These lifestyle changes can help lower your risk for heart disease or keep it from getting worse, as well as help you manage diabetes:
- Have a healthy diet. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods (such as chips, sweets, fast food) and avoid trans fat. Drink more water, fewer sugary drinks, and less alcohol.
- Aim for a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, losing even a modest amount of weight can lower your triglycerides and blood sugar.
- Get active. Physical activity makes your body more sensitive to insulin, which helps manage your blood sugar levels better. Physical activity also helps lower your risk of heart disease. Try to aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking.
- Manage your ABCs:
A: Get a regular A1C test (a blood test to measure your average blood sugar over 2 to 3 months)
B: Try to keep your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg (or the target your doctor sets).
C: Manage your cholesterol levels.
s: Stop smoking or don’t start.
- Manage stress. Stress can raise your blood pressure and can also lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Stress increases the risk of heart diseases. If you find difficulty coping, please seek help from family, friends or professional experts.
Your doctor may also prescribe medicines that can help keep your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides close to your target levels.