How Can I Monitor My Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Weight?

Updated:Feb 8,2013

High cholesterol, high blood pressure and being overweight or obese are major risk factors for heart disease and stroke. You should be tested regularly  to know if you have high blood cholesterol or high blood pressure. That’s because elevated cholesterol and blood pressure have no warning signs. You should also talk to your doctor about a healthy weight for you.

You can manage your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and weight with the tracker below. Work with your healthcare provider to set your “goal” levels. Then ask how often to check your levels. Record your levels and the date they were taken to track your progress.

Have your cholesterol levels checked every five years, or more often if needed. A lipoprotein profile is the best measurement.
 

  Goal    Date       Date      Date      Date       Date     
Blood Pressure (mm Hg)         
Total Cholesterol (mg/dL)        
LDL Cholesterol (mg/dL)            
HDL Cholesterol (mg/dL)          
Weight (pounds)          


What can I do to lower my cholesterol and blood pressure?

  • If your cholesterol is borderline high or high, limit your cholesterol intake to <200 mg per day.
  • Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables and fat-free and lowfat dairy products.
  • Eat oily fish, such as salmon, twice per week.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat, trim all visible fat and throw away the fat that cooks out of the meat.
  • Remove the skin from poultry.
  • Substitute meatless or “low-meat” main dishes for regular entrees.
  • Use a minimal amount of fats and oils, usually no more than two to three servings a day depending on your caloric needs.
  • Reduce your sodium to 1500mg per day or less. Limit your intake of processed, packaged and fast foods which tend to be high in sodium.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. If you’re a woman, don’t have more than one drink a day. If you’re a man, have no more than two drinks a day.
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking.
  • Take your medicines as prescribed the way your doctor tells you.
  • Avoid the use of and exposure to tobacco products.

How can I manage my weight?

Even modest weight loss (5 percent to 10 percent of your body weight) can help lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Check with your doctor before starting a program.

  • Reduce the number of calories you eat. Excess calories add excess weight.
  • Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity a week.  To lose weight, some people need to do 300 or more minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.

How can I learn more?
  1. Talk to your doctor, nurse or other healthcare professionals. If you have heart disease or have had a stroke, members of your family also may be at higher risk. It’s very important for them to make changes now to lower their risk.
  2. Call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721), or visit heart.org to learn more about heart disease.
  3. For information on stroke, call 1-888-4-STROKE (1-888-478-7653) or visit us online at StrokeAssociation.org.

We have many other fact sheets and educational booklets to help you make healthier choices to reduce your risk, manage disease or care for a loved one. Visit heart.org/answersbyheart to learn more.
 

Knowledge is power, so Learn and Live!

Do you have questions or comments for the doctor or nurse?

Take a few minutes to write your questions for the next time you see your healthcare provider.

For example:

What kind of physical activity would be good for me?

How can I know what my weight should be?

©2012, American Heart Association 
 


Multi-language Fact Sheet Topics

Heart-related Conditions
What is Angina?
What is an Arrhythmia?
What Is Atrial Fibrillation?
How Can I Lower High Cholesterol?
What Do My Cholesterol Levels Mean?
What Are High Blood Cholesterol and Triglycerides?
What Is High Blood Pressure?
How Can I Reduce High Blood Pressure?
High Blood Pressure and Stroke
What Is Diabetes and How Can I Manage It?
How Can I Live With Heart Failure?
What Is Heart Failure?
What Is a Heart Attack?
How Will I Recover From My Heart Attack?
What Are the Warning Signs of Heart Attack?
What Are Heart Disease and Stroke?
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
What is Peripheral Vascular Disease?

Stroke, Recovery and Caregiving
Hemorrhagic Stroke
Ischemic Stroke
What Are the Warning Signs of Stroke?
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Stroke
Stroke Diagnosis
Changes Caused by Stroke
Emotional Changes After Stroke
Feeling Tired After a Stroke
Stroke and Rehabilitation
Stroke Family Caregivers
How Should I Care for Myself as a Caregiver?

Treatment, Tests and Procedures
What is Cholesterol-Lowering Medicine?
What is High Blood Pressure Medicine?
What Are Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet Agents?
What Is an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator?
What Is a Pacemaker?
What Is Coronary Angioplasty?
What is a Stent?
What is Coronary Bypass Surgery?
What is a Coronary Angiogram?
How Can I Recover From Heart Surgery?
What is Carotid Endarterectomy?

Healthy Lifestyle and Risk Reduction
How Can I Manage My Weight?
How Can Physical Activity Become a Way of Life?
Why Should I Be Physically Active?
How Do I Follow a Healthy Diet?
Why Should I Limit Sodium?
How Do I Read "Nutrition Facts" Labels?
How Can I Quit Smoking?
How Can I Manage Stress?
How Can I Make My Lifestyle Healthier?
How Can I Monitor My Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and Weight?