By virtue of my profession – Nutrition and Dietetics – I am committed to Preventive Health and Wellness. Given the horrendous state of health care in the USA today it is imperative that each individual takes responsibility for one’s own health care. By providing information regarding the major health concerns challenging us today and offering all natural solutions to these issues, I am attempting to become part of the solution. In addition my goal is to provide moral support and charitable contributions to individuals and worthy causes wherever possible.
I have a very simple plan for addressing and improving personal health and wellness which I have dubbed the K.I.S.S. approach. We all know the Keep It Simple Stupid approach to many aspects of life. This is mine.
My plan begins by Knowing your Numbers:
Height – Of which you have no control; (I am not overweight – I am just undertall)
Weight – Of which you have control, but should not be obsessed with the scale; many factors contribute to your weight. Remember that muscle weighs more than fat therefore very athletic individuals are likely to weigh more. However having “large bones” is no excuse – have you ever seen a fat skeleton???
Back in the day “ideal weight range” was calculated as follows:
Women – 100# for the 1st 5 feet of height and 5# for every inch over 5 feet. Therefore the ideal weight for a 5’7″ female was 135# . To account for variations in frame size a 10% +/- was used to establish the acceptable weight range – hence 123-148# was the range.
Men – 106# for the first 5 feet of height plus 6# for every inch over. Therefore the ideal weight for a 6 ft male was 178#. Using the 10% +/- the appropriate weight range was 161-195#.
Using this standard obesity was determined as 30% over ideal weight range.
I realize that many believe this standard is very low. Given the fact that today 66% or 2/3’s of the population is either overweight or obese – it probably is. However I find it to be a good starting point and use it as my rule of thumb.
BMI – A nasty calculation which takes into account your height and weight, but unfortunately not muscle mass or body build. We can work with this. Informational website: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/bmi_tbl.htm
BMI numbers – Under 18.5 – Underweight
18.5-24.9 Normal Weight
Over 29.9 – Obese
Waist Circumference – Women under 35″ and Men under 40″. Numbers above these levels predisposes you to Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Blood Pressure — Below 120/80 – normal
120-139/80-89 – Prehypertension
140-159/90-99 – Stage I Hypertension
160 or more/100 or more – Stage II Hypertension
Blood Glucose/HgA1c levels – A1C – Glycated hemoglobin is the more representative level for blood sugar since it takes the average of your blood sugar level for 2-3 months. A1C measures the % of blood sugar attached to hemoglobin – the oxegen carrying protein in red blood cells. The higher your blood sugar – the more hemoglobin with sugar attached. An A1C level of 6.5% or higher on 2 separate tests indicates diabetes. Fasting Blood Sugar – below 100 is considered normal. 100 – 125 is considered pre-diabetic. FBS of 126 or greater on 2 separate tests indicates diabetes.
Cholesterol Levels: Total cholesterol is generally recommended to fall below 200mg/dL – however this can vary with more specific levels.
Total Cholesterol – less than 200mg/dL – desirable, 200-239mg/dL – Borderline high, Above 240mg/dL – high.
LDL Cholesterol – the “bad” cholesterol – Less than 70mg/dL – Ideal for those at very high risk of heart disease. Less than 100mg/dL Ideal for those at risk of heart disease. 100-129mg/dL Near ideal. 130-159 – Borderline high. 160-189mg/dL – high, 190mg/dL and above – very high.
HDL Cholesterol – the “good” cholesterol – the higher the better. Less than 40 mg/dL – men, and 50mg/dL – women is considered poor. 40-49mg/dL for men and 50-59mg/dL for women is considered better. Above 60 is the best.
Triglycerides – Less than 150 mg – desirable, 150-199 – Borderline high, 200-499 – High, 500mg and above – very high.
Remember a 10% loss of weight can have a significant effect on all numbers. Elevated weight, blood sugar and cholesterol can be positively impacted by increasing soluble fiber intake, decreasing saturated fat and cholesterol intake – meat and dairy products, weight loss and increasing exercise to a minimum of 30 minutes/day.