Address Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Issues in Heart Disease Recovery

by Jodee on March 24, 2009

If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you will need to make some lifestyle changes to get and stay healthy. Doing so needs a two-pronged approach. Not only do you need to take steps to get your blood pressure lowered, but you also need to address your cholesterol issues.

Blood Pressure and Heart Disease

A normal blood pressure reading has a systolic reading of 120 or less. (The systolic number is the top one.) If that number is 140 or higher, then the person has high blood pressure. If the reading is between 120 and 140, then it is called “prehypertension” and is something that needs to be monitored by a doctor.

Cholesterol and Heart Disease

After a diagnosis of heart disease, you need to take steps to get your LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol down to more healthy levels. Ideally, you will want to get it below 70 mg/dL. This can be done by taking medication.

Another way to lower your cholesterol to a healthier level is to change your diet.

You will need to watch your intake of saturated fat by choosing low-fat versions of dairy products. If you are used to drinking whole milk, you may not like immediately switching to skim milk. Try switching to a lower-fat version first. Start buying lean cuts of meat and trim off visible fat prior to cooking. You will also need to lower your consumption of trans fats, which are found in many processed foods, as well as margarine.

To slow down the development of plaque on the walls of your arteries, you need to follow your doctor’s instructions to deal with your cholesterol and blood pressure. You may need to take medication, change your diet, or make other lifestyle changes to get healthy. If you focus only on one aspect and neglect the other, your chances of long-term health improvement are lower than if you adopt the tag-team approach.

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