There are nine major risk factors that impact heart disease. The good news? There’s something you can do about each one to help prevent heart disease. Yesterday we talked about smoking and cholesterol. Today, number 3 and four on the list:
3. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. Each time your heart beats, it pumps out blood into the arteries. Your blood pressure is highest when your heart beats, pumping the blood. This is called systolic pressure. When your heart is at rest, between beats, your blood pressure falls. This is the diastolic pressure.
Ideal blood pressure is less than 120/80.
4. Diabetes Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy. With Type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. With Type 2 diabetes, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood. Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause serious problems. It can damage your eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Diabetes can also cause heart disease, stroke and even the need to remove a limb.
Fasting blood sugar should be below 100.
Love Your Body, Protect Your Heart Tip: Learn how to take your own blood pressure and keep track of it.