According to the December 7th, 2015 Heart News article published online by the American Heart Association:
Women with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely as men to have coronary heart disease.
Two out of three people with diabetes will eventually die from a heart attack or stroke.
More frequent and intense physical activity may be needed by women with type 2 diabetes to lower their risk of cardiovascular disease compared to men.
From another online publication, Everyday Health: “People with diabetes are at a greater risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity. These complications increase levels of inflammation which makes heart attack and stroke more likely.”
What can you do to counter these statistics? Here are some recommendations:
-Exercise for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least 5 days a week.
-Watch your salt intake and eliminate refined sugar and simple carbohydrates
-Follow a diabetic diet defined by Everyday Health as “rather than a restrictive diet, a diabetes diet is a healthy eating plan that is naturally rich in nutrients and low in fat and calories, with an emphasis on fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. In fact a diabetes diet is the best plan for most everyone.”
Instead of restriction, we can eat our way to better health by choosing protein rich food, complex carbohydrates, low-fat dairy products, food with fiber, healthy fats from olives, nuts, fish, canola, olive, and peanut oil.
Remember: there are choices we can make to experience greater health. It does not have to be perfect, but it is an informed way of living with our liabilities.
Also, taking care of our heart health can be an outgrowth of living well in general. If we work towards a sense of wellbeing in other areas of our lives, heart health is part of a living as a whole person. So, just as we need to learn the facts of physical care, we want to stay vital in how we live each day.
So ask yourself:
What makes your heart feel full?
Is it love for your family or friends?
Is it a passion for art, music, flowers or a cause?
Or being seen and valued as who you are by the people in your world?
Or transcendence through spiritual seeking or overcoming your limitations?
Please keep all this in mind, because our hearts are precious.