Walking the Weight Off For Dummies
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Just as it can be hard to set a weight‐loss goal without knowing what a healthy weight range is for you, the same can be said for setting health‐related goals.

You may know you want to lower your blood pressure or reduce cholesterol, but what cholesterol and blood pressure levels should you aim for? What about blood sugar? You may know an elevated blood sugar increases your risk for diabetes, but do you know what your level should be? Can too low be dangerous too?

The answer to the last question is yes. Just as having certain health measurements that are too high can increase disease risk, having readings that are too low can also have health implications. For instance, a blood‐sugar range lower than normal can lead to feelings of shakiness, increased hunger, anxiousness, fainting, and in extreme cases, coma or death.

When setting health goals for yourself, lower doesn’t always mean better. You want to aim for an ideal range, and once you reach it, be able to stay in that range. Although certain health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, have specific health markers and lab work you can use to gauge your level of success, there are a few health measurements that almost everyone can use to determine disease risk and current state of health: cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar (glucose).

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Erin Palinski-Wade is a nationally recognized nutrition and fitness expert, speaker and spokesperson. She has contributed her expertise to many national media outlets including the CBS Early Show, The Doctors, and NBC News. She is the author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies, 2 Day Diabetes Diet, and owns a private nutrition counseling practice in NJ. Her website, www.erinpalinski.com, offers a free nutrition newsletter including tips and recipes.

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