8. Cholesterol (YEARLY)
WHAT IT MEASURES: The levels of a waxy substance in the blood that comes in two forms—HDL, which is good, and LDL, which is bad—as well as triglycerides, a fat.
WHY IT’S KEY: It’s a predictor of heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight, along with a high-fiber, low-sugar diet, can help keep you in the clear, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a registered dietitian and consultant for the Chicago Cubs. High cholesterol is hereditary, so if it runs in your family, you and your doctor should keep an eye on it.
AIM FOR: At least 60 milligrams/deciliter HDL; no more than 100mg/dL LDL; under 150mg/dL triglycerides.
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