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General Healthy Eating Tips: Foods That Lower Bad Cholesterol & Lower Blood Sugar

written by: Teresa Martin • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 8/23/2010

Let's examine the best foods to eat to lower bad cholesterol and sugar levels. Making simple dietary changes to improve health is easy to do when you follow the advice in this informative article.

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    Risks of High Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

    In today's busy world, it's easy to short change healthy eating, opting for fast food or preservative laden snacks. Young people generally have no awareness of the long-term effects of these choices. By age thirty, forty or fifty years, poor nutritional choices catch up. At first, it's just a few extra pounds, and then a few more. Later in life, the high fat content of poor food choices becomes apparent in the bloodstream as high cholesterol and high blood sugar.

    High blood sugar can lead to a very common condition called diabetes, a debilitating condition that can lead to poor circulation. Poor blood circulation affects the heart, kidneys, and eyes as well as other organs and the circulation to the hands and feet. According to the National Diabetes Clearing House, an estimated 23.6 million people in the United States have diabetes.

    Coupled with increasing cholesterol levels, which are deposited on the interior of blood vessels, and resulting in a narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, it becomes essential to take care of our vascular health. For millions this means decreasing the amount of sugar and fat in our diet and replacing these with the best foods to eat to lower bad cholesterol and sugar levels.

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    Foods to Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

    A diagnosis of having high blood sugar or a desire to reverse the effects of negative food choices requires retraining. It's never to late to begin taking steps to improve health. Foods do exist that can decrease your blood sugar levels. Choose low glycemic foods. These are foods that are digested slowly and reduce the need for rapid release of insulin. Low glycemic foods include, high fiber foods like apples, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, and kiwis. In addition to fruits, low glycemic foods such as oatmeal, beans, peas and peanuts are good choices. Stay away from high glycemic foods like potatoes, white bread and rice and processed foods containing white refined sugars.

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    Foods to Reduce High Cholesterol

    Choose foods that are low in trans and saturated fats. These include lean meats, fish, whole grain foods and most fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb when filling your plate is to make sure 2/3 of your plate is filled with vegetables like Brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli. Incorporate more dried beans and peas into your diet as well as fruits.

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    It Never Too Late to Start Eating Healthy

    Changing eating habits can be one of the most challenging endeavors one can make. It can also be the most important change for not only extending life, but having quality of life. Become empowered with a vision of health and follow that vision with healthy food choices. Reversing patterns of unhealthy food choices may take time. It is time well invested and can result in a vibrant and fulfilling healthy lifestyle into old age.

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    References: The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse

    The National Institute of Health