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Posted by Jennifer (the student) on February 13, 2012


Not only is tomorrow Valentine’s Day, but February is also National Heart Health Month. In celebration of both, I thought I would write about honoring our hearts with a few simple lifestyle changes.

  1. Getting Active
    • aim to exercise at least 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
  2. Check Cholesterol
    • desirable range of total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL
    • HDL cholesterol level 60 mg/dL or above
    • LDL cholesterol level 70 mg/dL to 129 mg/dL (depending on your risk level)
    • Triglyceride level of less than 150 mg/dL
  3. Eat better by choosing:
    • lean protein that is low in fat and cholesterol
      • good sources: lean beef, pork without skin, white fish, chicken, turkey, egg whites, soy protein
    • increase fiber intake-fiber helps lower LDL cholesterol
      • good sources: fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans
    • reduce sodium intake-read labels
      • aim for less than 600 mg a meal and 200 mg for snacks
    • choose heart healthy fats -mono-unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids helps lower LDL cholesterol
      • good sources: olive oil, canola oil, salmon, tuna, ground flaxseeds and walnuts
  4. Manage blood pressure
    • high blood pressure is greater than 140/90
  5. Maintain a healthy weight
  6. Reduce blood sugar
    • high blood sugar levels can damage the heart
  7. Stop smoking
    • this is the most preventable major risk factor

♥ ♥

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