Why 75 is the Magic Number
Enjoying the golden years and living well into your seventies (and beyond!) is more than a state of mind, it is a lifestyle. Lipidologist Dr. Larry Kaskel, Medical Director of Northwestern Wellness Center, explains that in order to achieve and maintain optimal wellness, keeping many vitals at the 75-range will keep you healthy for the long run.
“I advise my patients to ‘strive for 75,’” says Dr. Kaskel. “If the majority of your levels are within the range of 75, it is an accurate indicator of your overall health. Your body is a cohesive system of many different parts; if you are only trying to lower your cholesterol, it doesn’t paint an accurate picture of where your health will take you over the years.”
Below are seven key health indicators to keep at 75:
– HDL & LDL Cholesterol: While cholesterol as a whole has gotten a bad rap, keeping HDL and LDL at or around 75 spells good news for your heart. “HDL has been glorified as ‘good cholesterol’ and LDL has been demonized as ‘bad cholesterol’ but their levels should actually be proportionate,” says Dr. Kaskel. “HDL should be just at 75 and LDL should stay right below.”
– Triglycerides: Triglycerides may be categorized as a type of fat, but levels are indicative of the types of foods the patient has been eating. Since they are a surrogate marker for carbohydrate intake, a diet high in carbs and sugars will result in a high triglyceride level as well.
– Blood Glucose: Through the Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) test, the amount of glucose, or sugar, in your blood is measured. “While the ‘normal’ range is 70-100 mg/dL, aiming towards the lower end of the spectrum will lower other risks,” notes Dr. Kaskel.
– Daily Carbohydrate Intake: The USDA food guide pyramid may put an emphasis on carbohydrates, but staying below a daily intake of 75 grams is in your body’s best interest, especially for those looking to lose weight. Sticking to meals with lots of vegetables, a protein and a low carb side (such as sweet potatoes or quinoa) will help patients achieve this goal.
– Exercise 75 Minutes a Week: Whether you are counting your steps or opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator, every bit of exercise counts. Something as simple as a brisk walk for 15-20 minutes, four times a week, will do the trick.
– Meditate 75 Minutes a Week: Getting in touch with your inner self is a powerful way to both start and end your day. “The impact of mediation is greatly underrated,” says Dr. Kaskel. “Taking just a few minutes to clear your head will make you more productive and more focused.”
– Do All of the Above- 75 Percent of the Time: Giving 100 percent effort, 100 percent of the time can be exhausting! However sticking to what you are supposed to do and eating healthy the majority of the time will pay off over the long-term.
Dr Larry Kaskel the current medical Director of Northwestern Wellness Center in Libertyville IL and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Clinical Lipidology.Dr. Kaskel attended Rush medical college and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Rush Pres St Lukes Medical Center in Chicago. Dr Kaskel is an expert in using Therapeutic Lifestyle Change in his practice and has lectured extensively internationally on this topic. Dr Kaskel has hosted and recorded over 300 radio shows on ReachMDXM a satellite radio channel for medical professionals. His new book “Dr Kaskel’s Living in Wellness; Make Food Thy Medicine ” is available at Amazon.com . All proceeds of the book go to charity.