Eating well is an important part of living with diabetes — and including heart-healthy foods can help further boost your health.
Juan Carlos Martinez
Although diabetes is known for affecting your blood sugar, the condition actually affects your whole body — including your heart. In fact, people withdiabetesare almost twice as likely to die from a heart attack or stroke as people who don’t have diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. “High blood sugars damage nerves and blood vessels throughout the body,” saysMegan Porter, RD, CDE, a dietitian and certified diabetes educator in Portland, Oregon. “When these become damaged, they are unable to perform their normal functions.” This can lead to heart-related problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, andheart disease.
The good news is that because diabetes andheart healthare so closely linked, there are many steps you can take to help improve both health conditions. In addition to monitoring your diabetes, taking any prescribed medications for diabetes and heart issues, and getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet can help you manage your diabetesandyour heart health.
A Well-Balanced Diet for Diabetes and Heart Health
While there’s no specificdietfor people with diabetes, an overall balanced diet similar to the Mediterranean diet can help you keep your blood sugar within a healthy range.
In fact, in a study published in 2013 in theNew England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that when people at high risk for heart disease — including some with diabetes — followed a Mediterranean diet, their risk of stroke or cardiovascular death was cut by 30 percent compared with that of a similar group that followed a low-fat diet. Those who followed the Mediterranean diet included olive oil and nuts, while those who followed the low-fat diet did not. Results showed that the Mediterranean diet had a favorable effect on blood pressure, weight, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, and inflammation.
Porter recommends that you keep the following dietary guidelines in mind when managing diabetes and heart health:
Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables daily
Aim for most of your grains to be whole grains, such as whole-grain bread and whole- grain cereal
Enjoy legumes and beans weekly
Have nuts and seeds around for an easy snack between meals
Substitute oily fish and skinless poultry for most meat selections
Aim for only 1 to 2 high-fat, red meat servings weekly
Enjoy 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy choices daily, such as a glass of milk, yogurt, or low-fat cheeses
Limit or avoid processed foods, meats, and items with added sugars, such as baked goods, sodas, and other drinks with added sugars
Heart-Healthy Foods to Look For
When it comes to getting the most benefit for bothdiabetes and heart health, foods high in fiber and healthy fats are the winners. Foods that are particularly beneficial include:
Legumes such as lentils, split peas, and beansThese are high in soluble fiber, which is great for both diabetes and heart health. “Foods high in soluble fiber help remove cholesterol from the blood and also break down into sugar slowly,” says Porter, “making a person feel fuller for longer and leading to a slower rise in their blood sugars.”
OatmealLike legumes, oatmeal is high in soluble fiber. Fruits and vegetables also contain fiber, so for an extra boost, try slicing some fruit, like a banana, and adding it to your oatmeal.
Fatty or oily fish such as salmon, sardines, and tunaThese fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fatty acid that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
FlaxseedThis type of seed, which comes from the flax plant, is high in fiber and alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Flaxseed can be a good way to get omega-3s if you don’t like fish. However, it’s best to check with your doctor before adding flaxseed to your diet, as it can affect diabetes medication such as insulin, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, in Baltimore.
Walnuts, almonds, and macadamia nutsIn general, nuts are packed with protein, and these particular nuts are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol. But since nuts are high in calories, be sure to eat them only in small portions.
AvocadosPutting avocado on toast may be trendy these days, but the health benefits of this fruit have long been known. Avocados contain fiber and healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals. A study published in 2013 inCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutritionfound that avocados had heart-health benefits similar to those of nuts but with less than half the calories.
BerriesNot only can blueberries and strawberries satisfy your sweet tooth, but they may help your heart as well. A study published in 2013 inCirculationfound that women who ate three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries each week lowered their risk of heart attack by 32 percent.
Olive oil, vegetable oil, and canola oilCooking with these types of oil can help boost your intake of healthy fats. They are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which, Porter says, can help reduce cholesterol.
Filling up on these healthy foods and following healthy-eating guidelines, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, can help you feel more satisfied — all while improving your health. “Heart-healthy foods can help reduce overall blood sugars,” says Porter, “and a diet rich in plant-based foods can also assist in keeping blood pressure under control.”
Hola millones de bendiciones para todos Bienvenidos, este sitio ha sido creado para todos lo amantes de la salud, creyendo que los remedios naturales son los recomendable para nuestros cuerpos sin ningún efecto secundario espero disfruten el sitio, bendiciones