The American Diabetes Association Provides Tips For Heart Healthy Eating

February 16, 2009 at 11:00 am Leave a comment

Heart disease and
stroke are the leading causes of death in people with diabetes, yet
many people are unaware there is a connection. If you or a loved one
has diabetes it is important to know how to reduce your risk of heart
attack and stroke.

“Currently, 2 out of 3 people with diabetes in the United States die
from a heart attack or stroke,” says Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE,
President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association.
“Diet and exercise can help reduce the risk of developing
diabetes-related complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney
disease, blindness, and amputations. In many cases, medicine is also
needed to keep diabetes under control.”

The American Diabetes Association offers these healthy eating tips to
help prevent the risk of heart disease and stroke in people with

Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods. Try a grain like barley for a
new taste.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Shoot for a rainbow of

If you drink alcohol, stick to 1 or 2 drinks at the most.

Ditch the salt shaker. Try fresh herbs and spices.

Avoid trans fat, which is found in many pastries, cakes, french
fries, crackers and other processed foods and packages. Also, limit
intake of foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Choose non-fat dairy, and have several “meatless meals” every
week. Use beans, veggie burgers, lentils and other sources of
vegetarian protein.

People with diabetes also can reduce their risk for having a heart
attack, stroke, and other complications by following the ABCs of

A: Average Glucose – A1C (a measure of average blood glucose). Most
people with diabetes should get an A1C test at least twice a year,
which measures how well blood glucose has been controlled over the
past 2-3 months. The goal for most people with diabetes is an A1C
less than 7%, which is an estimated average glucose of less than 154

B: Blood Pressure – People with diabetes should have a target
blood pressure of less than 130/80 mmHg.

C: Cholesterol – LDL (bad) cholesterol should be below 100 mg/dl;
HDL (healthy) cholesterol should be above 40 mg/dl for men and 50
mg/dl for women; triglycerides should be below 150 mg/dl.

The following is a heart-healthy recipe for two:

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
(From Diabetes & Heart Healthy Meals for Two)

Serves 2; 2 wraps per serving
Preparation time: 15 minutes

To turn this dish into an entree, omit the lettuce
leaves and serve the chicken over steamed brown rice. Try the
leftover sweet chili sauce in Thai dishes or add a bit to dipping sauces.

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

3 ounces chicken tenders, all visible fat discarded, finely diced

2 medium green onions, finely chopped

1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 medium button mushrooms, finely chopped

1/2 cup packaged shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw mix

1 teaspoon grated peeled gingerroot

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon soy sauce (lowest sodium available)

1 teaspoon plain rice vinegar

4 large lettuce leaves, such as romaine, Boston, or iceberg, carefully removed and
kept whole

1. In a small nonstick skillet, heat the oil over
medium-high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the chicken for 3
to 4 minutes, or until golden on the outside and no longer pink on
the inside, stirring frequently. Transfer to a plate.

2. In the
same skillet, cook the green onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, and
coleslaw mix for about 4 minutes, or until the bell pepper is tender,
stirring frequently. Stir in the cooked chicken. Add the soy sauce
and rice vinegar. Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

3. Put the lettuce leaves on a flat surface. Spoon about 1/4 cup mixture down the center of each leaf.
Roll up tightly, jelly-roll style.


1 vegetable

1 lean meat

1/2 fat

Calories 192

Calories from Fat 30

Total Fat 3.5 g

Saturated Fat 0.6 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 1.3 g

Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g

Cholesterol 25 mg

Sodium 170 mg

Total Carbohydrate 6 g

Dietary Fiber 2g

Sugars 1g

Protein 11 g

Copyright 2008 American Diabetes Association from Diabetes & Heart
Healthy Meals for Two. Reprinted with permission from The American
Diabetes Association. To order this book, please call 1-800-232-6733
or order online at

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight against the
deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by
diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage
diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides
objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied
their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to
prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people
affected by diabetes. For more information, call the American
Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available
in English and Spanish.

American Diabetes Association



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