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Being Heart Smart with Diabetes

Open-Faced Salmon Sandwiches Recipe

Heart health is especially important for people with diabetes because diabetes increases a person's risk for heart disease and stroke. Follow the tips below for heart-healthy meals any time.


Fight High Blood Pressure

As many as two thirds of adults with diabetes also have high blood pressure. For many people, especially those with diabetes, eating salty foods may lead to hight blood pressure. Here are a few ways to limit your salt intake:

  • Cut back on high-sodium foods: Such as frozen dinners, boxed mixes, canned foods, salad dressings, soy sauce, lunch meat, sausage, processed cheese, seasoning packets, chips and pretzels.
  • Use flavorful herbs and spices or salt-free seasoning blends instead of salt.


Keep and Eye on Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Research has shown that most people with diabetes have at least one lipid abnormality, such as high LDL (bad cholesterol), low HDL (good cholesterol) or high triglycerides. To keep your numbers on target:

  • Avoid saturated fats: Found in bacon, butter, chocolate, coconut, poultry skin, high-fat dairy products, high-fat meat, meat drippings and lard.
  • Decrease trans fats: Common in stick margarine, shortening and packaged products like crackers, cookies, and pastries made with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil.
  • Choose healthy fats: Found in olive and canola oils.
  • Limit high-cholesterol foods: Such as egg yolks, high-fat dairy products and high-fat meat products.
  • Go for high-fiber foods: Like oatmeal, dried beans, lentils, whole wheat bread, fruits and vegetables.
  • Substitute fish high in omega-3 fatty acids for meat that is high in saturated fat. Try salmon, lake trout and albacore tuna.

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