Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 22, 2014

Basics of blood pressure — do you know what yours is?

By LAURA WILLIAMS, HCHC Diabetes Education Department | Apr 04, 2013

High blood pressure is a sign that the heart and blood vessels are being overworked.

If untreated, high blood pressure can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and congestive heart failure. Heart disease leads to 75 percent of all heart attacks and strokes.

What does your blood pressure really measure?

When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped arteries and veins, also known as blood vessels and capillaries.

The pressure created (or blood pressure) is the result of two forces.

The first force happens as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries.

The second force is created as the heart rests between beats.

These two forces are each represented by numbers in a blood pressure reading.

So, what should your blood pressure be?

Normal BP: 120/80

Goal: Less than 130/80

In addition to high blood pressure, smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke can affect your cardiovascular and overall health.

Smoking

Smoking can lead to fatty buildups in arteries, several types of cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung problems).

Many studies have shown that cigarette smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.

For more information on smoking cessation, call the HCHC Cardiopulmonary program at 385-6104 or visit BecomeAnEX.org.

We have moved

The new Diabetes Education Center is located upstairs off the HCHC front lobby in Suite 24. Call 319-385-6518 for directions.

Laura’s Recipe Corner: Marshmallow Fudge

1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups mini marshmallows

2 whole reduced-fat graham crackers, broken into bite-size pieces

Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray; set aside. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips with milk; stir until smooth.

Remove from the heat; cool for 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Fold in marshmallows and graham crackers. Pour into prepared pan.

Refrigerate for one hour or until firm. Lift out the pan and remove foil; cut into 48 pieces.

Nutritional analysis: Calories 41; total fat 1g; cholesterol 1mg; sodium 10mg; carbohydrates 7g; fiber 1g.

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