Blood Pressure, Glucose, Cholesterol – Take Charge of Your Big Three Numbers For Better Health

If you've diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, you can still take charge and improve your health. Here are 10 tips for living a full life with these conditions.

1. See your doctor regularly. Your doctor will measure your cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose, and if your numbers are out of balance, he / she will help you bring them back into control. Your partnership with your primary care doctor is crucial to your good health.

2. Eat well. Read food labels so you know what's going into your body. Experiment with new ways to prepare old favorites – with less salt, fat, or sugar.

3. Avoid Saturated and "trans" fats. Bake, roast, stew or steam instead of frying. If you feel that you must have red meat, select lean meats, and skinless poultry and enjoy fish 2 or 3 times a week.

4. Use less sodium. Shop for items with less than 100 mg of sodium per serving. Flavor foods with herbs, spices, vinegars and lemon juice.

5. Cut down on sugar. Treat yourself to fresh fruit for dessert. Drink tea or water instead of soft drinks or fruit juice.

6. Avoid tobacco and alcohol.

7. Aim for a healthy weight. Always talk to your doctor before you begin any weight loss program.

8. If you need to lose weight, do it slowly, no more than 1/2 to 2 pounds per week. Avoid fad diets – choose a meal plan that includes all major food groups.

9. Be physically active. Choose an activity you really like, such as gardening, or dancing. Add new activity slowly, and let your body adjust. Try adding 5 minutes at a time, and work up to 30 minutes a day.

10. Pamper your eyes and feet. Get an eye exam at least once a year. Have your feet examined by your doctor once a year.

Take medications as directed. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help keep your "big three" measures where they should be.

Read the instructions that come with your drugs. Take the medication regularly as prescribed. Do not skip doses or stop your medication without your doctor's okay.