5 Numbers You Should Know For A Healthy Heart
Diagnosed with Diabetes is scary. It can lead to other health problems and even a hospital bed if not managed. One of the main scare factors is that it is the first step towards heart disease. Type 2 diabetes speeds up the risk of developing heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than people without diabetes.
To prevent Diabetes heart pain and to lower your risk of a heart attack, you need to improve your health. You can do this by managing your blood sugar, fitness, and eating a healthy diet. If you develop new healthier habits and track your success, than you are taking care of your diabetes. Managing your health will also reduce the risk of heart disease, attack, and stroke.
Know Your Diabetes Healthy Heart Numbers to Prevent Diabetes Heart Disease and Stroke.
It is crucial for you to track your heart numbers- BMI, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, Blood Pressure, and weight size.
Tracking will help control diabetes disease and diminish the risk of Diabetes heart attack. Some diabetics stop monitoring their heart numbers when they are not experiencing any symptoms. This is dangerous. Even if you are not experiencing any Diabetes symptoms, you should always check in to see your doctor. Keep in mind that for most people with pre-diabetes and Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes don’t see the symptoms. Or the Diabetes symptoms may not have become severe enough to see any warning signs.
HOW TO CALCULATE BMI
1. BMI Calculator
BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. BMI is used as a screening tool to identify potential weight problems in adults over the age of 20. It can help determine if a person is underweight, overweight, obese or at a healthy weight. BMI is a reliable indicator to tell if you’re at risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
BMI is calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters.
• Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5
• Average weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
• Overweight: BMI is 25- 29.9
• Obese: BMI is 30 or more
There are two ways to check your BMI:
• Use a BMI calculator
• Use a standard BMI chart (link).
The GOOD And The BAD Cholesterol
2. Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is essential to your health. Many people think of Cholesterol as bad, this is not entirely accurate. There are two types of Cholesterol- the good and the bad.
HDL is the good Cholesterol. It scavenges and removes LDL or the bad Cholesterol from your body. HDL reduces, reuses and recycles LDL Cholesterol by transporting it to the liver where it’s reprocessed. In general, HDL acts as a maintenance crew for the inner walls of blood vessels. If your blood vessels get damaged, then you are at risk of getting a heart attack and stroke.
LDL is the Bad Cholesterol. This type of cholesterol can lead to blockage in your arteries, creating a rupture. A blood clot can form, causing a heart attack.
In general, Cholesterol is found in the bloodstream and every cell of your body. It helps produce cell membranes, hormones, and bile acids that help you digest fats. This means that it has a great amount of influence on your health. A high blood Cholesterol can put you at risk of diabetes heart disease and stroke. A low blood Cholesterol can increase your risk of depression, stroke and violent behavior. This makes it difficult to maintain a healthy Cholesterol level and thus a healthy heart.
Keeping your Cholesterol levels healthy is a great way of preventing your chances of getting diabetes heart attack or stroke. It also helps you maintain a healthy heart. It’s recommended by the American Heart Association that adults over the age of 20 have their Cholesterol levels checked every 4-6 years.
“Your total Cholesterol score is calculated by the following equation:
HDL + LDL + 20% of your triglyceride level
What is Triglyceride?
Triglyceride is a type of fat found in your blood that is used to provide you with energy. Triglycerides and Cholesterol are similar as they are both fatty substances. Triglycerides are fats found in butter, margarine, and oils. Cholesterol are not fats directly from food, but are a waxy, odorless substance made by the liver. Triglyceride and Cholesterol are an essential part of the body’s cell walls and nerves.
“The National Cholesterol Education Program sets guidelines for Triglycerides levels:
• Normal Triglycerides: under 150 mg/dL
• Average Triglycerides: 150-199mg/dL
• High Triglycerides: 200-499 mg/dL
• Very high Triglycerides: 500 mg/dl or higher
If your Triglyceride is too high with low or high HDL and LDL levels, you may need to take medication and make lifestyle changes. By putting your health first, you will prevent the risks of a heart attack and stroke.
To lower you Triglycerides levels, your diet should be:
• Low in fats
• Low in sugars
• Low in simple carbs (link to my post on carbs)
• Low in alcohol
The Difference Between High and Low Blood Sugar
3. High and Low Blood Sugar
Why are high blood sugar levels bad for you when glucose is a necessary fuel for all the cells in your body? Blood sugar is only healthy when you’re balancing it with a proper diet and exercise plan. If you don’t manage your blood sugar levels than they can behave like a slow-acting poison and put your heart at risk of disease. Almost any part of your body can be poisoned with too much sugar. Especially, if you have diabetes. High blood sugar levels can also erode diabetic’s ability to produce insulin, this increases your chance of getting a heart attack and stroke.
Keeping your blood sugar levels close to normal will prevent any heart disease, attack and stroke complications. This doesn’t mean you need to cut sugar from your diet all together. Instead stick to your diet and targets. Your blood sugar targets should be:
• 90 – 130 mg/dL before meals
• Less than 180mg/dL 1 – 2 hours after the start of a meal
Reduce your risk of a heart attack and stroke by taking action to keep your blood sugar under control. Exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes a day can reduce your blood glucose levels to a healthier range.
So don’t be a couch potato! Track your exercise patterns to see if you need to increase your physical activity. You can do this by setting daily or weekly goals on Kudolife. Kudolife will help motivate you to reach your goals. You can track and self-evaluate your fitness progress to see how close you are to reaching your goals. Kudolife will help you determine if you need to spend less time on the couch and more time getting fresh air.
LOW, NORMAL, OR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
4. What is Blood Pressure
When your heart beats, it pumps blood and gives your body the energy and oxygen it needs to survive. If your blood pressure is too high then each heart beat can have a negative effect and put extra strain on your heart.
Having diabetes increases your chances of high blood pressure. Which then increases your chance of heart disease, attack, and stroke. There are two numbers blood pressure consists of:
• Systolic pressure: Measures the pressure of blood against artery walls when the heart pumps out blood during a heartbeat.
• Diastolic pressure: Measures when the heart fills with blood between heartbeats.
If you have high blood pressure, your heart has to work harder to pump blood. This strains the heart, damages blood vessels and increases your chance of a heart attack, and stroke.
- Normal blood pressure is under 120/80 mmHg
- High blood pressure is 140 or higher
Simple lifestyle changes can help lower blood pressure such as:
- Reducing sodium
- Starting a healthier diet
- Quitting smoking
- Proper medication
Tracking Your Waist Size or Weight Size For A Healthy Heart
5. Diabetic Weight Size
Stepping on the scale or wrapping a measuring tape around your waist is never a bad idea. It can be scary, torturous, and even humiliating at times. But, it is an important aspect of tracking your overall health. Weighing or measuring yourself is usually a source of stress and self-loathing. But it really shouldn’t be.
Measuring your waist size has more benefits than stepping on the scale does. Your waist size can help predict heart disease better than your actual weight. When body fat is packed into your abdomen, fat cells will release inflammatory chemicals. This then increases your risk of heart attack and insulin resistance.
Determining your waist size is easy and only takes a few minutes. The best way to measure your waist is to wrap a tape measure around your abdomen near your belly button.
If you are unsure if you have a healthy waist size, a general guide is:
• For women if your waist is over 35 inches than the risk of heart disease, attack, and stroke increases.
• For men, if your waist is over 40 inches than the risk of heart disease, attack, and stroke increases.