If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, there is a good chance you may also have high cholesterol, high blood pressure along with high blood glucose—also known as blood sugar. You are also likely to be overweight or obese.
All of these factors put you at an increased risk of developing heart disease and other diabetes-related complications. Adults with diabetes have heart-disease-related death rates about two to four times higher than adults without diabetes. A history of heart disease in your family also increases your risk.
While you can’t change the fact that diabetes or heart disease runs in your family, there are ways to ward off the damage. Careful monitoring of blood cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight is the first step.
95% of people with diabetes have some abnormal levels of cholesterol.
There are two kinds of cholesterol in your blood: LDL and HDL. LDL or low-density lipoprotein is the “bad” cholesterol. It causes the narrowing and hardening of the arteries. Too much of it can cause a heart attack or stroke. HDL or high-density lipoprotein is the “good” cholesterol. It provides protection by removing the “bad” cholesterol from your blood vessels. An ideal LDL cholesterol level should be less than 70 mg/dl, and a woman’s HDL cholesterol level ideally should be close to 50 mg/dl. Triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dl
Belly Fat Numbers
If you’re overweight and most of your weight is located in the abdominal area, you are at a greater risk for heart disease. Belly fat is associated with increased production of LDL “bad” cholesterol. If your waist measures more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women, start a weight-loss and exercise plan.