Heart-Healthy Eating Tips for People with Type 2 Diabetes

Discover Pendulum Glucose Control

By Jennifer McManus, RD, LDN, CDCES

February is American Heart Month.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

People with Type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk of developing heart disease. 

Incorporating complex carbohydrates (e.g. fiber sources such as whole grains, vegetables, and beans ) and healthy fats into your diet is important for blood-sugar control and heart health.

When it comes to cholesterol, the main thing to focus on from a dietary standpoint is your fat intake.

If you’ve picked up a label lately, you may have been overwhelmed with all the fats listed.

In this article, you will learn about

  • Trans fat
  • Saturated fats
  • Healthy fats
  • How to limit sodium intake
  • How to get help with taking care of your heart
Trans fats

Trans fats negatively affect cholesterol, and are found in things like:

  • Donuts
  • Cakes
  • cookies
  • Pies
  • Biscuits, and
  • Other fried foods

There are two main types of cholesterol: 

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL—think L for "lousy”) 
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL—think H for "healthy" or happy”)

Trans fats lower your HDL (good cholesterol) and increase your LDL (bad cholesterol)

When reading a food label, make sure there is "0 grams" of trans fat.

Also, check the ingredients list and avoid products with “partially hydrogenated oils.”

Food companies can sneak these trans fats in if they are less than 0.5g/serving, so reading the ingredients is super important.

Saturated fats

Saturated fats also have a negative impact on your total cholesterol.

Saturated fats are mostly found in animal products such as cheese, meat, milk, butter, and ice-cream.

Coconut oil and palm oil also contain high amounts of saturated fats.

In order to limit your intake of saturated fats, choose leaner meats such as:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey, and
  • Lean beef

Also, opt for reduced-fat cheeses, milks, and ice-cream. 

    Healthy fats

    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Polyunsaturated fats
    • Monounsaturated fats

    These are all known as "healthy fats" that can help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

    Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods such as:

    • Salmon
    • Walnuts
    • Tofu
    • Flaxseed, and
    • Canola oil

    Good sources of unsaturated fats include:

    • Avocados
    • Nuts
    • Seeds, and
    • Peanut butter

    How to limit sodium intake

    Limiting sodium (salt) intake is vital to heart health!

    Here are some tips and tricks to help monitor your sodium intake:

    • Shop the perimeter of your grocery store and look for fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Shop for lean meats, and low-fat dairy
    • Your freezer aisle has tons of frozen fruits and vegetables that are just as nutrient-packed as the fresh ones. However, avoid the ones smothered in sauces, cheeses, butters, and sugar. 
    • When purchasing packaged or canned foods, look for words like “reduced sodium,” “no salt added,” or “salt free.”
    • When looking at the food label, any snack under 140mg is considered low-sodium.
    • Be sure to check the serving size and avoid snacks with greater than 300mg of sodium
    • Season foods with fresh or dried herbs and spices
    • Steer clear of high-salt seasonings such as garlic, salt, lemon pepper, and Creole seasoning 
    How to get help with taking care of your heart

    To reduce your risk of heart disease, it is also vital to manage your blood-sugar levels.

    Pendulum Glucose Control is the only probiotic on the market that has been clinically proven to help reduce A1C levels and manage after-meal blood-sugar spikes in people with Type 2 diabetes.

    It is not always easy to make the right food choices, but by taking Pendulum Glucose Control and following a gut-microbiome diet your are taking the right steps.

    Also, with the help of a Pendulum dietitianyou can discover practical and delicious ways to eat “heart healthy” while managing your Type 2 diabetes.

    Pendulum dietitians have gut-microbiome-friendly eating plans for all year round. If you want a taste of some foods that nourish the gut microbiome and help manage blood sugar, check out the unique meal plans that Pendulum RDs have created

    As always, speak with your healthcare provider to see if these recommendations are right for you.

    Here is a yummy recipe to a heart healthy, high-fiber breakfast smoothie:

    Pear-berry Smoothie: 
    ½ cup frozen + peeled avocado
    1 pear
    1 cup fresh spinach
    ½ cup almond milk
    ¼ cup blueberries
    1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
    ½ cup nonfat greek yogurt

    Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend and enjoy!

    Before you consider any of these gut-microbiome dietary solutions, talk to your healthcare provider. 
    The FDA has not approved or evaluated these statements. Pendulum products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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