regularly, avoid smoking, and maintain normal blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Check in with your eye care professional on a regular basis as well.

Learn about the dietitian services at PacMed. Or call to make an appointment: 206.505.1300.

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Walk Your Way to Health!

Walking is a simple and enjoyable activity that offers many health benefits. Just 30 minutes a day can improve your heart health and lower your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Because walking is a weight-bearing exercise, it helps maintain strong bones. Bone is living tissue, and it gets stronger when you exercise. Specifically, weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise helps to increase bone density such as walking, climbing stairs, jogging, dancing, tennis and lifting weights.

It’s easy to get started with a regular walking routine. If you aren’t a walking enthusiast already, start small. Even if you begin with just 5 to 10 minutes each day, you can gradually work up to 30 minutes of brisk walking in no time! Just gradually increase your time each week as you get in better shape.

Too busy? Break your target walking time into smaller chunks and spread them out during the day. You will still get health benefits. Here are some ideas to fit more steps into your day:

  • Take your dog for a stroll.
  • Go to the store or post office—on foot!
  • Walk over to a colleague to ask a question instead of sending email.
  • Get off the bus one stop earlier to walk the rest.
  • Park farther away from your office, and use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Golf—without the cart!
  • Hike with a friend at a local park.
  • Window shop at the mall or downtown.

Before you know it, walking can be a part of your daily routine!

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June Wellness Symposium for HR Professionals

Attention HR employees—Save the date for our complimentary wellness symposium!PacMed’s Living Well Alliance team is hosting this event to share ideas on ways to enhance your company’s wellness initiatives.

Wellness Symposium

Thursday, June 14

10:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

(Lunch included)

PacMed Beacon Hill campus

1200 12th Ave S Seattle, WA 98144

This lively event will include speakers and roundtable sessions on how to get your employees engaged. Hear from local experts on heart health, behavioral health and a yoga expert for stress-reduction tools. Bring home resources and possible raffle prizes from Lululemon, Steven’s Pass ski lift tickets and more! Join us for this complimentary event. Lunch will be included.

Look for your invitation by email, or contact Christy Goff at PacMed for more details or to RSVP today.

The Living Well Alliance is run by Pacific Medical Centers. Call us today at 1.855.550.8799 for more information or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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