Last updated on August 18th, 2023
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes crucial when managing conditions like high cholesterol and diabetes. These two prevalent health concerns often go hand in hand, necessitating a well-thought-out dietary approach. The right combination of foods can help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, minimizing the risk of complications. Diabetes puts a person at a greater risk of developing high cholesterol. The AHA states that diabetes repeatedly reduces the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol as well as elevates the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. Both of these enhance the risk of cardiovascular problems and stroke. The AHA states that diabetes might give rise to a health condition called diabetic dyslipidemia. Older studies indicate that diabetic dyslipidemia has a relationship with reduced levels of HDL cholesterol as well as raised levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
When an individual’s LDL cholesterol levels elevate too high, LDL cholesterol might produce plaques that constrict or block blood vessels. Thus, people are at a greater risk of heart problems or stroke. As per a recent study, diabetics may remain at a raised risk of cardiovascular problems even with well-regulated blood sugar levels. Also, the researchers state that an individual might improve their coronary health by lowering their levels of cholesterol. In this comprehensive blog, we’ll explore the key dietary considerations for individuals dealing with both cholesterol and diabetes. From recommended foods to incorporate into your diet to those best avoided, we’ll cover all the essentials to help you create a balanced and effective meal plan. Additionally, we’ll provide a sample diet plan that showcases how to put these principles into practice, supporting your journey towards better health and well-being. So, let’s delve into the world of nutrition tailored for cholesterol and diabetes management.
How to Improve Diabetes and Cholesterol?
If a person follows these tips, their body will remain healthy and active. Along with this, a person with high cholesterol and diabetes will experience betterment in their condition through a reduction in levels of diabetes and cholesterol. Let’s have a look:
Walking After A Meal
A diabetic patient already knows that exercise is fundamental for keeping the levels of blood glucose under control. In addition, exercise is important for the management of high cholesterol. It assists in enhancing the levels of HDL cholesterol, which guards against heart problems. In certain cases, it may also decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol. Perhaps the most effective exercise a person can do to aid the regulation of glucose levels is to take a walk after consuming a meal.
Another research study reported that the improvement in the levels of sugar and cholesterol was “predominantly prominent” when participants walked following their evening meal. These participants experienced a higher reduction in the levels of blood glucose in comparison to participants who just walked whenever they liked.
In another study, researchers established that walking decreased the levels of high cholesterol by 7% while running decreased it by 4.3%.
Keeping a constant watch on Sugar and Cholesterol levels
A person is already aware of the fact that it’s important to watch the levels of blood glucose. It’s time to keep an eye on the cholesterol numbers too. As stated previously, the ideal limit of LDL cholesterol is 100 or less. It is a must to follow the physician’s guidelines on keeping blood glucose levels well-regulated. Make sure to check the other numbers during your doctor visits. These may involve the levels of triglycerides and blood pressure. The healthy range of blood pressure is 120/80 mmHg. The AHA proposes that the blood pressure of diabetics is below 130/80 mmHg. Total triglycerides must be below 200 mg/dL.
Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.
Lift Some Heavy Things
With a person’s age, muscle tone also gets reduced naturally. And this is not good for a person’s overall health or his or her heart health. A person may resist that change by incorporating weight training into his or her weekly schedule. Researchers in some studies also mentioned that resistance training, or weight training, was found to be an effective approach to controlling cholesterol and diabetes.
It’s also vital to carry out a few aerobic exercises for roughly half an hour on a daily basis each week. In a study, researchers found that moderate-intensity aerobic activity is quite successful similar to high-intensity exercises when it comes to stabilizing the levels of cholesterol.
Try adding a few energetic activities such as swimming, walking, tennis, or biking into the routine. Taking the stairs, getting together with a dear friend for a sport, or riding a bike to work are equally good activities a sugar and cholesterol patient can try. Moreover, aerobic exercise is seen to benefit diabetics.
Another research reported that exercising helps in decreasing the levels of HbA1c in participants having type 2 diabetes. Also, it was found that exercise training assisted in lowering the waist circumference as well as HbA1c levels.
Plan Healthy Meals
A person has possibly already made alterations in his or her diet to keep blood glucose levels low. A person is regulating the number of carbohydrates he or she consumes at each meal. You should opt for foods low on the GI scale, as well as consuming small meals more frequently.
If a person has high cholesterol and diabetes, this diabetes and cholesterol diet menu would still work best for the person, with just a few small changes. Carry on restricting the number of unhealthy fats like those present in red meat and full-fat dairy, as well as opt for more heart-friendly fats such as lean meats, nuts, fish, olive oil, avocadoes, or flaxseed. It is also good to include more fiber in the diet. Soluble fiber is very fundamental as it helps in reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol and diabetes. Examples of foods consisting of soluble fiber are fruits, oats, beans, lentils, bran, and veggies.
Diet Table for Diabetes and Cholesterol Patients
Below is the diet chart for diabetic and cholesterol patients. This diabetes cholesterol diet menu includes both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian options.
|Wake up drink||Green tea||Amla Jamun Juice in Water||Black tea||Tulsi Water||NeemWater||Black tea||Dalchini Water|
|Breakfast||2 Vegetable Besan Cheela||Vegetable Upma||Egg Sandwich||Moong dal dosa with mint chutney||Besan/moong dal chilla with mint chutney||Moong Dal Idli/Dosa with peanut chutney||2 Vegetable stuffed rotis|
|Mid-day snack||A bowl of mixed fruits, including berries, apples, etc.||Fresh fruits with coconut water||Lime juice with apple||A bowl of mixed fruits||1 apple and a glass of coconut water||1 pomegranate with a cup of black coffee||A bowl of mixed fruits|
|Lunch||Multigrain Roti 2 + Vegetable Sprouts Salad + Paneer Sabji or Curry||2 millet rotisMix vegetable curryBroccoli pulao/egg riceTomato and mint chutney||Jowar Roti 2 + Vegetable Salad + Egg Bhurji + Any Vegetable Sabji of your choice||Chicken/vegetable steamed curry1 cup dal tadkaBrown rice pulaoTomato onion salad||2 millet rotis½ cup steamed rice1 cup fish gravy/ broccoli curryCoriander chutney||Jowar Roti 2 + Vegetable Salad + Egg Bhurji + Any Vegetable Sabji of your choice||2 millet rotis1 cup mixed dalBroccoli stir fryOnion cucumber raita|
|Evening Snack||10 almonds + buttermilk||Any Seasonal Fruit||Coconut water with chia seeds||Trail Mix(Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Flax seeds, Sesame seeds)||Roasted Channa||Vegetable soup||Lime juice and any seasonal fruit|
|Dinner||2 roti portion of mixed daal +Tofu/Soy paneer gravy||Multigrain Roti 2 + Vegetable Salad + Any dal and Sabji of your choice||Grilled / Roasted Fish or Chicken 100g + Cooked Vegetable Salad 1 Katori||Mixed Dal Dosa 2 + 1 Spoon Coconut Chutney + 1 Katori Sambar||Multigrain Roti 2 + Vegetable Salad + Any dal and Sabji of your choice||Grilled / Roasted Fish or Chicken 100g + Cooked Vegetable Salad 1 Katori||Paneer Sauteed Vegetables + Cooked Rice|
Diabetes and Cholesterol Diet Menu
When thinking of creating a diabetes and cholesterol diet meal which should be technically ideal both for diabetes and cholesterol patients, there are multiple things to keep in mind. A typical diabetes patient needs nutrients like dietary fiber and complex carbs in their diet. Whereas, a high cholesterol patient needs a lean protein, low fat and carbs diet. Therefore keeping these things in mind, we have formulated an appropriate meal suited for a person suffering from diabetes and cholesterol.
A meal for someone with high cholesterol and diabetes should focus on low-saturated fat and low-sugar options. Include lean proteins (like poultry, fish, or plant-based sources), whole grains, plenty of non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats (such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil). Incorporating fiber-rich foods can also help manage both conditions.
An example of low cholesterol diet for diabetes and cholesterol patients will be something like this:
Vegetarian Meal For Diabetes
- 3 rotis made of multigrain flour
- Broccoli stir fry
- Any daal (prefer using sabut daals like green moong beans)
- A small portion of brown rice
- Mix vegetable curry
- Coconut water
Read More: Is Ash Gourd Good For Diabetes?
Non-Vegetarian Meal For Diabetes
- 3 rotis made of multigrain flour
- Grilled fish/chicken kebabs
- Broccoli carrot pulao
- Chicken curry made in olive oil
- Egg beans salad
Best Food For Diabetes and Cholesterol Patients
Here is the list of the best foods for individuals with diabetes and cholesterol:
Opt for whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, millet, quinoa, atta bread, and oats. They are rich in fiber and help manage blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Including a variety of colourful vegetables is an example of a low cholesterol diet. Leafy greens, broccoli, spinach, carrots, capsicum, etc. are good choices. They’re low in calories and high in nutrients.
Choose whole fruits over fruit juices. Berries, citrus fruits, apples, and pears are great options. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Individuals with high cholesterol and diabetes should opt for lean sources of protein. These include skinless chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc. These options help maintain muscle mass and keep you feeling full.
People having diabetes and cholesterol should include healthy fat sources like avocados, nuts (almonds, walnuts), seeds (chia, flaxseed), and olive oil. These fats support heart health and can help lower cholesterol levels.
Fatty fish for sugar and cholesterol patients are beneficial as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3 has anti-inflammatory properties and can lower triglycerides.
If you consume dairy, choose low-fat or non-fat options. Greek yoghurt and skim milk are good choices for cholesterol and diabetes patients.
Use some diabetes and cholesterol friendly fruits like berries, citrus fruits, pears, etc. and blend them into smoothies. One main advantage of smoothies is that its super easy to carry.
Consume non-starchy vegetables free of oil and spices in the form of salads. Diabetes and cholesterol patients should consume salads daily with their meals. The salads are full of essential minerals like antioxidants which are very beneficial for diabetes and cholesterol patients.
Remember that individual needs can vary, so working closely with your trusted doctor is mandatory to create a personalized meal plan that aligns with your specific health goals and requirements.
Foods to Avoid for Cholesterol and Diabetes Patients
Here are some foods to avoid or limit for individuals with high diabetes and cholesterol:
Saturated and Trans Fats
Patients with sugar and cholesterol should limit foods high in saturated fats. These saturated fats are included in fatty meat, full-cream dairy products, and processed meats. Also, avoid foods with trans fats, often found in many packaged and fried foods.
Processed and Fried Foods
Reduce the consumption of processed foods like fast food, chips, and packaged snacks. These often contain unhealthy fats and high amounts of sodium. Best food for diabetes and cholesterol patients doesn’t contain these at all.
Read More: What Is Type 2 Diabetes Management?
Sugary Foods and Beverages
Avoid sugary snacks, candies, desserts, and sugary beverages like regular soda and fruit juices. These products are a complete no for diabetes and cholesterol patients as they can cause sugar spikes and increase cholesterol levels.
Sugar and diabetes patients should limit foods made from refined grains like white bread, white rice, and sugary cereals. They lack fiber and can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar.
High-sodium foods like canned soups, processed meats, salty snacks, etc., can disturb your sugar and cholesterol levels. High sodium intake can impact blood pressure.
Avoid full-fat dairy products like whole milk, cream, and high-fat cheese. High cholesterol and diabetes patients should opt for lower-fat versions or alternatives like almond or soy milk.
Reduce consumption of fatty cuts of beef, pork, and processed meats like sausages and bacon.
Trans-Fat Containing Baked Goods
Avoid pastries, cookies, and cakes made with partially hydrogenated oils, as they contain trans fats.
High-Glycemic Index Foods
Consume alcohol in moderation, if at all. It can affect blood sugar levels and interact with medications.
High cholesterol and diabetes patients should be cautious. Condiments like ketchup, barbecue sauce, and others often contain added sugars.
Excessively Processed Snacks
Snack foods like packaged cookies, crackers, and sugary granola bars should be limited due to their high sugar and cholesterol (bad) content.
Remember, moderation is key. It’s not necessary to eliminate these foods, but be mindful of portion sizes and frequency of consumption. This can make a significant difference in managing diabetes and cholesterol levels and also improve the condition.
Read More: Is Bottle Gourd Good For Diabetes?
In conclusion, managing both diabetes and cholesterol through a balanced diet is essential for overall health. By focusing on the diet chart provided, you can improve your sugar and cholesterol levels. The foods included in the chart are rich in whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, etc. The food will help individuals control blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol levels, and also lower the risk of cardiovascular complications. Incorporating the above best food for diabetes and cholesterol patients, which includes plenty of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, etc, is essential. Also, limiting the foods consisting of processed foods, saturated fats, and excessive sugar intake. These foods can contribute to worsening the management of sugar and cholesterol. However, all this is to be done only after consulting with your doctor. The doctor will provide a tailored diet plan that well suits your body’s needs, taking into account medications, activity levels, and other factors. Remember, a well-rounded diet, coupled with regular exercise, plays a significant role in maintaining a healthier life when dealing with diabetes and cholesterol concerns.
Does sugar increase cholesterol levels?
What are 3 best foods for lowering cholesterol?
Patients with cholesterol and diabetes can choose these for lowering their cholesterol levels. The foods include
- Fiber-rich fruits: Fruits like apples, pears, and berries rich in fiber help lower cholesterol levels.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are rich in soluble fiber which help lowers cholesterol levels
- Seeds: Seeds like chia and flax seeds contain omega 3 acids and fiber which help in lowering LDL cholesterol levels and also reduce blood pressure.
What foods should diabetics avoid with high cholesterol?
Patients with high cholesterol and diabetes should avoid foods containing trans fat or saturated fats, sugar, high salts, refined carbohydrates, etc. Foods like maida, white rice, cold drinks, alcohol, and fried spicy foods are a no-no for diabetics with high cholesterol.
What are 5 foods with good cholesterol?
The 5 best foods rich in good or HDL cholesterol are:
- Fish: Fish contains omega-3 acids which can decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol.
- Avocado: Avocados contain folate, fiber and monounsaturated fat. Healthy fats help maintain HDL levels and improve heart health.
- Olive Oil: The type of fat found in olives and olive oil lowers the impact of LDL cholesterol (bad) on your body.
- Whole grains: Whole grains lower your LDL(bad) and total cholesterol. This in turn boosts your HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
- Nuts: Nuts contain plant sterols that block the absorption rate of cholesterol in your body.
Does banana increase cholesterol?
Bananas for patients with high cholesterol and sugar are beneficial. Bananas’ nutritional profile is full of dietary fiber and potassium, which affects cholesterol levels positively. Studies have found bananas do help in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
Does salt increase the levels of cholesterol?
Intake of excessive salty snacks or other high-salt food items may add to high cholesterol levels.
What are the signs of excessive cholesterol?
The most common signs include nausea, chest pain, intense weakness, breathing difficulty, numbness in extremities, and pain in the neck, jaw, back, or upper abdomen.
Does insulin result in high cholesterol?
Insulin resistance enhances a person’s risk for both high sugar levels as well as irregular cholesterol levels, which afterward enhances the risk for cardiovascular problems.
What must the cholesterol be for people with diabetes?
The target LDL cholesterol levels for adult diabetics must be below 100 mg/dl; HDL cholesterol levels must be above 40 mg/dl, and triglyceride levels must be below 150 mg/dl. In females, who are inclined to have greater HDL cholesterol levels as compared to males, an HDL goal of 10 mg/dl or greater might be suitable.
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.