Diets to Lower High Blood Sugar & High Cholesterol

High blood sugar and cholesterol can lead to serious conditions. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can put you on a course toward diabetes and complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness and amputations, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. A healthy diet, along with any other lifestyle changes your doctor recommends, can help you lower high blood sugar and cholesterol.

A salmon fillet on a grill. (Image: villagemoon/iStock/Getty Images)

Lose Excess Weight

Losing weight if you are overweight or obese can lower high blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse states that if you have prediabetes, you are likely to develop diabetes within 10 years unless you make lifestyle changes, such as losing excess weight. Losing as little as 5 percent to 7 percent of your body weight can help prevent the development of diabetes. Reduce your calorie consumption to lose weight by emphasizing vegetables, fruits and lean proteins.

Follow a Prudent Diet

Compared to the typical American diet, prudent diet patterns tend to be higher in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. They are lower in sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages and other sources of added sugars, red meat and solid fats, such as butter. According to research published in July 2012 in the "Journal of Research in Medical Sciences," higher consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains -- combined with lower consumption of red meat -- can help prevent diabetes. Increased fiber consumption can help lower cholesterol.

Adapt a DASH Eating Pattern

Research has shown that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension eating pattern not only lowers high blood pressure but also reduces the risk for heart disease. The pattern may also help reduce hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, according to the 2012 article in the "Journal of Research in Medical Sciences." A DASH style of eating is higher in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, and lower in sodium, meats and added sugars, than a typical American diet.

Incorporate Elements of a Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy diet pattern that can lower cardiovascular risk factors such as high levels total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein, according to research published in August 2013 in the "Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews." It can also help lower high blood sugar, according to the July 2012 article in the "Journal of Research in Medical Sciences." A Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts, is also high in monounsaturated fats from olive oil. It is low in sweets, refined grains and saturated fats from animal products.

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