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Numbers to Live By

You may be counting calories with your frozen yogurt or tracking how many miles you run on the treadmill.

But there are new numbers for you to live by. How much sushi should you really eat? And how many martinis can you drink

Health Magazine Senior Editor Francis Largeman-Roth stopped by "The Early Show on Saturday Morning" with some important real numbers for real life.

International units of Vitamin D you need daily

Vitamin D deficiency is very common in adults and children and has been linked with everything from high blood pressure and diabetes to depression. Low D levels may even double your risk of stroke-related death. We recommend daily supplementation with 1,000 international units of vitamin D, in addition to incorporating foods such as salmon, canned tuna, egg yolks, and milk. You can get vitamin D from the sun, but that also means risking sun damage.

This is true for both men and women.

Number of packets of artificial sweeteners you're OK to have daily

While artificial sweeteners enable calorie-conscious women and diabetics enjoy a wider selection of food choices, questions persist about the safety of aspartame. It's best to be cautious, so don't stir several packets into your coffee in addition to any diet yogurt and diet soda you may consume. Three packets per day won't hurt.

This is true for both men and women.

Daily teaspoons of added sugar

Americans down about 97 pounds of sugar per year, which equals about 30 teaspoons per day. Most of that is from foods in which sugar is added. Sugar has its place in a healthy diet, but too much can edge out more nutritious foods, so stick to eight added teaspoons a day.

That's true for both men and women, though men can have slightly more.

Number of sushi rolls you can safely enjoy each week

Fish is a great source of lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids, but if you eat fish daily, you risk ingesting too much mercury. Three average-sized rolls a week is about right - fewer if it's a higher-mercury fish like tuna.

Again, that's true for both men and women.

The limit for martinis (or other types of booze) each week

The exact amount of alcoholic beverages that's safe to drink a week really depends on personal health history and risk factors. As a general guideline for healthy women, it is best to cut yourself off after five per week. One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Men can have slightly more.

Max number of over-the-counter NSAID painkillers you can have in a day

Sixty million Americans regularly swallow over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. Up to 30 percent will experience gastrointestinal ulcers, and even more battle upper-GI symptoms like heartburn or upset stomach. Healthy people taking OTC meds shouldn't take more than six tablets per day. If pain persists, consult your doctor.

Number of calories to cut each day to lose one pound in a week

This can be achieved by a combination of physical activity (30 minutes of cardio a day) and painlessly-skipped mindless munching. That totals 3,500 fewer calories a week, which equals a pound of fat. Shedding even a small amount of weight can do wonders for your health, such as reducing your risk for heart disease; type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis of the knee.

That's true for both men and women.

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