diaTribe reports from AHA meeting - what's best medicine for heart health?


It’s an inescapable fact that people wth diabetes experience a higher risk of cardio-vascular disease than the rest of the population. diaTribe’s Lynn Kennedy attended a recent American Heart Association meeting and discovered some things we may be able to do to improve our heart health.

Amidst the talk of various diabetes drugs with good effects on heart health like Jardiance, Victoza, semaglutide, and statins, Lynn makes this observation from the conference about the effects of diet on heart health:

When it comes to mealtime, what do the experts suggest? Many presented findings that compared the heart health of groups of people with different eating habits to see if any trends emerged. Research on eating and heart health tended to point in one direction: eating fewer carbohydrates and less sugar is associated with decreased risk of developing diabetes and/or of developing heart disease.

It’s an interesting article that covers the effects of diet and exercise on heart health from a diabetic’s point of view.

If you haven’t been following diaTribe yet, I encourage you to visit their website. It’s a great resource for diabetes information and emerging diabetes technology.


Sometimes I find myself overcompensating for my doctors obsession with heart health. If it weren’t for standing up for myself I would be on multiple blood pressure medications, powerful statins, and maybe something like Victoza but not insulin. In the 6 years after my diagnosis, while all I want to talk about is achieving safe blood sugar goals, all my doctors want to talk about is how I’m a walking heart attack. So I tend to ignore the topic out of bitterness and spite. :grinning:

I couldn’t tell from the article (maybe I missed it) but compared to all those other drugs, how much does maintaining mostly non-diabetic blood sugar levels reduce ones absolute risk of a heart attack?


I’m faced with the same challenge to my judgment regarding my doctors’ advice about cardio vascular health. I hold the opinion that keeping my blood sugar in a tight range is the most important thing within my control to reduce my cardio vascular risks. I don’t think large pools of money exist to put forth and test that hypothesis, unfortunately.


I believe that the answer to your last question is: “no one really knows, for sure.” There is much disagreement over how to interpret lipid profiles, what is healthy and what is not, how diabetes and other risk factors interact, etc…

I try to keep my HDL high, my triglycerides and VLDL low, and my BG between 70 and 126 mg/dL. I’ll probably get hit by a bus.


The traditional diet/cholesterol/CVD model is so entrenched that it’s going to take a long time to shift away from it. Even though the science continues to cast doubt, medical opinion and practice changes with the rapidity of a glacier. That isn’t a contemporary phenomenon; it’s the entire history of medicine.

Like many of you, I have to fight this battle with my doctor. And like you, my concentration is on BG. If I take care of that, everything else becomes 'way easier.