There’s a large consensus that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease. According to the American Heart Association, people with diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease for the following reasons:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Unhealthy cholesterol level
- Lack of physical activity
- Elevated blood sugar
But realistically, other than the last reason (elevated blood sugar), all the other risks equally affect the general population as well. In the US, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, according to the Center for Disease Control, whose causes are directly related to those conditions.
Many prominent doctors have highly criticized (with supporting data) the current dietary recommendations e.g. limiting fat consumption to 30% of calories intake and maintaining a total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL, as millions of people are following those guidelines, yet it hasn’t stopped cardiovascular disease from being the number 1 killer. Research has shown that those recommendations e.g, U.S. Dept of Agriculture (USDA), American Diabetes Association, help slowing down the progression of heart disease, but do not stop it. Cutting fat intake to less than 10% and reducing total cholesterol to less than 150 mg/dL have shown to stop and reverse heart disease.
Many doctors, among them Dr. Esselstyn, have conducted long-term studies confirming that a diet based on grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, without any meat, dairy nor extra oils stops and in many cases, reverses heart disease, with some cases being nothing short of spectacular. In particular, those doctors make a strong case against the addition of any oils and clearly demonstrate that consuming oils, even those so-called healthy oils, will invariably damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease.
There’s no question that anyone, including people with diabetes, must adopt a much more aggressive stance against fat consumption, or otherwise expose themselves to heart disease, years of reduced quality of life and premature death.
What people with diabetes must do, in addition to follow those dietary guidelines, is to keep their blood glucose in check through rigorous insulin management, as elevated blood glucose further increases blood pressure, damages blood vessels and leads to heart disease.
By adopting a healthy diet that eliminates fats and sweets, and closely monitoring their blood glucose, peoples with diabetes can live an otherwise very healthy life.