Diabetes and heart disease are so closely connected that when you manage one well, there may be benefits for the other. That’s because the changes your body experiences due to diabetes take a toll on your heart and blood vessels. In fact, heart attack and stroke are two of the greatest health threats facing people with diabetes. So it makes sense that eating well when you have diabetes means more than just avoiding sugary treats and beverages: it also means adopting an eating pattern that may help protect your heart and improve your blood sugar control. With that in mind, here are a few foods to consider adding to your cart the next time you're shopping:
- Fruits and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables are known to contain cardio-protective antioxidants like vitamin C, carotenoids, and polyphenolic phytochemicals, along with minerals like potassium and magnesium that may help lower blood pressure. Bottom line? Fresh fruits and vegetables are the centerpiece of a heart-healthy/diabetes-healthy diet.
- Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds have monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats; fiber; and vitamins and minerals that may help keep cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels down.
- Grains and beans. Fiber and nutrients in foods like lentils, beans, and whole grains are good for more than your digestion—eating these foods, along with other heart-healthy ones, may help prevent blood sugar spikes and help protect against heart disease.
- Fish. Cold-water fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines have heart-healthy omega-3 fats and are excellent protein sources with low glycemic loads. Researchers have found that eating fish, as part of a healthy diet, reduces the risks of heart attack and stroke.
Source: Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases