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Aiming for a healthier lifestyle is important for all Americans, but for the African-American community, it is critical to make positive health changes in 2015.

But keeping an eye on your health should be a year-round focus, especially as the community faces struggles with obesity, diabetes and heart disease. At the junction of Black History Month and Heart Health Month, Dr. Rani Whitfield says you should prioritize your health. Making healthy and long-term lifestyle changes is key to preventing or beating chronic conditions. Here are his answers to your questions.

I see my cardiologist on the 4th of March. My doctors say my heart was showing QT intervals! What is that?

The QT interval is a part of what doctors use to assess how regularly the heart is beating. It relates directly to how the ventricles (the lower part of the heart) beats.

Is drinking alcohol healthy? 

There is nothing healthy about alcohol. If you drink, do so in moderation- for men that is 2 drinks a day and for women, 1 drink a day. I do not recommend to any of my patients to begin drinking as a way to improve their cholesterol. Exercising and proper diet are the key.

What’s the best way to help stay consistent on a diet? I’ll lose 10 pounds quickly and then go right back to my old ways.

Get Well Wednesday: Dr. Rani Whitfield Answers Your Questions About Prioritizing Health  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

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