The heart is another organ that can be impacted by diabetes. Being diabetic increases your risk of getting heart problems by 50%!
Therefore, it is vital to keep your sugar levels as controlled as possible, as well as incorporating the following tips in your lifestyle!
Keep reading to find out what you can do to keep your heart healthy while living with diabetes!
Don’t underestimate omega-3’s!
A lot of people know that the omega’s are healthy, but what people don’t know is the balance of omega-3 to omega-6 is vital. If the balance is unequal, it can create a pro-inflammatory state in the body.
This can be dangerous because too much omega-6 can aggravate inflammatory illness such as heart disease, atherosclerosis and arthritis for example.
Omega-3 and omega-6 are digested in exactly the same way, and they compete for absorption. So if your diet is very high in omega-6, little to no omega-3 will be absorbed. Furthermore, the typical Western diet is very high in animal products, which creates this imbalance of omega-3 and omega-6.
To avoid this imbalance, it is very important to include sources of omega-3 in your diet everyday. Have 2-3 portions of oily fish per week (salmon, herring, sardines, tuna and mackerel), and have a handful of walnuts, chia seeds or flaxseeds everyday to keep your heart healthy!
Maintain your blood pressure
Maintaining healthy blood pressure is vital for the cardiovascular system as well as overall health.
Having high blood pressure promotes the development of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis (plaque build up in the arteries) and can even lead to a heart attack.
Therefore it is vital to keep your blood pressure between 120/80 and 90/60mmHg.
Lower blood pressure by:
- Decreasing processed food and table salt consumption
- Drink lots of water
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes per day
- Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
- Do not smoke
- Maintain a healthy weight
Drink alcohol in moderation
Most of us love to have a drink, but it is really important to drink in moderation to maintain a healthy heart.
Alcohol not only tends to contain a lot of sugar, but it also majorly increases the risk of having hypoglycaemic events which can put the heart under strain.
Furthermore, alcohol can interfere with diabetic medications (taken for type 2 diabetes), which again makes sugar level control much harder to achieve.
So, opt for non-alcoholic drinks and have alcohol every now and then to celebrate!
Find time for you
Decreasing stress and maximising relaxation is really important for heart health.
Activating your parasympathetic nervous system by relaxing decreases your blood pressure and blood sugar level, as well as decreasing the risk of getting heart complications.
So find some relaxing activities that work for you, such as taking Epsom salt baths, going on long walks, reading and so on. Do at least one of these activities everyday!
Furthermore, make sure you prioritise getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night for your health. Try removing blue light 1-2 hours before bed, opening a window for fresh air and keep your sheets fresh to help get you in a healthy sleep routine.
Thank you for reading keeping your heart healthy with diabetes! I hope this helps you to make positive changes for your health. Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Instagram!