Nutrition News: Diabetes Equals Heart Disease?

Consider these statistics:

Atherosclerosis (a diseased heart) is the cause of death for almost 7 of every 10 people with diabetes.

More than half of the people who are newly diagnosed with diabetes already have heart disease.

It is now clear that diabetes is not just a “sugar” issue. If you have diabetes, you are at high risk for heart disease.

What’s the treatment? “TLC—Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes” that involve diet, exercise and weight loss remain the primary treatments for diabetes and heart disease.

Choose healthful carbohydrates. Whole grain breads, cereals, and fresh fruit.

And monitor the size of your portions. (Just one measuring cup of pasta affects your blood sugars like two slices of bread.)

Keep company with good fats. Olive and canola oils and other plant-based fats such as nuts and avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats—the type that hearts adore.

Avoid “bad” saturated and trans fats. These types of fat encourage the proliferation of bad LDL cholesterol in your blood. Read labels carefully. Some “low carb” products are loaded with saturated fat.

Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables each day. These foods contain the nutrients and antioxidant substances that help control the “inflammation” process that now describes heart disease.

Exercise. 150 or more minutes each week can help control blood glucose levels and cut your risk of heart disease.

Lose weight if you are overweight. Blood glucose, cholesterol, and blood pressure can all go down significantly with just a 7 percent weight loss. (That’s just 14 pounds for a person who weighs 200 pounds.)