Medical Nutrition Therapy to Reduce Risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Manage Cardiovascular Disease

Diabetes mellitus  patients who adopt a healthy diet consisting of increased whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a presentation given by Linda Yarrow, PhD, RDN, LD, CDE, Instructor at the Department of Food, Nutrition, Dietetics & Health at the College of Health & Human Sciences, Kansas State University. The presentation was given at AADE19 in Houston, TX.

Diabetes is a chief cause of CV events, and people diabetes are more than twice as likely than people within diabetes to have heart attacks and strokes. Moreover, over half of deaths in individuals with diabetes are due to either coronary or cerebrovascular events. The presentation notes that chronic hyperglycemia as the result of diabetes is an independent risk factor for myocardial infarction (MI). To counteract the effects of diabetes on cardiac events that might lead to MI, a health eating regimen is imperative. The presentation listed a two popular diets that patients can use to reduce diabetes:

  • Mediterranean Diet: consisting of consuming olive oil, fruit, nuts, vegetables, grains, with a modest intake of fish and poultry, and a low intake of red/processed meats, dairy, sweets with wine in moderation.
  • DASH Diet: includes high fruits and vegetable consumption, low fat dairy, whole grains, poultry and fish, nuts, and is low in sugar and red meat consumption.

Adhering to such diets is important because a higher body mass index (BMI) is linked to not only an augmented risk of CVD, but also an increased risk of developing cancer. As little as 3% weight loss can produce clinically significant benefits, and traditional diet-based weight loss is more effective than bariatric surgery, which produces results for two to three years, but also results in a higher rate of diabetes reoccurrence after 10 years.

Yarrow concluded that the implementation of these, or similar diets, can minimize the risk of CVD in patients living with diabetes by lowering blood sugar, weight, and cholesterol.

Yarrow L. Medical Nutrition Therapy to Reduce Risk for Cardiovascular Disease and Manage Cardiovascular Disease. Presented at the AADE19 Meeting; August 9-12, 2019; Houston, TX.