High cholesterol, high blood pressure and being overweight or obese are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. You should be tested regularly to know if you have high blood cholesterol or high blood pressure. That’s because elevated cholesterol and blood pressure have no warning signs. And you should talk to your doctor about a healthy weight for you.
You can manage your blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels and weight with the tracker below. Work with you healthcare provider to determine your “goal” levels. Then ask how often to measure your levels. Record your levels and the date they were taken to track your progress.
Have your cholesterol levels measured every five years, or more often if needed. A lipoprotein profile is the best measurement.
What can I do to lower my cholesterol and blood pressure?
If your cholesterol is borderline high or high, limit your cholesterol intake to <200 mg/day.
- Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and fat-free and low-fat dairy products.
- Eat oily fish twice per week
- Choose lean cuts of meat, trim all visible fat and throw away the fat that cooks out of the meat. Remove the skin from poultry.
- Substitute meatless or “low-meat” main dishes for regular entrees.
- Use a minimal amount of fats and oils, usually no more than 2 to 3 servings a day depending on your caloric needs. Limit excess calories, stay in energy balance and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Keep sodium to 1500mg/day or less. Limit your intake of processed, packaged and fast foods which tend to be high in sodium.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. If you’re a woman, don’t drink more than one drink a day. If you’re a man, have no more than two drinks a day.
- Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking.
- Take your medicines as prescribed.
- Don’t smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
How can I manage my weight?
Even modest weight loss (5 to 10 percent of your body weight) can help lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Check with your doctor before starting a program.
- Reduce the number of calories you eat. Excess calories add excess weight.
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, such as brisk walking, a week. To lose weight, some people need to do 300 or more minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
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