If you have
heart disease and
diabetes, you may be given guidelines for each. One focuses on keeping your heart healthy and the other on keeping your blood sugar in your target range. One may focus on salt, another on fats, and another on
carbohydrate. Different doctors may tell you different things about what you
It may seem hard to follow different eating plans at
the same time. But it's important for your health, and many special diets are
very similar or can be combined. Eating right may not be as hard as you think.
And you don't have to give up all the foods you love.
Make one change at a time
Consider the example
above. How can you eat right if you get diet advice for your heart and for diabetes?
It's best to focus on one diet
change at a time, starting with the change that's most important. You might
start by keeping track of carbohydrate for diabetes. After that change becomes
a habit, you might focus on reducing saturated fat for your heart. Get comfortable
with each change before you add a new one.
In a few cases, a diet
for one health condition may be more important than a diet for another
condition. If you have kidney disease and diabetes, for example, you might
focus only on diet guidelines for kidney disease. Your doctor or dietitian can
help you decide what's most important for your health.
Use these healthy eating tips
Even with special diet
guidelines, it's important to remember basic nutrition. Nearly everyone should:
Eat a variety of foods.
plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Choose whole grains.
Limit salt, fat, and added sugar.
Avoid alcohol, or
drink only in moderation.
Ask for help
If your diet guidelines are confusing
or hard to follow, talk to your family doctor. He or she may be able to help
you. Or you may work with a
registered dietitian. A registered dietitian is a food
and nutrition expert. He or she will consider:
Your health concerns.
and supplements you take.
active you are.
Your food habits and your ability to get
Your health goals.
A registered dietitian can design an eating plan just for
you and can teach you how to follow it. Your doctor can help you find a registered
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.