Health Wellness

Health & Wellness

Reduce Risk of Diabetes & Heart Disease

Strict management of weight (Body Mass Index [BMI]), blood pressure, and cholesterol levels along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, can reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease. More importantly, it minimizes your chances of premature death.

Suggested guidelines for adults:


1. Maintain a BMI < 25 (As shown Here)

Body Mass Index (BMI), Kg/M2 Weight

What Is a Healthy BMI? A person with a BMI of 24 or less is considered to be an ideal weight.


Body Mass Index (BMI), Kg/M2
Height (feet, inches)
(Pounds)
5'0
5'3
5'6
5'9
6'0
6'3
140
27
25
23
21
19
18
150
29
27
24
22
20
19
160
31
28
26
24
22
20
170
33
30
28
25
23
21
180
35
32
29
27
25
23
190
37
34
31
28
26
24
200
39
36
32
30
27
25
210
41
37
34
31
29
26
220
43
39
36
33
30
28
230
45
41
37
34
31
29
240
47
43
39
36
33
30
250
49
44
40
37
34
31

A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight. Individuals, who fall into the BMI range of 25 to 34.9, and have a waist size of over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, are considered to be at especially high risk for obesity-related health problems; such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. A BMI over 40 indicates that a person is morbidly obese. This can increases a person's risk of death from any cause by 50%-150%.

To personally calculate your own BMI, take your weight (lbs) x 750 and divide that number twice by your height (inches).


2. Maintain a normal blood pressure of 120/80.

High blood pressure: about 34% of blacks are afflicted, compared with 29% of whites and 21% of Mexican-Americans. These represent increases between 3% and 5% of previous findings. Black women are especially vulnerable, with 36% of those surveyed having high blood pressure, a boost of 7% from previous findings. Non-Hispanic black women had the highest increase.

Suggestions; start low sodium, no added salt diet. Participate in daily aerobic exercise to reduce weight, emotional stress and improve cardiac conditioning. If blood pressure readings are above 120/80, please see your health care provider for antihypertensive therapy.


3. Maintain normal lipid levels.

Acceptable levels are:

  1. Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dl
  2. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) "bad cholesterol" less than 130 mg/dl
  3. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) "good cholesterol" greater than 35 mg/dl
  4. Triglycerides no greater than 190 mg/dl

Suggestions; if levels are normal have a fasting lipid profile at least once every five years. Monitor more frequently if any of the above levels are abnormal. Speak to your health care provider about possible medication (HMG-coAs/statins & niacin) and supplements (olive & fish oil, garlic, Co-Q10 & antioxidants) that may be prescribed to help maintain a healthy heart and normal lipid levels.

Dietary guidelines (What should diabetics eat):

  1. Increase intake of high-fiber foods such as whole wheat bread, beans, brown rice, bran cereal, psyllium (Metamucil), and vegetables.
  2. Increase use of monounsaturated oils such as olive and canola oils and omega-3 fatty acids from certain fish (salmon, tuna, halibut, rainbow trout, sardines, and anchovies) and flax seed oil. (If pregnant/nursing, avoid high levels of mercury, often found in tuna, shark etc.)
  3. Reduce consumption of simple sugars (sodas, sweets, etc.) and refined starches (white bread, white rice, pasta, and others made from white flour).
  4. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables for their protective antioxidant and phytochemical constituents.
  5. Choose lean, high quality protein sources such as chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish, low-fat cottage cheese, and beans.
  6. Limit alcohol consumption to no greater than 2 ounces of wine, beer, or distilled spirits daily. (Red wine is preferred-generally men should not have more than two glasses and women no more than one glass a day).

Watch for new FDA nutrition labels regarding trans fats. Avoid consumption of trans fatty acids and partially/hydrogenated oils in your diet (typically found in snack food)

For further information and more suggestions about reducing your risk for heart disease, please feel free to contact: NPDee@aol.com.
Parent, click here to view an article on the importance of halting the rising epidemic of raising obese children.

Darleen D. Johnson, MS., APRN







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