by | Mar 24, 2017 | Nutrition | 0 comments

You are probably already aware that your heart plays a crucial role in keeping your body functioning properly. Yet despite the awareness of it’s importance, it is often neglected when it comes to staying healthy.

Because you can’t see it, you might just assume that everything is functioning as it should.

But here’s the scary truth: heart disease is the number one killer in America.

One in four deaths is linked to heart disease. If that is the case, why aren’t more people taking better care of their hearts? Well, the answer doesn’t appear as simple. For example, if you want to lose weight, you choose a better diet and increase your level of exercise. You can see results come from following that simple equation.

But with the heart, we can’t see the results like we do with weight loss. Therefore, it’s important to know a few crucial numbers in order to know the health of your heart.

1: Body Fat Percentage

This is the percentage of fat that your body contains. Your body does need a certain amount of fat to surive. Even your organs are made of fat! So you certainly don’t want to get rid of all of your fat. But understanding your body fat percentage will help you set realistic goals by knowing how much fat you really care and how much fat you should be carrying to be healthy. Targeting this percentage will help you target your weight loss goals, but also will decrease the stress on your heart from carrying to much fat or too little.

2: BMI

This stands for body mass index. It is the amount of body fat that you carry based on your height and weight. Using this calculation can give you a good understanding of where you rest on the scale from underweight to obese. Since extra body fat is linked to increased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc., it has a direct correlation to the health of your heart.

With the heart, we can’t see the results like we do with weight loss. Therefore, it’s important to know a few crucial numbers in order to know the health of your heart.

3: Blood Pressure

1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure. When the pressure of the blood on your arteries is to high, it can damage your heart. Continuous high pressure is linked to heart disease and suffering a stroke. Thankfully, this is something that can be controlled, but there are no warning signs, so be aware of it before something happens.

4: HDL

HDL is the good kind of cholesterol. It’s the kind that your body makes naturally and helps to keep your heart healthy. Being aware of your levels can give you assessment of whether you need to increase good cholesterol levels. Add foods like olive oil, fish, flax, and chia to your diet to help increase HDL.

5: LDL

This is the bad kind of cholesterol. You want to avoid this kind of cholesterol when possible. You can find it lurking in red meat, dairy, cookies, and fast food. LDL will clog up your arteries putting undo stress on your heart.

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