Know your numbers
Tips to help you stay on top of your health
One of the first steps to improving your health is knowing your important health numbers. These numbers include knowing your body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose numbers. Check your numbers and compare using the chart below.
Consider a more heart-healthy diet
Eating heart-healthy means your diet should include plenty of these food choices:
- Vegetables from all subgroups – dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starches.
- Fruits, especially whole fruits to get all the nutrients (such as fiber).
- Grains, at least half of which are high fiber whole grains. Aim for 25-30 grams of fiber a day. Look for whole-grain cereal, breads, crackers, oatmeal, noodles and brown rice.
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages.
- A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), nuts, and seeds.
Practice habits that may help keep your heart healthier
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a heart-healthy diet
- Maintain a healthier weight
- Manage your blood pressure
- Take charge of cholesterol
- Keep blood sugar at healthy levels
- Don’t smoke
Limit your intake of these foods
- Saturated and trans fats as these may raise your cholesterol
- Sodium which may increase blood pressure
- Red meat and compare food labels to select the leanest cuts available
- Sweets and sugar sweetened beverages
Consider 30 minutes of moderate physical activity
Finding time for 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week can provide many of the same benefits as strenuous exercise. Physical activity is anything that gets the body moving, including walking.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/executive-summary
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
American Heart Association, www.heart.org