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Heart-Friendly Tips for People with Diabetes

People with diabetes may face increased risks of other diseases and health conditions. For cardiovascular problems specifically, check out our expert-approved tips for better heart health:

  • Regularly monitor blood pressure and take medications, if needed, to keep blood pressure in a healthy range (below 140/80, or as specified by your doctor).
  • Take medications, such as anti-platelet drugs or aspirin, to minimize the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Limit the amount of salt (sodium) in your diet.
  • Lose weight or avoid weight gain.
  • Limit or avoid alcohol.
  • Keep your cholesterol in a healthy range—below 100 mg/dL for LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. HDL (“good”) cholesterol should be at least 40 mg/dL for men, and at least 50 mg/dL for women.
  • Develop a regular physical activity program, such as walking, swimming, or biking.
  • Keep your hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c)—a measure of average blood sugar over two to three months—below 7%.

Of course, these tips won't all be suited to everyone, so remember to run them by your doctor first.

Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

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