By: Anne Blocker
Did you know that two out of three peoplewith diabetes die from heart disease orstroke? For people with diabetes, the riskof heart attack or stroke is great. That’s whyyour healthcare team promotes good bloodglucose, blood pressure and lipid control askey steps in prevention.
Eating foods with less total fat (especiallysaturated fat) and sodium can help keepyour lipid and blood pressure levels in theoptimal ranges.
Take 10,000 steps a day for a stronger, healthier heart
Eating “heart smart” can help lower yourrisk of stroke and heart problems. However,regular physical activity is a vital componentof staying well and keeping fit. Slip on apedometer and try for any combination of10,000 steps a day.
This February, give yourself a big Valentinehug and take good care of your heart.
For more information on reducing yourrisk of heart disease or stroke, order thefree “Diabetes Survival Guide” from theAmerican Diabetes Association and theAmerican College of Cardiology.
To order, call (800) 342-2383 or visit www.diabetes.org/MakeTheLink.
And for more information on currentlipid guidelines, visitwww.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/cholesterol.
Heart-Healthy Restaurant Dining
How can you dine out, enjoy your meal, yetkeep your heart healthy and happy, too?
- Choose a restaurant that concentrates onfoods prepared by grilling, baking, broilingor poaching.
- Look for menu offerings that includefresh fruits and vegetables.
- Order from the children’s or senior’smenu, as they are usually smaller-sizedportions.
- Ask for the butter, margarine, dressingsand sauces to be served on the side.
- Split an entrée with your dining partner.
- Ask about “light” entrées and appetizers.
- Order salad dressing on the side anddip the lettuce in the dressing instead ofpouring it over the salad.
- Remember, you don’t have to clean yourplate! Take leftovers home and enjoy themfor lunch the next day.
Cooking for a Healthy Heart
There are many ways to reduce thefat and sodium content of your foodswhile cooking. Here are some ideas:
- Bake, broil, poach or grill meats.These low-fat cooking methods allowfat to drain from the meat.
- Use pans with nonstick surfaces,and don’t add fat when cooking.
- Prepare pans with vegetablespray instead of greasing withshortening or lard.
- Skim the fat off of gravies andsauces; trim the fat and skin frommeats and poultry.
- Use skimmed milk instead ofwhole or low-fat milk.
- Strive for nine servings of fruitsand vegetables each day.
How to Shop for Heart-Healthy Meals
Many of our primary foodchoices are made at thesupermarket. Here are some tipsfor filling your grocery cart:
- Cruise the perimeter of thestore and stock up on freshproduce, meats and fish,low-fat dairy and bakeryproducts.
- Choose items with less than300 mg sodium and 25percent fat per serving.
- Make a shopping list and stickto it.
- Shop on a full stomach—you’ll be less enticed by fooddisplays and impulse items.
- If you keep snack chips onhand, choose small packagesand buy the lower-fat, bakedproducts.
- Stock up on high-fiber cerealsor oatmeal for breakfast.
- Try a “heart smart”margarine like Benecol, TakeControl or another brand thatcontains no trans fats.
- Eat fish twice a week.
- Avoid foods with partiallyhydrogenated fats listed inthe ingredients. Foods madewith partially hydrogenatedfats create trans fats, whichwill be listed on all foodlabels starting in 2006.