Cholesterol. Your Plan for a. Healthy Heart. Know Your Cholesterol Numbers. Eat Healthy Foods. Get Moving!

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1 Cholesterol Your Plan for a Healthy Heart Know Your Cholesterol Numbers Eat Healthy Foods Get Moving!

2 Know your numbers Is my cholesterol too high? What do these numbers mean? It s important to know your numbers for total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. Total cholesterol is the amount of cholesterol in your blood. It is made up of: HDL, the good cholesterol LDL, the bad cholesterol Triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood Know your numbers This booklet will help you improve your cholesterol with diet, exercise, and medicines. Read the information and complete each quiz or checklist to help you reach your goals. What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a fatty substance in the blood. You need some cholesterol to be healthy, but too much can build up in blood vessels and may cause a heart attack or stroke. blood vessel Cholesterol is measured with a blood test. Your nurse or doctor will tell you how often to have it checked. cholesterol build-up What are the ideal numbers? Total Cholesterol Less than 200 HDL More than 40 for men More than 50 for women LDL Less than 100* Triglycerides Less than 150 * Your nurse or doctor may want your LDL to be less than 70 if you have many risk factors. Write your numbers here Date: Your Numbers Your Goals Total Cholesterol HDL LDL Triglycerides

3 Count your risk factors Check off your risk factors Risk factors you can t change: Family history of early heart disease Age (men 45 years or older; women 55 years or older) Count your risk factors Cholesterol is just one risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Make sure you discuss all of your risk factors with your nurse or doctor to set your own cholesterol goals. The more risk factors you have, the higher your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. Making changes in your lifestyle can help improve your cholesterol and other risk factors. What are my risk factors? Risk factors you can change: Smoking cigarettes or cigars High LDL cholesterol Not enough exercise Unhealthy diet Overweight, mainly around your waist High blood pressure High blood sugar High triglycerides Low HDL cholesterol If you checked 3 or more boxes in this purple section, it is even more important to make lifestyle changes. Having 3 or more of these risk factors increases your chance for diabetes as well as heart attack and stroke. No matter what your risk factors, you have the power to make changes to improve your health.

4 Eat healthy foods What s good to eat for a healthy heart? When you choose healthy foods, you can help make all of your cholesterol numbers better. This will lower your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. How to create a healthy plate View tips and sample meal plans at Your plan for heart-healthy eating Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruit every day. Eat 3 servings of fiber-rich whole grains a day. Choose foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal. Eat fish at least 2 times a week. Choose fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and trout. Eat healthy fats: Choose good fats found in foods like fatty fish, vegetable oils, avocados, and nuts. Limit bad saturated fats found in foods like fatty meats, whole milk, butter, ice cream, and cheese. Don t eat trans fats found in foods like baked goods, snack foods, and fast foods. Eat less food that is high in cholesterol. Limit egg yolks and organ meats like liver. Limit soda, sports drinks, fruit juices, and alcohol. Drink water, low-fat milk, or skim milk instead. Cut down on calories, salt, and portion sizes. This is even more important if you are overweight and have high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Eat healthy foods

5 Watch your weight Can losing weight improve our cholesterol? Aim for a healthy weight Ask your nurse, doctor, or dietitian what a healthy weight is for you. Each and every pound you lose is a step in the right direction. Losing weight helps lower your bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It can raise your good HDL too. Weight loss may also lower blood pressure and blood sugar. All of these changes can lead to a healthier heart. Quiz Please circle Yes or No in the right column Can exercise help you lose weight? Can losing weight improve your cholesterol? If you eat smaller portions, 3. will you lose weight? Is checking your weight only 4. once a year a good idea? Quiz Answers: 1.Yes, 2.Yes, 3.Yes, 4.No Yes OR No Yes OR No Yes OR No Yes OR No Tips for losing weight 1. Step on a scale at least once a week to keep track of your weight. Write it down. 2. Fill up on fiber-rich foods. Pick foods high in fiber like oats, beans, vegetables, and fruits. Try to eat a vegetable or fruit at every meal. 3. Start your day with breakfast. Don t skip it! 4. Eat smaller portions by using smaller plates. Share meals when eating out. 5. Limit alcohol and sugary drinks to reduce calories. 6. Save sweets for special occasions. 7. Exercise most days. The more you move, the more you lose. It may take up to 60 to 90 minutes of activity during your day to lose weight. Watch your weight

6 Get moving Your exercise plan 1. Choose an activity that you like. Walk, bike, swim, dance, or hike most days. 2. Warm up and stretch before you exercise. Talk to your nurse or doctor before starting or changing your exercise plan to find out what activities are safe for you. Why is exercise good for you? Exercise helps to improve your cholesterol and many other risk factors. It helps prevent heart attack and stroke by: Burning calories to help you lose weight Lowering your blood pressure Lowering your blood sugar We can be more active every day! Reducing stress, depression, and anxiety Exercise improves strength, balance, and fitness. It also gives you more energy. 3. Exercise at a comfortable pace. 4. Aim for minutes of activity a day. You can break it up into minutes at a time. Some activity is better than none! 5. Take time to cool down and stretch after you exercise. Check off the things you will do Keep your walking shoes in the car. Go for a 15-minute walk during your lunch break. Park farther away from the store or get off the bus a few blocks early and walk. Exercise, stretch, or do chores while you watch TV. Limit your time watching TV or sitting at a computer. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Play with your kids or grandkids after dinner. Get moving

7 Learn about your medicines Can medicine help improve my cholesterol? Get the most out of your medicines After 4 to 6 weeks of taking cholesterol medicines, your nurse or doctor may order blood tests. These tests make sure the medicines are working and are safe. Sometimes diet and exercise are not enough to improve your cholesterol. When this happens, your nurse or doctor may prescribe a medicine. Some people need more than one cholesterol medicine to reach their goals. These medicines can be life saving. How do cholesterol medicines work? There are many types of medicines used to treat cholesterol. Ask your nurse or doctor to explain how your cholesterol medicines work. Find out if there are side effects that you should know about. Check off the things you will do Take your medicines as prescribed. Ask when to take your medicines. Is it with a meal, in the morning, or at night? Always use a weekly pill box even if you only take 1 medicine a day. This will help you keep track. Write down your medicines and always carry this list with you. Show this list to your nurse or doctor at every visit. Write on your calendar when to refill your medicine. Plan ahead so you don t run out. If you feel bad after taking a medicine, talk with your nurse or doctor. Don t stop taking your medicines until you talk with your nurse or doctor. Learn about your medicines

8 Make a plan Your Action Plan Write down your plan to improve your cholesterol and heart health: Example: I will eat a piece of fruit at breakfast every day. Now it is time to make a plan. Small changes can make a big difference in improving all of your cholesterol numbers. You can do it. Get started today! Actions you can take Know your cholesterol numbers and goals. Count your risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Learn about your medicines. Lifestyle changes you can make Stop smoking. Call or visit to get help today We have the power to improve our health! Eat healthy foods. Choose vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Limit sugary drinks. Watch your weight. Even losing 5 to 10 pounds can make a big difference. Get moving and stay active! Add activity into your day, even 10 minutes at a time. Make a plan

9 How to get more copies of this brochure Patients: Download a free copy at Healthcare Providers: Order free printed brochures in packs of 100 by visiting Product ID Copyright 2011 Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association Cholesterol Your Plan for a Healthy Heart This brochure was supported by educational grants from Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer, Inc., Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and Lilly USA. Disclaimer: This and other PCNA educational materials are for informational purposes only and are not intended to replace medical advice or to diagnose or to treat health problems. Health-related decisions should be made in partnership with a healthcare provider. It is the reader s responsibility to seek out the most current, accurate information. PCNA disclaims all warranties with regard to such educational materials. In no event shall PCNA be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the use of any PCNA educational materials. 613 Williamson Street, Ste. 200, Madison, WI Phone:

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