Diabetes and Cholesterol

If a person has high cholesterol levels and also has diabetes then this can cause all sorts of health related problems such as a stroke or heart disease.

An important factor to remember is that the links between diabetes and cholesterol levels will make the chances of developing such a problem even greater.

Experts have suggested that both heart disease and strokes are the biggest killers for people with diabetes and high levels of cholesterol often play a major part.

There are a number of handy points below which will explain more about cholesterol, as well as the problems that can occur in a person who has higher than normal levels, and then there are the ways of preventing such issues and safeguarding the body against as many potential issues as possible.

Understanding cholesterol

There are going to be some people who do not have a clear idea of what cholesterol is, so, this is the time to start learning more about it so that any action (should it be required) can be taken to rectify any adverse findings. 

Basically, cholesterol is often referred to as “blood fat” but there are two different types which have been determined as “good and bad” cholesterol.

  • LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein is also known as a bad form of cholesterol and the reason for this is because it results in building up within the blood vessels which in turn may lead to blockages
  • HDL – High Density Lipoprotein is the good type of cholesterol and some experts believe that this can actually work by helping the body prevent heart problems

Top tip: It is entirely possible for cholesterol levels to be monitored and calculated and this is something which should be done at least once a year.

Diabetes and cholesterol explained

Diabetes is a serious enough condition without an individual having a high cholesterol level as well, but unfortunately, it is very common for these two problems to actually go hand in hand.

Exactly how does diabetes affect cholesterol levels?

There have been plenty of findings about the link between the two and at this point in time, scientists are still trying to uncover the full extent of the situation, in terms of how these end up clashing.

Anyone will say how important it is to manage glucose (blood sugar) levels effectively and it is no different here. According to some, if a diabetic fails to keep control of glucose readings and they end up reaching high levels then this in itself is said to lead to a larger amounts of cholesterol entering the blood stream.

How to reduce cholesterol levels

If a test has indicated that there are high cholesterol levels within the body then it is important to take action as soon as possible, so that the risks of suffering from heart disease or stroke are significantly reduced.

There are a number of ways that it can be done, and it typically involves a few lifestyle changes that will ultimately make all the difference. These tend to include the following:

  • Limiting the amount of alcohol consumed. The recommended daily amount for women is 2 – 3 units, and for men it is 3 – 4 units.
  • Smoking is a habit which is well known to cause all sorts of problems and raising cholesterol levels is just one of the many things which it will do. Try to kick the habit immediately as this will make a huge difference, both in the short and long term.
  • Being overweight or obese can lead to a large array of health issues and therefore it is important to try and lose some weight. For anyone who might require additional assistance then visiting a dietician might help a person achieve a target weight that is in line with height.
  • Eating a variety of the “right” foods is essential and this will mean cutting out items which are full of fat, sugar and salt. Make sure that the recommended “5 a day” fruits and vegetables are consumed, as well as items which contain wholegrain (this could be bread or certain cereals).
  • Exercise regularly. This is a factor which can work wonders for any diabetic and by participating in approximately 30 minutes of exercise per day, it should certainly make a noticeable difference to both blood sugar and cholesterol readings.

Fact: These are just a few of the points that are known to help in reducing the amount of “bad” cholesterol levels and another thing to remember is (in certain cases), a doctor may prescribe certain types of medication to work at combating the situation. This will often be assessed on an individual basis, but most of the time, the tips listed above are normally effective enough to make a noticeable difference.

Foods that will lower cholesterol

Knowing what to eat in order to lower cholesterol can be a difficult task but it is actually quite simple and the list below should help provide a better idea of the best foods to eat so that a good level of health can be maintained.

The items of choice tend to include:

  • Certain fruits – products like bananas are an ideal and equally popular choice but other items such as oranges are another option
  • This may be more likely to act as a snack but nuts are known to benefit many people in a number of different ways. Concentrate on consuming walnuts or almonds
  • It is okay to eat some meat, such as chicken but products like pork or beef should be avoided because it can be quite unhealthy

Fact: These are only a couple of many possibilities open to anyone who is looking to cope with diabetes and cholesterol levels, but remember this one important fact when it comes to planning that diet. Avoid any foods that are full of saturated fats and concentrate instead on products that contain unsaturated fats – these are commonly referred to as “mono” or poly” 

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