Diabetes and Cholesterol Relationship: Get Tips to Live Healthy With It

Last updated on September 27th, 2022

If a person has been diagnosed with diabetes, he or she know that regulating the blood glucose levels is significant. The more a person may keep these levels down, the lower is the person’s risk of developing heart ailments and other medical conditions. Diabetes puts a person at a greater risk of developing high cholesterol. As a person keeps a watch on his or her blood glucose numbers, watch the cholesterol numbers as well. In this article, it is described why these two conditions frequently show up together, and how a person may manage both using lifestyle approaches.

High cholesterol levels might be an indication that a person is at a greater risk of cardiovascular problems and stroke. On the other hand, it is the balance of cholesterol levels that is an improved indicator of cardiovascular health and it is the balance of cholesterol that the healthcare providers must take into consideration prior to recommending any treatment. Lifestyle alterations and statins are usually used to lower down the levels of high cholesterol. Whereas cholesterol levels might elevate for several reasons, high cholesterol levels over years are frequently related to a higher risk of medical conditions. Too low levels of cholesterol might be riskier as compared to too high cholesterol.

Diabetes and High Cholesterol Repeatedly Happen Together

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 for cardiovascular problems and stroke.

The AHA state 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.

As a Reminder:

  • LDL cholesterol below 100 mg/dL is considered ideal.
  • 100–129 mg/dL is nearly ideal.
  • 130–159 mg/dL is borderline raised.

High levels of cholesterol might be risky. Cholesterol is a form of fat that gets accumulated inside the arteries. With time, it may harden to produce an inflexible plaque. This results in the damage of arteries, making them firm and constricted, and blocking the blood flow. The heart has to work harder to pump blood, as well as the risk for heart attack and stroke escalate.

In a research study, they found that blood glucose, insulin, as well as cholesterol all combine in the body, and gets influenced by each other. In the meantime, what’s vital is that a person is mindful of the amalgamation between the two. Even though a person keeps his or her blood glucose levels controlled, the levels of LDL cholesterol might still go up. On the other hand, a person may regulate both of these conditions with drugs as well as good lifestyle practices. The major objective is to decrease the risk of heart disorder and stroke.

Also Read: What level of blood sugar is dangerous?

Tips to Living Healthy With Diabetes and Cholestrol

If a person follows these 7 tips, his or her body will remain healthy and active.

diabetes and cholesterol relationship

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 effectual exercise a person can do to aid the regulation of glucose levels is to take a walk after consuming a meal.

Brisk Walking

Another research study reported that the improvement in the levels of blood glucose 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.

For high cholesterol patients, walking is good as well. In another study, researchers established that walking decreased the levels of high cholesterol by 7% while running decreased it by 4.3%.

Also Read: Janumet 50 500

Watch the Numbers

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 the blood glucose levels well-regulated. Make sure to check the other numbers during annual 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.

Blood Pressure

Follow Standard Health Suggestions

Some effective lifestyle options lower down the risk of heart problems. Possibly, a person must be aware of all these, but just make sure that he or she does everything to follow them:

  • Take all the prescribed medicines as per the doctor’s recommendation.
  • Quit smoking or avoid starting this habit.
  • Maintain a healthy weight, or lose weight if required.

Also Read: How to Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately?

diabetes and cholesterol

Breathe a Little Stiffer 5 Times Each Week

On top of walking post-meals, 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 one can try. Moreover, aerobic exercise is seen to benefit diabetics.

Another research reported that exercising helped 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.

Also Read: Sliding scale insulin

Plan Healthy Meals

A person has possibly already made alterations in his or her diet to keep the blood glucose levels low. A person is regulating the number of carbohydrates he or she consumes at each meal, opting for foods low on the GI scale, as well as consuming small meals more frequently.

If a person has high cholesterol, this diet 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. Examples of foods consisting of soluble fiber are fruits, oats, beans, lentils, bran, and veggies.

Also Read: Endocrine System and Glands of the Human Body

Foods That Can be Included

Diet plays a key role in regulating cholesterol. As per a study, when researchers offered individuals with a regulated meal plan in which there were reduced saturated fats as well as added certain healthy food products like nuts, LDL cholesterol levels were found to reduce by 22–33% across a period of one month.

Also, this study found that people who received a dietary recommendation but not a controlled diet for 6 months saw an average 15% reduction in their levels of LDL cholesterol. The researchers proposed that an individual could sustainably lower their cholesterol by 10% via diet control. To attain this, health professionals usually suggest an intake of a diet high in whole foods and fiber, including fruits, veggies, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Some recommendations can be flax, avocado, barley, blueberries, whole oats, soybeans, and salmon. The CDC adds that an individual might also consume more beans, low-fat dairy products, as well as foods rich in unsaturated fats like olive oil or nuts.

Also Read: Yoga For Diabetes: Control Your Blood Sugar Level Naturally at Home

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 control cholesterol.


In a research study, it was found that individuals who had a regular weight-lifting schedule had more effective HDL as compared to people who didn’t.

Weight training is seen to benefit people with diabetes as well. A study found that resistance training assisted participants in building muscle. Also, it greatly improved the overall metabolic health as well as decreased metabolic risk factors for diabetic patients. For overall health, it’s most excellent to mix resistance training with normal aerobic exercise. Researchers have seen that people who combined both forms of exercise considerably improved their blood glucose levels. Those who did only one or the other did not.

Also Read: Insulin to Carb Ratios: How to Calculate Insulin Doses

Take Care of the Rest of Your Health

Although a person is cautious about regulating the levels of both blood glucose as well as blood cholesterol, diabetes might have an effect on the other body parts with time. This implies that it’s vital to stay above all the facets of health as a person moves on.

  • Eyes. Both diabetes and high cholesterol might influence a person’s eye health, so make sure to visit an eye doctor each year for a regular examination.
  • Teeth. Diabetes is found to enhance the risk of gum infections. Visit the dentist regularly as well as practice cautious oral care.
  • Feet. Diabetes might have an effect on the nerves in a person’s feet, making them less sensitive. It is important to get the feet checked regularly for any sores, blisters, or inflammation, and take care that wound healing occurs as it is supposed to. If they fail to occur, check with the concerned doctor.
  • Immune system. As a person ages, his or her immune system progressively weakens. Other conditions such as diabetes might deteriorate it, even more, hence it’s significant to get the vaccinations as per a person’s requirements. Flu shots must be received every year, it is also important to ask about the shingles vaccine after a person turns 60, and also about the pneumonia shot after a person turns 65. The CDC also suggests that a person should get the hepatitis B vaccination soon after he or she is diagnosed with diabetes, as diabetics are at a greater risk of hepatitis B.

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Diabetes, as well as high cholesterol, might repeatedly occur together, but there are approaches by which both the conditions can be managed. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle as well as monitoring the levels of cholesterol when a person is diabetic are vital ways of managing both conditions. Diabetes might pose a negative risk to an individual’s cholesterol levels. On the other hand, with proper care, a healthy diet, and exercise, any diabetic patient can decrease the impact of high cholesterol levels.

Also Read: Does Diabetes Cause Xerostomia or Dry Mouth?


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.


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/treating-with-statins/guide-to-diabetes-and-high-cholesterol
  2. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/Diabetes-and-cholesterol.html
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cholesterol-and-diabetes

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.

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