Ready to Start Living Healthy in 2017?

The goal of this post is to provide a guideline for living healthy. We all struggle in implementing these lifestyle changes, but keep in mind that small steps in the right direction will produce results. As always, discuss with your doctor before implementing these recommendations.

Consume a Heart Healthy Diet

– Limit your total daily calories to maintain a desirable weight. Your goal should be a BMI of 21-25 kg/m2. BMI = (Weight in Pounds / (Height in inches x Height in inches)) x 703

– Don’t skip breakfast. Use moderate portions. Avoid eating after 8pm.

– Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, about 64 ounces. If you have heart or kidney problems talk to your doctor first.

– Drink 2 cups daily of fat free or low fat milk, or equivalent milk products.

– Most fats should come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids like fish, nuts, and vegetable oils (olive, canola, peanut, soybean, sunflower, safflower, and corn). Keep trans- fatty acids (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil shortening) consumption as low as possible. Total cholesterol intake should be no more than 300mg per day and total fat intake should be 20-53% of total daily calories. While saturated fat should be no more than 10% of total daily calories. Good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are flaxseed, canola, soybean, walnuts, and fish oil capsules.

Living Healthy Fruits – Consume plenty of fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and choose a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. Be sure to select from all 5 vegetable subgroups: dark greens, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables.

– Reduce intake of red meat, egg yolk, fried foods, and added sugars. Consume more fish (12 ounces/week), poultry, fruits (2 cups/day), vegetables (2 ½ cups/day) and whole grain products (3 or more ounces/day). When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, milk and meat products, make choices that are lean, low fat, or fat free.

– When given a choice, select fish over red meat. The safest fish are flounder, farmed rainbow trout, sole, anchovies, and farmed clams and shrimp (low in Mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)). Other fish are fine to eat in moderation -once a week- such as: cod, farmed cat fish, mahi-mahi, wild salmon, tilapia, and canned tuna. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish as they contain high levels of mercury. The highest levels of PCB are found in farmed salmon and fish caught in local lakes and ponds.

– Limit salt intake to 2300-5000 mg of sodium per day (1-2 teaspoon of salt/day). Those who exercise heavily may need more. Keep in mind that non salty foods may contain large amounts of sodium. Increased salt intake can increase your blood pressure.

To learn more about our Prostate Cancer Screen as part of our Personalized Medical Care click here.

Benefit of Vegetables

– Limit your total daily calories to maintain a desirable weight. Your goal should be a BMI of 21-25 kg/m2. BMI = (Weight in Pounds / (Height in inches x Height in inches)) x 703

– Don’t skip breakfast. Use moderate portions. Avoid eating after 8pm.

– Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, about 64 ounces. If you have heart or kidney problems talk to your doctor first.

– Drink 2 cups daily of fat free or low fat milk, or equivalent milk products.

– Most fats should come from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids like fish, nuts, and vegetable oils (olive, canola, peanut, soybean, sunflower, safflower, and corn). Keep trans- fatty acids (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil shortening) consumption as low as possible. Total cholesterol intake should be no more than 300mg per day and total fat intake should be 20-53% of total daily calories. While saturated fat should be no more than 10% of total daily calories. Good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are flaxseed, canola, soybean, walnuts, and fish oil capsules.

– Consume plenty of fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and choose a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. Be sure to select from all 5 vegetable subgroups: dark greens, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables.

– Reduce intake of red meat, egg yolk, fried foods, and added sugars. Consume more fish (12 ounces/week), poultry, fruits (2 cups/day), vegetables (2 ½ cups/day) and whole grain products (3 or more ounces/day). When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, milk and meat products, make choices that are lean, low fat, or fat free.

– When given a choice, select fish over red meat. The safest fish are flounder, farmed rainbow trout, sole, anchovies, and farmed clams and shrimp (low in Mercury and Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB)). Other fish are fine to eat in moderation -once a week- such as: cod, farmed cat fish, mahi-mahi, wild salmon, tilapia, and canned tuna. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tile fish as they contain high levels of mercury. The highest levels of PCB are found in farmed salmon and fish caught in local lakes and ponds.

– Limit salt intake to 2300-5000 mg of sodium per day (1-2 teaspoon of salt/day). Those who exercise heavily may need more. Keep in mind that non salty foods may contain large amounts of sodium. Increased salt intake can increase your blood pressure.

Exercise Regularly

Living Healthy Exercise – Engage daily in 30-60 minutes of physical activity that is moderate in intensity. Daily exercise can be broken up into 2 sessions.

– Start gradually. Stop and discuss with your doctor if you have pain.

– Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises for muscle strength and endurance.

– Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise program.

Use Alcohol in Moderation

– Alcohol intake should not exceed 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. Keep in mind that 1 drink is equivalent to 1 oz. of alcohol or 12 oz. of beer. Alcohol intake should be reduced if you have hypertension or other chronic medical problems.

– Alcohol should not be consumed by pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescents, individuals taking medications that could interact with alcohol and those engaging in activities that require attention, skill or coordination, such as driving or operating machinery.

Reduce Stress

– Avoid stressful situations and learn new ways to cope with stress.

– Yoga and meditation are excellent options.

– Marry someone you love. Evidence shows that health and lifespan is improved by being in a committed relationship.

– Consider getting a pet.

Maintain Preventative Health

– Check your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar routinely and take appropriate actions if elevated. If abnormal, lifestyle modification or medications may be appropriate to prevent complications.

– Influenza vaccine: Annual flu vaccine is recommended for people over 6 months of age.

– Pneumonia vaccine: Two pneumococcal vaccines, PCV13 and PPSV23, are recommended for people over 65 years of age. For people less than 65 years of age with chronic medical conditions or who smoke, a single PPSV23 vaccine is recommended.

– Tetanus vaccine: Tetanus vaccine every 10 years and pertussis vaccine added to Tetanus once as an adult.

– Prostate cancer screening: Initiate prostate cancer screening discussions with your primary care physician at age 50, continue screening until age 75. If African American, begin discussion at age 45. Screening includes annual PSA and digital rectal exam. See your doctor if you are having urinary problems.

– Pelvic exam and Pap smear: Screening has become controversial and is no longer advised annually for routine screening. Discuss with your OB/GYN for the most up to date recommendations.

– STD’s: Be screened for STD’s if you are sexually active, especially between the ages of 15 to 29. Hepatitis C and HIV screening is recommended for people at high risk.

– Mammography: Every 2 to 3 years for women over 40 and annually for women over 50 to age 75. Women, know your breasts, perform breast self exams monthly. Notify your physician if you detect an abnormality.

– Colon cancer screening: Begin screening for blood in the stool at age 40. Begin colonoscopy screening at age 50. If African American, begin colonoscopy screening at age 45. Be familiar with the color and shape of your stool. Notify your doctor if stool is black, bloody, consistently pencil thin, or you experience a major change from your bowel movement routine.

– Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA): If you have ever smoked, be screened once for AAA at the age of 65. If you have hypertension or a family history of AAA you may need to be screened sooner.

– Vision/Hearing: Periodic hearing and vision screening every 3 to 5 years, sooner if abnormality is noted.

Sleep

– Get adequate sleep, at least 6 to 7 hours nightly.

– Practice good sleep hygiene. The bed should only be used for sleep or sex.

– Melatonin supplementation may help with insomnia.

– Limit caffeine intake, especially after 12 noon.

sleep-atlanta

Quite Smoking

– When trying to quit, talk to your doctor, you don’t have to do this alone.

– Medications are available to help you quit.

– Evidence shows that repeated attempts at quitting inceases likelihood of success. If you don’t succeede the first time, try, try, again.

Focus on Safety

– Always wear seat belts while driving a car.

– Always wear helmets while riding a bike.

– Do not drive after drinking.

– If you own a pool, make sure it is fenced.

– Learn to swim.

– Wear plenty of sunscreen to prevent sunburn.

– Install smoke detectors in the home and change batteries twice yearly. The best smoke detectors are those that are both photoelectric and ionization.

– Keep water heaters under 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

– Do not keep fire arms at home. If you do, ensure fire arms are locked and secure.

– Practice safe sex.

– Do not engage in illegal drug use.

Wear plenty of sunscreen to prevent sunburns

Be Emotionally Aware

– Be an optimist. A pessimistic style of living is associated with increased death rate.

– Have faith in God or consider other spiritual practices.

– Be honest with others and yourself.

– Control your anger.

– Love your family.

– Help others in need.

– Always guide actions towards others by love, righteousness, and equality.

I hope you enjoyed the Ultimate Guide to Living Health! At Buckhead Medicine in Atlanta, our goal is to help our patients live the happiest, healthiest lives possible. Take the time in 2017 to focus on yourself by improving your health.

Request Appointment