Make sure it’s approved.
Make sure the monitor has been tested, validated and
approved by the Association for the Advancement of Medical
Instrumentation, the British Hypertension Society and the
International Protocol for the Validation of Automated BP
Make sure it’s appropriate.
When selecting a blood pressure monitor for the elderly,
pregnant women or children, make sure it is validated for
Make sure the cuff fits.
Children and adults with smaller or larger than average-
sized arms may need special-sized cuffs. They are available
in some pharmacies, from medical supply companies and
by direct order from companies that sell BP cuffs. Measure
around your upper arm and choose a monitor that comes
with the correct size cuff.
Get it checked.
Also have the device checked by your healthcare provider
when it’s new and once a year to make sure the readings are
Keep a record.
Create an account at Heart 360 and record your BP
readings online. This is private and confidential, but you can
share it with your physician as a part of treatment. If the
Internet isn’t your thing, there is a printable tracker.
• Heart360 online tracker • Printable tracker
he American Heart Association recommends
emphasizing vegetables, fruits and whole grains in
your diet. It’s better to get your protein from skinless
chicken, fish, legumes, unsalted nuts and low-fat dairy
products, while limiting your intake of red meat which can be
high in saturated fat.
The trouble with saturated fat is that it raises the level
of cholesterol in your blood, especially LDL (“bad”), which
increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. The American
Heart Association recommends those who would benefit from
lowering their LDL get no more than 5 percent to
6 percent of calories from saturated fat.
That means, for example, if you need about
2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them
should come from saturated fats. That’s about
13 grams of saturated fats a day. According to
the USDA National Nutrient Database, 3 oz. of
regular (30 percent fat/70 percent lean) hamburger
cooked contains 5.164 grams of saturated fat;
1 oz. of regular cheddar cheese contains 5.349
grams; a roasted chicken leg has 2.877 grams.
When you do occasionally indulge, there
are things you can do to reduce the amount of
saturated fat from the meat you eat:
• Keep your portion of lean meat to about the
size of a deck of cards or about 3 ounces.
• Select lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat. Lean beef
cuts include “round,” “sirloin,” and “loin.”
• Buy “choice” or “select” grades rather than “prime.” Select
lean or extra lean ground beef.
• Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking and pour off
any melted fat after cooking.
• Broil rather than pan-fry hamburger, lamb chops, pork
chops and steak.
• Use a rack to drain off fat when broiling,
roasting or baking. Instead of basting with
drippings, keep meat moist with wine, fruit
juices, lower sodium broth or a vegetable
oil-based marinade (compare labels to select
products with the lowest amount of added
sugars and sodium).
• With stews, boiled meat, soup stock and
other dishes in which fat from the meat
combines with the liquid, cook the dish a day
ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight.
Then you can easily remove the hardened
layer of fat from the top.
• When a recipe calls for browning the meat first,
try browning it under the broiler instead of in
a pan or use a vegetable oil spray to brown.
Drain off excess grease afterwards.
How Meat-eaters Can Reduce
Saturated Fat in Their Diet