What is The Diabetes-Cholesterol Connection and Why is it Important?
According governmental guidelines for managing cholesterol as set forth by the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP), people with diabetes are in the “highest risk” category. That’s because heart disease accounts for the majority of diabetes-related deaths.
Sadly, an American Diabetes Association survey found that 60 percent of people with diabetes do not feel at risk for cholesterol problems. Yet research has shown that nearly all people with diabetes have one or more cholesterol problems, such as increased triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, or elevated LDL cholesterol.
Fortunately, there is one solution to both diabetes and high cholesterol—fiber.
Soluble fiber has been shown to stabilize and help regulate the body's use of sugars, while also slowing the rate at which food is absorbed by the body. When this absorption lasts over a longer period of time, there are fewer and less dramatic spikes in glucose levels.
Countless studies have also shown that fiber can help lower LDL cholesterol, reduce total cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol or triglycerides. In fact, a little-known Harvard study demonstrated that an increase in dietary fiber of 30 grams or more per day decreases your risk of heart disease by as much as 50 percent!
You can increase your fiber intake with unprocessed whole grains, berries, leafy greens, flaxseed, barley, and psyllium husk.