Nutrition: Maintaining a healthy diet is an important factor for those with Diabetes. A crucial part of a diabetic’s daily routine is understanding how certain foods can affect their blood glucose levels. Controlling your diabetes does not mean that you have to deprive yourself of the foods you want to eat, it just means that you must simply balance your diet. The American Diabetes Association suggests that if you have diabetes, that you should keep your blood glucose numbers to around 80-130 mg/dL before meals and around 180 mg/dL a couple hours after a meal.
- Cut back on sugary beverages such as soda, energy drinks, and coffee
- Avoid processed foods such as doughnuts, candy, cereal, potato chips and granola bars
- Avoid deep fried foods and trans fat products
- Avoid any products with added sugars
- Limit refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and rice
- Choose high-fiber foods (slow-release carbs) such as grains, fruits, and beans
- Eat a diet that includes a balance of all three: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats
- Eat healthy fats such as from nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds, or avocados
- A diet with lots of whole fruits and dark green leafy vegetables (spinach and kale)
- High quality protein such as eggs, beans, and low-fat dairy products
Managing Your Cholesterol
Managing your cholesterol means eating a low cholesterol and low fat diet with plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains. It is also important to increase the amount of monounsaturated fats in your diet. The cholesterol goals for many adults with diabetes are less than 100 mg/dL of LDL cholesterol for patients without heart disease and less than 70 mg/dL of LDL for patients with heart disease. The HDL (good) cholesterol should be more than 40 mg/dL for men and more than 50 mg/dL for women. The triglyceride levels should be less than 150 mg/dL.
Managing Your Blood Pressure
Controlling your blood pressure is an important aspect of heart health. Beside the simple ways to manage BP such as exercising and eating healthy, medication is an effective way to manage your hypertension. The American Heart Association also recommends monitoring your Blood Pressure at home as well. Make sure that every time you visit the doctor that your blood pressure is checked. The goal is less than 140/80 mmHg for many adults with diabetes.
Even brisk walking can benefit your heart! It is important to be aware that blood glucose levels will tend to lower after physical activity. Therefore, monitoring your blood sugar as you exercise is highly recommended. Regular aerobic activity can increase the efficiency of insulin intake by your body by improving insulin sensitivity. Studies show that physical exercise is one of the best non-pharmacological treatments for Type 2 diabetes because exercise can help lower your blood pressure, improve glucose tolerance, and control glycemia.  The American Diabetes Association recommends that an adult with diabetes performs resistance exercises such as lifting free weights 2-3 times per week. Those with Type 2 diabetes should also perform 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week. Prolonged periods of sitting is discouraged for those with diabetes in order to further benefit blood glucose levels. 
It is very important to stop smoking if you have diabetes. Smoking can further harm your overall health and is a serious risk factor for heart disease as well. Some steps to help quit include deciding on a day to quit when you are least stressed and rewarding yourself for every successful nonsmoking day. Seek help from your doctors and those that are around you most.