Welcome to DIY (Do It Yourself) Diabetes with Marci Page Sloane

Love Your Heart

Trying your best to control glucose levels and reducing your cardiac risk factors can save your life. Over 65% of people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke.

How can you love your heart? Below are some tips I encourage my diabetes patients to try. If you are doing some or all of these, then I congratulate you!

  • Control your diabetes with nutrition, exercise, medication (if needed), testing, relaxing, support teams and knowing your numbers.
  • Control your blood pressure by including foods with higher potassium (cantaloupe, honeydew, bananas, tomatoes, potatoes), magnesium (whole grains, nuts), higher calcium (dark green vegetables, seaweed, low-fat & low-sodium cheese, almonds, low-fat milk) and lower sodium (processed, packaged, sauces, gravies, soups, dressings, pickled foods).
  • Eat heart healthy with high fiber/wholesome foods, monounsaturated and omega 3 fats, and reduce trans and saturated fats.
  • Control weight by balancing food groups while consuming whole grains, vegetables, lean protein and healthy unsaturated fats.
  • Move! Do some activity each day.
  • Do not smoke – and try not to breathe in anyone else's second-hand smoke.
  • Reduce stress by meditating, reading a good book, visiting with family or friends, taking a stroll, watching a funny movie, laughing and looking at the positive aspects of your life.
  • If you consume alcohol, do so only in moderation: one drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men (4 ounces wine, 12 ounces beer, 1-1 ½ ounces of liquor). Try red wine for it's high resveratrol content. Resveratrol is a heart healthy antioxidant found in red wine and red grapes in greater concentration, blueberries, cranberries and peanuts.
  • Know your numbers: HbA1c, total cholesterol, HDL (healthy cholesterol), LDL (lousy cholesterol), triglycerides, blood pressure and weight.
  • Love your heart, love others and most of all - love yourself!

Marci Sloane, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator with a degree in Nutrition and Physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University. Marci is the author of The Diet Game: Playing for Life! More about Marci Sloane

The goal of Destination Diabetes® is to be a useful and credible resource for the more than 20 million children and adults who have diabetes in the U.S. and their families. Destination Diabetes® provides information on a wide range of diabetes health and wellness topics. Articles are written or reviewed by diabetes advisors who have experience in diabetes education.