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Do You Know Your Numbers?

How many numbers do we remember each day? Phone numbers, alarm codes, passwords, bank account balances, birthdays. None of these is as important as knowing your health numbers. An up-to-date knowledge of your health numbers can literally save your life.

Brenda Watson discusses knowing your numbers and how you can test them at home in her revolutionary Heart of Perfect Health PBS special airing nationwide on PBS stations throughout March. The show covers the myths about cholesterol, the  nutrients you need to get your health back on track and reduce your risk of heart disease, how to check your health numbers, and the simple, transformative steps you can take every day to reverse America’s #1 killer, heart disease.

The 3 Numbers You Must Know
The three top signs of heart disease risk are also the three top signs of silent inflammation, a chronic pre-disease state in the body that many of us have without knowing it. Research is linking silent inflammation to the root of heart and cardiovascular disease, not to mention conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and even certain cancers.

The good news is you can reverse your silent inflammation by knowing your health numbers and taking the necessary steps to get these numbers within a healthy range. The 3 health numbers you need to know are:

  • Cholesterol, which should be no higher than 200mg
  • Blood pressure, which should be no higher than 120 over 80
  • Blood sugar (fasting blood glucose), which should be no higher than 85

High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar are the top 3 signs your body is in a state of silent inflammation, and they are major heart health risk markers. Together these high numbers double your risk of cardiovascular disease by causing the arteries to harden and thicken, by stimulating plaque build-up along blood vessels, and by increasing bad LDL cholesterol.

You should be testing yourself more often than once a year to see where your numbers are and you can perform these tests at home. You can get your cholesterol checked at lab sites online, buy your own blood pressure cuff for at-home use, and find a do-it-yourself glucose meter at your local drugstore to monitor your blood sugar levels. There is no need to wait for your annual doctor’s visit when you should know these numbers throughout the year to see how well you are doing in keeping them within a healthy range.

Check back in the next couple of days to learn more about the #1 nutrient that helps reduce your risk of heart disease and helps keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar healthy!

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Belly fat is usually detectible—people generally have a good idea if they tend to accumulate fat in their midsection, as opposed to their hips and bottom. But how do you know if your liver is fat? Well, abdominal fat and liver fat often go hand in hand. In fact, fat from the liver can be sent to the belly, and vice versa. Often, an underlying feature of both of these is inflammation, which may come from the gut. Nutrients and other substances—including fat, toxins and inflammatory compounds—are absorbed from the small intestine and travel straight to the liver via the portal vein.

A recent study found that obese individuals with high amounts of abdominal fat and liver fat are at increased risk for heart disease. The researchers found that liver fat is strongly associated with increased secretion of very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), which contain the highest amounts of triglycerides, known to increase heart disease risk.

It has long been known that abdominal fat can be dangerous. The increasing knowledge about the dangers of liver fat adds to the story, as these two go hand in hand, each setting the body up to be more susceptible to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Together, belly and liver fat mean trouble.

Both liver and abdominal fat can be reduced with exercise and weight loss. These steps, in addition to addressing any underlying gut dysfunction that may be contributing inflammation to the liver, can help reverse these metabolic precursors to heart disease. Gut imbalance may be addressed by taking probiotics, the beneficial bacteria naturally found in the gut.

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