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Diabetes-Friendly Meal Plan for High Blood Pressure

0 2 years ago

If you’re one of the 37 million people in the United States with type 2 diabetes, you’ve likely been told to keep an eye on both your blood sugars and your heart health. But why? As it turns out, people with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to be diagnosed with heart disease compared to their counterparts. Plus, 2 out of 3 people with diabetes are diagnosed with high blood pressure.

Though the stats can be alarming, there are steps we can take to lower our risk. First, aim to follow a healthy and balanced diet that includes plenty of heart-healthy potassium and fiber, while limiting foods with excess sodium, simple carbs and added sugars. Aim for good blood sugar control and incorporate regular exercise with the ultimate goal of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise.

Lastly, if you’re overweight, losing weight can help improve your blood sugars and protect your heart. We set this plan at 1,500 calories per day, which is a level where most people will lose weight, plus included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day, depending on your calorie needs.

How Does Diabetes Impact Blood Pressure?

Untreated or unmanaged diabetes leads to chronically high blood sugars. When excess sugar is circulating through our blood, eventually our small blood vessels are damaged. When our blood vessels are injured, they stiffen and narrow, which eventually leads to high blood pressure. Because both diabetes and high blood pressure can be present without obvious symptoms, it’s best to seek regular and preventive medical care with your primary care provider. Of course, living a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a nutritious diet is a great prevention strategy too!

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