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Know Your Numbers

4/12/2016

We’ve put together these 8 health numbers to help you control your health and prevent diseases that can be controlled by healthy eating, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking. So if you could just memorize a few numbers, know your levels and how you compare to the healthy target to get on track with your healthy life!

Glucose

The healthy target: 70-100 mg/dl

Fasting blood glucose should aim to be below 100mg/dl in a healthy individual. High blood sugar is a sign of diabetes, a disease that can damage your blood vessels. In parallel to diagnose diabetes measure for A1C (5.7%) as well.

Take care by keeping your weight in a healthy range, controlling your food intake, and combining diet with exercise. Checking your blood sugar if you are at risk can help prevent its progression!

 Total Cholesterol

The healthy target:  less than 200 mg/dl

Your cholesterol levels indicate your risk of heart disease. By keeping your cholesterol levels in the normal range you can protect your heart from blockage and avoid a heart attack or stroke. In addition to total cholesterol levels manage full lipid profile:

HDL (good cholesterol) levels:target above 50 mg/dl for Women and 40 mg/dl for Men

LDL (bad cholesterol) levels: target less than 100 mg/dl

Triglycerides: target less than 150 mg/dl

Decreasing saturated fat and high sugar foods can help decrease you cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some foods to limit:

- Butter, cream, ghee

- Fried foods such as French fries and fried meats

- High fat cheeses and dairy

- High fat meats such as sheep or sausages

- Baked and packaged products: croissant, pastries, chips 

Vitamin D

The healthy target: 600 IU  1—70 years

The vitamin that many aren’t getting enough of even in our sunny weather. It’s important to check your levels to know if you have adequate amounts. Vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy bones and new evidence suggest its roles in in inflammation and chronic diseases. Your  body makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun and there are a few food sources of vitamin D.

Blood Pressure

The healthy target:  less than 120/80 mm Hg

High blood pressure or hypertension puts pressure on your heart which can lead to weakness or narrowing of your arteries and puts you at a higher risk of heart disease or stroke. Different factors can increase blood pressure and the main ones include an unhealthy diet, increased weight and lack of physical activity. 

Body Max Index (BMI)

The healthy target: 18.5-25.9 kg/m2

Your BMI measures your weight for your height to distribute a weight range if you’re overweight or obese. Check your BMI using the NutriWorks BMI calculator!

 Waist Size

The healthy target: less than 80 cm in women 

                                  less than 94 cm in men

A great indicator of abdominal fat, the measure of your waist circumference also works well with other indicators such as BMI to measure your body fat.  High abdominal fat puts your body at a greater risk of chronic diseases, so remember this number! Improvements in waist size as you lose weight can sometimes be seen more effectively than body as you lose body fat in this region.

Exercise

The Healthy Target: 150 minutes per week

Remember this number to reach it weekly! At least 150 minutes of moderate activity to maintain your health. This can even out to a 30 minute power walk daily or a one hour cardio class three times per week! But don’t forget to add two sessions of strength training to maintaining your muscle mass.

Daily Calorie Needs

Everyone has individual caloric needs for their body. Knowing your individual daily caloric needs allows you to keep an idea of your intake and maintaining an energy balance. Eating above your needs leads to weight gain and eating below leads to weight loss. With a combination of diet and exercise you can maintain a healthy weight by meeting the needs of your body. This has a big influence on your health and can be checked by a dietitian to guide you towards your range! 

Author: Massar Dabbous


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