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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

Food Tips for Your Diabetes Treatment to a Healthy Heart

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Heart problems due to diabetes? What to eat, what to do, and how to lower blood sugar levels?


Diabetes and heart problems go hand-in-hand. Having heart problems is a major risk that based upon personal experience, is one that anyone may want to consider doing whatever they can to eliminate.

The bottom line; what action is best for your health? Russell Brand suggests very strongly, “that should be the pulse, the beating heart.” We all know, if the heart stops beating, so does everything else.

This article is a compendium of medical and non-medical reviewed articles about how to protect your heart with simple lifestyle changes that can also help you manage your diabetes. At, we do our best to follow the principles of E-A-T; Expert advice, Authoritativeness and Truth.

The expert advice comes from the medical reviewed articles we collate for our blogs; the authoritativeness, comes from the respected organizations we consider and we only present what we believe to the truth. In all of this, however, we urge all our readers and clients at to get medical advice before taking any changes to lifestyle.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Heart Disease is very common and serious. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. If you have diabetes, you’re twice as likely to have heart disease or a stroke than someone who doesn’t have diabetes—and at a younger age. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely you are to have heart disease.

But the good news is that you can lower your risk for heart disease and improve your heart health by changing certain lifestyle habits. Those changes will help you manage diabetes better too.

What Is Heart Disease?

Heart disease includes several kinds of problems that affect your heart. The term “cardiovascular disease” is similar but includes all types of heart, stroke, and coronary artery disease.

Coronary artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply oxygen and blood to the heart. Plaque is made of cholesterol, which make the inside of arteries narrow and decreases blood flow. This process is called hardening of the arteries. Decreased blood flow to the heart can cause a heart attack and decreased blood flow to the brain can cause a stroke.

Hardening of the arteries can happen in other parts of the body too. In the legs and feet, it’s called peripheral arterial disease, or PAD. PAD is often the first sign that a person with diabetes has cardiovascular disease.

How Diabetes Affects Your Heart?

Over time, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. People with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise the risk for heart disease:

High Blood Pressure increases the force of blood through your arteries and can damage artery walls. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes can greatly increase your risk for heart disease.

  • Too much LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in your bloodstream can form plaque on damaged artery walls.

  • High triglycerides (a type of fat in your blood) and low HDL (“good”) cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is thought to contribute to hardening of the arteries.

The challenge is that none of these conditions has symptoms. They could be considered “a silent killer” as many do not get tested for cholesterol levels on a regular basis. If you have diabetes, testing for cholesterol and triglycerides will be considered critical by your healthcare team.

Measuring blood pressure should also be discussed with your healthcare team. Simple home testers make having a daily reading of blood pressure an easy exercise with significant benefits and should be done by taking care of your heart.

Take Care of Your Heart

The following lifestyle changes can help lower your risk for heart disease or keep it from getting worse, as well as help you manage diabetes by helping to lower your blood sugar.

  • Follow a healthy diet. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Eat fewer processed foods (such as chips, sweets, and fast food) and avoid trans-fat. Drink more water, fewer sugary drinks, and less alcohol. The objective is to remove foods from your diet that raises your blood glucose levels.

  • Aim for a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, losing even a modest amount of weight can lower your triglycerides and blood sugar. Modest weight loss means 5% to 7% of body weight, just 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person.

  • Get active. Being physically active makes your body more sensitive to insulin (the hormone that allows cells in your body to use blood sugar for energy), which helps manage your diabetes. Physical activity also helps control blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of heart disease. Try to get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking.

  • Manage your ABCs:

  • A: Get a regular A1C test to measure your average blood sugar over 2 to 3 months; aim to stay in your target range set by your healthcare team.

  • B: Keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg (or the target your healthcare team sets).

  • C: Manage yourcholesterol levels.

  • S: Stop smoking or don’t start.

  • Manage stress. Stress can raise your blood pressure and can also lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as drinking too much alcohol or overeating. Discuss this with your healthcare team to develop a plan of how to manage stress.


Living with diabetes is a challenge and at, our goal is to help you to a better quality of life living with diabetes. The first step is deciding as my doctor asked: “do I want to live a short life or have a long quality life?” With all that I have to live for, I immediately decided to do what I could to have a long quality of life. And you can do it to.

To work towards a long quality of life, is work. For me, it has become a “job.” A job in taking the testing that is required, continuous learning of what I can eat and making other positive changes to my lifestyle all towards a better quality of life living with diabetes.

Has it been challenging? The answer is “yes.” Sometimes I get frustrated and tired of continually looking for information that may lead me; and there is very little of that. An example is the “general nature” of this blog. There is nothing that says, “do exactly this.”

The reason? Because any plan needs to be specific and individualized for the patient. What works for one may not work for another, and that is where can help you. We offer a comprehensive service to help you design and keep on board with a diabetes treatment plan that includes your diabetes diet.

If you want help managing through the morass to a better quality of life living with diabetes, call Damndiabetes at (604) 788 7261 today, and please sign up for our regular newsletters that come out almost every day.

Best wishes .....

Wayne Drury was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes more than one year. He quickly discovered there was scant diabetes information providing a roadmap to a better quality of life living with diabetes.

With his passion for learning, helping and providing Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust (E-A-T) to the diabetes community, Damndiabetes began. A boutique firm in Vancouver, they live and breathe the consequences of treating diabetes daily. If you wish help with your diabetes management, are frustrated and have nowhere to turn, call on Damndiabetes and experience their EAT today. We are always happy to help.

Passion for diabetes knowledge is our centerpiece; EAT is what we deliver.

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Website do not constitute medical advice or recommendations. You should not rely on any information in such posts or comments to replace consultations and decisions with qualified healthcare professionals.

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