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1) Know your numbers

For those living with Diabetes:

Targets for those living with Diabetes

LDL Cholesterol

Less than 2 mmol/L

HDL Cholesterol

Men over 1 mmol/L; Women over 1.3 mmol/L

Triglycerides

Less than 1.7 mmol/L

Total Cholesterol

Less than 4 mmol/L

Blood Pressure

Less than 130/80 mmHG

If you’re not sure what your latest readings were or need some bloodwork done, speak to your family doctor or members of your diabetes team.

2) Accept help from medications

It’s not always possible to get your lipid and blood pressure readings within target with diet and exercise alone. Sometimes our age and genetics affects these readings. Speak to your physicians to find out what medications are right for you. These are some of the medications that may be used to help your heart:

  • ACE Inhibitors and ARBs: lower blood pressure

  • Statins: lowers blood cholesterol

  • Jardiance, Invokana, Ozempic, Victoza: lowers blood sugars and provides protection for the heart

3) Pay attention to your food

  •  Choose lean proteins such as chicken, turkey or fish or try having a vegetarian meal including legumes, lentils or tofu.

  • Add some omega-3 into your diet with fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or trout, walnuts and flaxseeds.

  • Ensure you’re getting lots of fibre from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

  • Reduce your sodium intake by limiting processed foods such as canned items, frozen meals and restaurant foods.

4) Get active!

Aim for 150 minutes of aerobic (cardio) exercise per week. This can be done in bouts of 10 minutes or longer. Also include resistance exercise which works your muscles such as body weight exercise, or exercises using resistance bands, dumbbells, machines or items around the house (cans, water bottles, etc.)

5) Keep your lungs and liver healthy by quitting smoking and limiting alcohol

For women, aim for less than 9 drinks per week and for men aim for less than 14 drinks per week.

6) Make sure you’re getting a good night sleep and managing stress levels

Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. It can help to avoid screen time 1 hr before sleeping. In addition, manage stress levels by taking time for yourself to do enjoyable activities such as meditation, reading, yoga or spending time with family or friends.

Join our 6 Steps a healthy heart workshop to learn more. Click this button to sign up Sign Up

Check out the Heart and Stroke Foundation website for lots of great information and recipes Heart & Stroke Foundation