As we enter spring cleaning season, it’s important we also reevaluate our diabetes and heart health in addition to cleaning up our homes. While it’s important for all Canadians to take care of their hearts, it’s especially important for those living with type 2 diabetes. For Canadians living with type 2 diabetes, death from heart disease at an earlier age is a serious risk.
People with diabetes may develop heart disease or die up to 15 years earlier compared to people without. Raising awareness about diabetes and cardiovascular disease hits home for me. Diabetes runs in my family. My mother is currently living with type 2 diabetes and my grandfather had diabetes and unfortunately passed away just shy of 50 due to heart related complications. While I was always active and very athletic, I am conscious that my genetics could eventually play a role in my overall health. In fact, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol as a teen (yes you read that right), when I was participating in a study on family members related to people living with type 2 diabetes. Since then, I’ve been very conscious of my diet and continued to be active – I even received a degree in Kinesiology. I would DJ at night and study anatomy and biomechanics during the day. But, we can save that for another blog post/story time.
Ok back to my family… Now with my mother being diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago, we are even more aware of our lifestyle habits and supporting her in managing her condition. Many people living with diabetes often think that they must completely overhaul their diet. Guess what – you don’t. There are great resources like Cart2Table.ca that can help people living with diabetes rediscover the joy of food. We use this website a lot with my mom. On the Cart2Table.ca site you can find nutrition information, portion control guides and even a healthy choices checklist. I also like that there are videos on how to make some of the recipes and suggestions for international meals. It’s important to note that nutrition is one piece of the puzzle.
If you have type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease, controlling your blood sugar alone might not be enough. There are medications that have been proven to lower the risk of dying from complications related to your heart along with diet and exercise. , Make sure you talk to your doctor about your risk, and treatments that might help.
The great news is that there have been advances in treatment options and we know so much more about the condition than we did years ago when my grandfather was diagnosed. Check out myheartmatters.ca to learn more.
Disclaimer/Disclosure: This blog post is sponsored by two of Canada’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies.