Take Control of Your Health

Liz Cabrera, RD, CSO, LDN, CNSC

This is my year for making my health a priority

New Year’s resolutions are great ways to jump start your health. But why do losing weight, getting fit and improving our health seem so elusive? It’s essential to first develop critical awareness because living without self-awareness is like driving a car at night without headlights. You can still drive but will eventually have a collision.

The American Heart Association developed the slogan “Know your Numbers” to increase public awareness of heart health and the preventive actions that one can take to decrease risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Some risk factors such as genetics, family history and age are beyond our control. However, the vast majority of risk factors are modifiable by lifestyle changes.

Some of the most important numbers to know include your blood pressure, lipid profile, blood sugar and BMI. You may be feeling healthy and going to the doctor might not have crossed your mind, but there are usually no signs of pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol without being tested. This is why it’s important to have regular visits with your primary care doctor. Keeping tabs on your numbers can spot early signs of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

What do these numbers mean?

Man having measured blood pressure

Blood Pressure

Blood pressure shows how hard your heart is working to pump blood throughout your body. There are 2 numbers involved in your blood pressure. The top number (systolic pressure) indicates the force in your arteries when the heart beats; the bottom number (diastolic pressure) indicates when the heart is at rest.

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat like substance found in the blood stream. A total cholesterol value measures all types of cholesterol. There are different subtypes of cholesterol. LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, can narrow or block arteries. HDL, also known as “good cholesterol”, helps to remove cholesterol deposits from your arteries.

Blood Sugar or Glucose

Blood glucose is the body’s primary source of energy. The body regulates blood glucose levels by producing insulin. Fasting high blood sugar levels indicate that the body is not regulating blood glucose. This is usually a sign of pre-diabetes or diabetes.

BMI-Body Mass Index

BMI index is a measure of height to weight ratio used to diagnose obesity. BMI 30 or greater increases your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers.

Knowing your numbers is a starting point to better health. Start the New Year by:

  1. Increase your intake of fruit, veggies, whole grains and decrease your intake of processed foods and added sugars.
  2. Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all)
  3. Quit smoking
  4. Increase physical activity
  5. Follow up with your doctor

father and daughter chatting to pharmacist

Know Your Numbers: Free Health Screening

You’re invited to…
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

Cholesterol • Glucose • Blood Pressure • BMI/Body Fat % Screenings

FREE Health Screening
Thursday, January 12 • 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Touro Imaging Center
2929 Napoleon Ave.

Join Touro and Crescent City Physicians, Inc. for an evening of wellness that’s all about YOU! Take advantage of FREE health screenings including weight, BMI, cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure. Receive a physician consultation and visit with some of our favorite physicians.

>> CLICK HERE to register or call (504) 897-8500. 

Free parking is available in the Imaging Center parking lot. Space is limited.

Cabrera, LizLiz Cabrera, RD, CSO, LDN, CNSC, is the Lead Clinical Dietician for Touro Infirmary with over 25 years experience. Liz has advanced education and extensive experience in nutrition for a broad range of health conditions for which she provides nutrition support. Liz provides comprehensive nutrition care for inpatient and outpatient departments at Touro. In addition, Liz leads monthly healthy lifestyles community seminars and a nutrition after cancer cooking class.

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