Five Crucial Measures of Heart Health


We know that we should get our cholesterol tested at the doctor’s office, but did you know that there are 4 other measures that are imperative to maintaining a strong and healthy heart? Keep reading to find out why these 5 key measures are so important and learn how simple it can be to start improving them now!

1. Blood Pressure

Your heart is a muscle, and just like the rest of your body, it needs to keep moving to stay strong. However, if you push it too far, you can cause strain to your heart and damage to your health. Your blood pressure indicates how hard your heart is working.

A desirable range for your blood pressure is 90/60 – 120/80. Low blood pressure is classified as hypotension, and can cause dizziness, weakness, and fainting.

Now, imagine not working out for years and trying to curl a 100lb dumbbell. You would likely cause damage to your bicep. The same can happen to your heart when your heart has to work too hard, causing a rise in blood pressure. So, what can you do to keep it in check? Maintain a healthy anti inflammatory diet, exercise, and manage your stress levels.

2. LDL Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol is also known as the “bad cholesterol”.  It is recommended to maintain an LDL level of 100mg/dL or less. Keep your LDL cholesterol in check by avoiding high fat foods, eating a diet rich in high polyphenol fruits & vegetables, plenty of high fiber foods,  the right kind of omegas. (Don’t forget to keep up with the exercise!)

3. HDL Cholesterol

HDL cholesterol is your “good cholesterol” – it helps fight heart disease and keep the “bad guys” at bay! The more HDL cholesterol you have, the less LDL cholesterol you’ll have. An optimum HDL cholesterol level is 60mg/dL or greater.

The same lifestyle changes that lower you LDL can raise your HDL – so maintain that healthy anti inflammatory diet, stay AWAY from smoking, keep up the exercise, and only drink alcohol in moderation (such as a polyphenol-filled glass of red wine with dinner).

4. CRP (C-Reactive Protein)

C-Reactive protein is a protein in your blood that raises in response to whole body inflammation. Normal levels are 10mg/dL or lower, and this level can rise slightly with age. CRP is measured as a marker of inflammation and your risk for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

5. Omega 3 Index

Your Omega 3 Index may be the most important number you know. In recent studies, individuals with a low omega 3 index were 10 times more likely to die from a sudden heart attack than individuals with a high omega 3 index.

A low omega 3 index also makes you more susceptible to other inflammatory diseases such as obesity, arthritis, allergies, cancer, and many others. Conversely, a high omega 3 index has been shown to slow the process of biological aging.

Testing your Omega 3 Index with an at home test kit can help you make important food choices to reduce your risk for inflammatory disease.

How can you improve your omega 3 index? Consume at least 1,200mg of EPA & DHA omega 3 each day. Follow an anti inflammatory diet that incorporates high omega 3 fish, and take a high quality omega 3 supplement.

“Before long, your personal Omega 3 Index just could be the new


cholesterol – the number you want to brag about”   
Dr. Bernadine Healy M.D., Cardiologist & Health Editor of US News & World Report.


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