The American Heart Association has identified the following 3 measurement as important risk indicators for heart disease:
- Blood pressure. Of the one in 3 adult Americans that have high blood pressure, 21% don’t know they even have it! Know what your blood pressure is. Keep track of it and maintain it at a level you and your doctor have discussed. Pay particular attention to the 1st number (systolic blood pressure) as it indicates the amount of pressure placed on your arteries when your heart beats (as opposed to the bottom number, or diastolic blood pressure, when the heart is at rest).
For most Americans this means having the 3 sequential blood pressure readings with a systolic rating of less than 120 mm Hg and diastolic rating of less than 80 mm Hg.
- Blood cholesterol. The most recent numbers from the AHA recommends that your total cholesterol should be below 200 mg per dL. Consult with your doctor to see if you’re able to moderate your cholesterol levels naturally by eating foods full of heart healthy fats, lower in saturated fat and definitely trans fat-free.
- Blood glucose. Though controllable, adults with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to have heart disease or stroke than the adults without diabetes. Your fasting blood glucose should be below 100 mg per dL of blood. Ask your doctor for a quick blood glucose test to make sure you are within healthy range.
Luckily following the other 4 steps in the simple 7 criteria will help to decrease all of these blood related numbers into a healthier range.