How to manage heart health if you have diabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), type 2 diabetes patients are twice as likely to develop heart disease than those without. Heart diseases can lead to cardiac arrest and stroke if not addressed in a timely manner.

Lifestyle plays an essential role in keeping our hearts healthy. But how can we manage our heart health with diabetes? Let us find out!

5 ways to keep the heart healthy while living with diabetes 

Observe a well-balanced diet.

Since diet plays an essential role in our lifestyle, we must limit our intake of saturated fat, carbohydrates, and sugary foods. One particular diet that suits well for diabetes patients is the Mediterranean diet, which includes fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish, lentils, healthy fats, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods, which contain unhealthy sodium, fat, and sugar.

Maintain a healthy weight.

Excess weight can lead to the buildup of fatty materials in the arteries, which interferes with proper blood circulation, leading to a heart attack. For diabetes patients, gaining extra weight also increases their risk of insulin resistance, a contributing factor to type 2 diabetes development. To avoid these health conditions, maintain a healthy weight with proper diet and regular exercise.

Stay physically active.

Physical activity boosts your body’s sensitivity to insulin. It manages diabetes and prevents the probability of heart disease. To be more specific, exercising improves glycemic control. Doctors recommend 30 minutes to 1 hour of moderate physical activities daily, such as walking, jogging, running, or cycling.

Reduce stress.

Stress makes it harder to manage blood sugar levels. The need to follow daily medications and blood sugar monitoring can be overwhelming, leading to physical and emotional stress. It also triggers changes in behavior, inability to sleep, and bad lifestyle habits. These are all major risk factors for the heart. To solve this problem, try yoga and meditation. You can also get support from your doctors, family, and friends to assist you.

Change old and bad habits.

Smoking, drinking alcohol, or overeating, changing these bad habits improve your lifestyle, boost heart health and blood sugar control. How do these habits cause diabetes complications and heart disease?

  • smoking damages blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease
  • excessive alcohol consumption can cause hypoglycemia
  • overeating can lead to frequent blood sugar spikes

What should you do?

  • quit smoking
  • drink alcohol only in moderation
  • follow a strict diet plan
  • include fiber in your meals
  • avoid overeating
  • exercise regularly to burn extra calories