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    • I asked my doctor if my cholesterol was normal.

      High cholesterol can lead to heart disease and stroke. Test it more often if it's high, you have heart disease, or you're a man over 45 or a woman over 50.

    • I got 6-8 hours of sleep almost every day this month.

      Some studies have found that getting fewer than 6-7 hours of sleep may raise the risk of heart problems.

    • I ordered a salad instead of French fries at the drive-through.

      Fried foods are high in saturated fat, which is a major culprit in raising your cholesterol levels. And high cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease.

    • I ate half an avocado at lunch today.

      Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fat, a "good" fat that might help lower cholesterol.

    • I did some aerobic exercise for 30 minutes five times this week.

      Whether it's brisk walking, biking, or swimming, aerobic exercise keeps you strong and healthy.

    • I made a conscious effort to reduce stress this week.

      Doing anything that helps ease your stress can help make you healthier. Your blood pressure goes up temporarily when you're stressed, so relax when you can.

    • I said "no" to high-salt foods today.

      Too much sodium is linked to high blood pressure. You should have less than 3/4 teaspoon of salt a day.

    • I ate whole-grain cereal or oatmeal almost every day for breakfast.

      Whole grains are full of fiber, which can lower your risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber, found in oatmeal, can lower your cholesterol.

    • I didn't gain any weight this month.

      Know your BMI. It lets you know if you're overweight. Extra pounds can put extra stress on your heart.

    • I ate a plain chicken sandwich instead of a hot dog for lunch.

      Hot dogs and cold cuts are often high in calories and saturated fat, which is bad for your cholesterol. Eating less red meat and processed meat may even help you live longer.

    • I snacked on a handful of peanuts instead of chips today.

      Peanuts have plant sterols, which help lower your cholesterol. Look for spreads and other products that are fortified with plant sterols.

    • I ate fish twice this week.

      Fish like salmon and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower your risk of heart disease and lower your blood pressure.

    • I ate fruits and vegetables at almost every meal this month.

      Eating lots of fruits and veggies may lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Good bets are green leafy and cruciferous (broccoli, cauliflower) veggies and citrus fruits.

    • I checked my blood pressure.

      High blood pressure can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke. It usually has no symptoms, so you may not know it's high until you check.

    • I drank water instead of sugary soda today.

      Sugar doesn't offer your body nutrients. Plus, it can be converted into triglycerides, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.

    • I made a point of avoiding secondhand smoke.

      Inhaling smoke — even secondhand — raises your risk of heart disease. If you smoke, by all means, quit!

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