Meal Plan For High Cholesterol And Prediabetes


Do you know Meal Plan For High Cholesterol And Prediabetes. No, you are right! Just this article gives a full concept on Meal Plan For High Cholesterol And Prediabetes. If you have high cholesterol and prediabetes, you need to consult your doctor before you start with this diet. As these foods are known to have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels.

Meals for People With Diabetes and High Cholesterol

Breakfast Cereal

Whole-grain cereal with nonfat milk is heart-healthy choice for people with diabetes.

The risk of heart disease is two to four times greater for people with diabetes. High blood cholesterol levels also increase your risk of heart disease. A healthy diet that includes nutritious foods in moderate amounts can help you control your blood sugars for diabetes and reduce your blood cholesterol levels.

Diet Basics

To control your blood sugars, you need to control the amount of carbohydrate-containing food, fruit, starch, yogurt and milk, you eat at each meal. The amount you need depends on your blood sugar goals and calorie needs. The American Diabetes Association says most people can start with 45 to 60 g carbohydrate per meal. To help lower blood cholesterol levels, you need to include foods high in fiber and limit the amount of saturated fats and trans fats in your diet. In addition to high-fiber foods, eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Choose lean cuts of meat and low-fat and nonfat dairy foods to limit your intake of saturated fat. Trans fats are primarily found in baked goods.


To help control your blood sugars, try to eat at the same time each day. Eating regularly and consistently will also help control hunger for weight management. Maintaining a healthy weight can also help you keep both blood sugars and cholesterol levels under control. A heart-healthy breakfast for diabetes includes 1 cup hot cooked oatmeal with 2 tbsp. of raisins and 1 cup nonfat milk. Or, you can try two slices of whole wheat toast with 1 1/2 tsp. peanut butter, 1 1/4 cup of fresh strawberries and 6 oz. nonfat sugar-free yogurt.


Including foods high in soluble fiber, such as pears and oranges, helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and slows digestion to allow for a slower release of sugar into the bloodstream. A lunch meal that may help lower blood cholesterol levels includes 3 oz. of grilled tuna on top of 2 cups mixed greens with seven walnut halves chopped and 1 tbsp. low-fat salad dressing, served with a large pear and 10 whole grain crackers. Another lunch meal may include a small whole wheat pita stuffed with 1/4 cup hummus, served with a small orange and 1 cup baby carrots.


Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and walnuts, can also help improve blood cholesterol levels. For dinner, try 3 oz. broiled salmon served with 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup steamed broccoli. Another heart-healthy dinner meal for diabetes may include 3 oz. of roasted turkey breast with a 6 oz. baked sweet potato, 1 cup roasted brussels sprouts and a 1 oz. whole wheat dinner roll.

What Can I Eat to Keep My Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Low?

Cutting out refined carbs and eating whole foods can help you lower these markers at the same time

Q: My blood test shows prediabetes and a cholesterol score of 208 mg/dl (5.4 mmol/l). I’m finding it difficult to know what to eat because the recommended diets for these conditions seem contrary. For example, fruit is said to be acceptable on a low-cholesterol diet but not on a low-blood-sugar one, while meat is the opposite. How can I balance this out?

Many people who have high blood sugar also have high cholesterol levels. However, both can be managed with a healthy diet. What’s more, for some, it’s possible to reverse prediabetes through diet and lifestyle changes

It’s common to see misinformation about what foods are bad for certain conditions, including high cholesterol, prediabetes, and diabetes. Nevertheless, the overall quality of your diet is most important.

The three macronutrients — carbohydrates, proteins, and fats — have different impacts on both blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

For example, sources of carbs like bread, pasta, and fruit affect blood sugar more than sources of protein or fat. On the other hand, cholesterol-containing fat sources, such as dairy and meat, have a greater effect on cholesterol than on blood sugar.

Still, food sources of cholesterol only significantly affect blood levels in people deemed cholesterol hyper-responders. In fact, two-thirds of the population experience little to no change in their levels after eating cholesterol-rich foods

Regardless, decreasing blood sugar and cholesterol levels through your diet doesn’t have to be difficult, and many foods help lower each of these markers. For instance, consuming more nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods — such as vegetables and beans — reduces both blood sugar and cholesterol levels

Additionally, increasing protein intake and decreasing consumption of refined carbs — including white bread and sugary sweets — may also lower blood sugar, decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol

Here are a few tips to effectively reduce high blood sugar and cholesterol levels:

  • Eat healthy fats. To reduce cholesterol levels,
    many people cut out sources of fat from their diets. However, research
    shows that eating healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and
    olive oil can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good)
    cholesterol, and improve blood sugar control
  • Reduce your intake of added
     Added sugars — such as those found in
    candy, ice cream, baked goods, and sweetened beverages — negatively affect
    both cholesterol and blood sugar. Cutting added sugar out of your diet is
    one of the best ways to improve overall health, including decreasing blood
    sugar and cholesterol levels
  • Consume more vegetables. Increasing your intake of both
    fresh and cooked vegetables can significantly improve blood sugar and
    cholesterol. Try adding veggies like spinach, artichokes, bell peppers,
    broccoli, and cauliflower to your meals and snacks
  • Eat mostly whole, nutritious
     Relying on
    packaged foods or fast-food restaurants can damage your health,
    potentially raising cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Prepare more meals
    at home using whole, nutrient-rich foods that support
    metabolic health — such as vegetables, beans, fruits, and healthy sources of
    protein and fat, including fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil

Managing High Cholesterol When You Have Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes often goes hand-in-hand with unhealthy cholesterol levels. Even someone with diabetes who has good control of their blood glucose is at a higher than average risk of having cholesterol problems that increase the risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems.1

If you have diabetes, you’ve already made changes to your diet and lifestyle that are targeted to keeping your blood glucose (blood sugar) levels steady. But given the increased risk of heart problems associated with diabetes, you may want to also take steps to keep your cholesterol levels steady as well.

Managing Your Cholesterol With Diabetes

Cholesterol Problems

In and of itself, cholesterol is not a bad thing: It’s present in every cell in the body and does a lot of good—supporting the production of hormones, digestion, and converting sunlight into vitamin D. Approximately 75 percent of the cholesterol present in the blood is produced by the liver, but the rest is derived from the diet, which is why making dietary changes is an effective way to keep cholesterol levels healthy.2

There are two types of cholesterol:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is regarded as “bad cholesterol.” It’s the soft, waxy stuff that can accumulate in the bloodstream and interfere with the flow of blood.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL)—the so-called “good cholesterol”—helps keep blood vessels clear by carrying LDL cholesterol to the liver for disposal.

In addition to cholesterol, the levels of triglycerides (fats) in the body are important to heart health and are considered a key aspect of a person’s overall blood cholesterol profile.

Cholesterol Level Guidelines for Adults 20 and Older
Total cholesterolBelow 200 mg/dLAbove 240 mg/dL
LDL cholesterolBelow 100 mg/dLAbove 160 mg/dL
HDL cholesterolAbove 60 mg/dLBelow 40 mg/dL
TriglyceridesBelow 150 mg/dLAbove 200 mg/dL

Healthy Eating Guidelines

Managing both diabetes and cholesterol levels is a matter of being careful about the amounts of carbohydrates, cholesterol, and saturated fats in your diet, as well as making sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients that can help improve your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Total Carbohydrates

There are several types of carbs: Of particular importance are complex carbs (a.k.a. starches), found in foods like legumes, whole grains, starchy vegetables, pasta, and bread. Simple carbs are, simply, sugars.

For most people with diabetes, especially those who take insulin and are monitoring their blood sugar levels before and after meals, there’s no hard-and-fast number of ideal carbs per day: That will depend on the results of each meter reading.

However, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the recommended carbohydrate intake for most people is between 45 percent and 65 percent of total calories from carbohydrates, with the exception of those who are physically inactive or on low-calorie diets.3

For someone following a 1,800-calorie diet, that would mean getting 202.5 grams of carbs each day, based on the fact that there are four calories per one gram of carbohydrate.

Added Sugar

Sugar crops up in the diet in two ways: It’s a natural component of fresh fruit, for example. But it also shows up as an additive, often surreptitiously, in items like fruit drinks and even condiments such as ketchup and barbecue sauce.

The 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recommends keeping added sugar to fewer than 10 percent of calories each day.4

Saturated Fat

Saturated fats, found in foods such as animal protein and processed meats, certain plant oils, dairy products, and pre-packaged snacks, are known to raise the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body.

The Dietary Guidelines for America advise getting fewer than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, while the American Heart Association (AHA), recommends that less than 5% to 6% of daily calories consist of saturated fat. For someone following a 2,000-calorie diet, that would come to no more than 120 calories worth of saturated fat, or around 13 grams.5

Trans Fat

This is an especially bad type of saturated fat that results from the heating of liquid vegetable oils (hydrogenation), a process done to unnaturally give foods a longer shelf life. It’s used in margarine, processed snack foods and baked goods, and for frying.

How to Make Herbed Turkey Meat Loaf with Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Managing Cholesterol and Diabetes

In addition to following the dietary guidelines set out for general health and also monitoring your glucose to determine how certain foods, especially carbs, affect your blood levels, there are other effective ways to manage diabetes and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Eat More Fiber

Fiber is the part of plants that can’t be digested. Although it’s very filling, it won’t add calories because the body can’t absorb it, making it useful for weight loss. What’s more, soluble fiber, found in foods like beans, apples, and oatmeal, helps lower LDL cholesterol and keep blood glucose levels steady.

A good rule of thumb for getting ample fiber at each meal is to fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables—anything from artichokes and asparagus to turnips and zucchini. These are rich in fiber (as well as phytonutrients that can further help protect your overall health).

Aim to increase the amount of fiber you eat every day gradually, to at least 25 grams per day if you’re a woman and 38 grams per day if you’re a man.6

Choose Good Fats Over Bad Fats

Fat is an important nutrient, necessary for energy and hormone production, vitamin absorption, maintaining the membrane integrity of every cell in our body, and growth and development. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA, 20% to 35% of calories should come from fat. But when it comes to dietary fat, not all types are created equal.4

  • Saturated fats contribute to high levels of LDL cholesterol, as do the trans fats in fried foods and baked goods.
  • Monounsaturated fats, which are found in olives, olive oil, and certain nuts and seeds, actually help lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • Another type of good fat, the polyunsaturated fat in fatty fish like salmon and cod, as well as flaxseeds and walnuts, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that play a significant role in reducing overall blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Lose Weight

If you’re overweight or obese, losing just 5% to 10% of your weight can have a tremendously positive effect on both your diabetes and your cholesterol levels by helping to lower your blood glucose, blood pressure, and improve your blood fat levels. You may even be able to cut down on your medications.7

One of the best ways to begin a safe and effective weight loss plan tailored to you is to keep a record of what you eat, how much you eat, and around what time you eat for three days, ideally two weekdays and one weekend. You can then have a registered dietitian analyze it (or use an online program) to determine the average number of calories you are eating and how many vegetables you’re eating (or not eating), and the main kinds of fat in your diet.

Armed with this information, you’ll be able to see how many fewer calories you should eat in order to lose weight at a slow and steady rate, and what foods you should cut back on or steer clear of in order to eat less added sugar and saturated fats.

Get On Your Feet

Physical activity burns calories, which is why exercise is always recommended as part of a weight-loss plan—particularly for someone with diabetes.

Exercise also has been found to help lower total cholesterol levels. What kind? In studies, a combination of aerobic exercise and strength-training has been found ideal.8

As for how much and how often you should work out, the AHA advises 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week. You’ll gain even more benefits by being active at least 300 minutes (five hours) per week. Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week.9

If that sounds like a lot to start, don’t be discouraged: Any physical activity is better than nothing, even if it’s just taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking around the block. And if you find it hard to exercise for long periods at a time, divide it up into shorter sessions—10 or 15 minutes—throughout the day.

Kick the Butt Habit

If you smoke, quitting will impact both your HDL and LDL cholesterol levels for the good. Cigarette smoking is linked to higher cholesterol levels, as well as the formation of a damaging form of LDL called oxidized LDL, which contributes to atherosclerosis.

In fact, as soon as you stop smoking, your cholesterol levels will begin to decrease, research shows.10 With each month after quitting, LDL levels continue to drop, even partially reversing the effects of smoking on cholesterol after just 90 days.


  • Does diabetes cause high cholesterol?Diabetes can contribute to high cholesterol, a condition called diabetic dyslipidemia. It can cause HDL, or “good,” cholesterol to decrease and LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol to increase.11
  • What are risk factors for diabetes?Common risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes include obesity, age over 45, a family history of diabetes, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and a history of gestational diabetes. People who are of certain races are also more likely to develop diabetes, including Black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Alaska Native people.12
  • What are risk factors for high cholesterol?Aside from having diabetes, other risk factors for developing high cholesterol include obesity, a family history of high cholesterol, eating a diet high in saturated fat, leading a sedentary lifestyle, age over 55, and smoking.13

Here’s Exactly What I Ate To Cure My Type 2 Diabetes & High Cholesterol

Mary Jenkins is 51 and lives in Kanab, Utah. Last December, before starting her new diet, she weighed 225 pounds. She has since lost 50 pounds—and the weight is still coming off. This is her story.

I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, so I lived off a Southern-fried diet for most of my life. As a result, I had extremely high blood pressure for over 30 years. I tried every eating plan out there to get it under control: low-carb diets, high-protein diets—all that stuff. None of it worked for me. I was still obese, and my cholesterol levels didn’t improve.

Then two years ago, my doctor ordered an A1C test. He had a hunch I may have type 2 diabetes as a result of my weight. My score was a seven, which meant his suspicions were correct. (A normal A1C level is below 5.7. ) It got worse: Because I’ve had high blood pressure for so long, he said I could have long-term organ damage now that I also had diabetes. You’d think at that point, he would have sat me down and talked to me about how I could improve my diet, but he didn’t. He just said something like, “Watch your carbs and exercise.” That was it. So I basically kept living as I had before.

My motivation
Then my doctor moved away, and I found another doctor in a larger town nearby. My new physician told me that I needed to go on metformin (the generic name for a drug used to treat high blood sugar levels) immediately. He also told me that I should ramp up my exercise routine. So last year, I started hiking and rock climbing with my neighbor, who happens to be a yoga instructor. I’m just a regular gal who sits at a desk all day, so this was not serious rock climbing or anything. But still, with the help of my new workout buddy, I lost 10 pounds. It felt great to be making progress, and my neighbor even started calling me “the amazing disappearing woman.” I have to admit it was a big ego boost.

I thought my doctor would praise my progress, too, but at my next appointment, which was this past December, he told me that my blood pressure was still too high. He said, “If you don’t make drastic diet changes, I’m going to send you to a nephrologist because your kidney function is very poor.”

That terrified me. I lost my pastor to kidney disease, and I knew it was a terrible affliction. So I Googled ‘What do you eat to improve kidney function?’. I found information on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which is the diet recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for lowering blood pressure. In 30 years, no one had talked to me about a dietary approach to lowering my blood pressure. I started reading about it, and I thought, if it didn’t work, no harm no foul. I decided to start my new diet on January first, because everyone else starts their goals then, right?

My diet & exercise routine
The DASH diet is all about portion control and eating less fat, sugar, and salt. I bought smaller plates, spoons, and cups to make sticking to the plan easier. I also got smaller storage containers marked with various serving sizes so I could eat out of them and keep my portions in check. (Buy something similar on for $10.) I also posted to Facebook to let my friends know what I was doing and started keeping a food diary. These things helped keep me accountable—and continue to do so to this day.

On the DASH website, I also found and printed out this shopping list that provides a list of foods that fit into the diet. I took it with me to the grocery store and stocked up on everything I needed—which took me three long hours. (Thinking back on that now, it’s actually a bit humorous. Shopping is far easier for me now that I’ve been eating this way for nearly a year.) I bought lots of healthy grains, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat yogurt. I cut out cow’s milk and started using almond milk instead. I switched from processed peanut butter to natural almond butter.

I also started preparing most of my food myself, which is something I hadn’t done before. I’d always eaten out or bought ready-to-eat stuff. I found new things that I liked, and many were things I’d never eaten before. For example, I’d never had steel-cut oatmeal. As a Southern gal, I’d only had grits. I started eating strawberries and raspberries. I had never had asparagus or Brussels sprouts, but I started adding them to my shopping cart. I also began buying fresh meat and making grilled chicken or pork with cauliflower rice. (Which, by the way, is so good!)

Try one of these crazy delicious cauliflower rice recipes:

I also started walking. Every two hours, I would walk for 10 or 20 minutes or even an hour. It didn’t really matter how long, it was just to get up out of my chair and move. I’d already proven I could hike and do more challenging forms of exercise, so walking seemed like a smaller task that would help me get healthier.

The reward
Come March 1st I had my next doctor’s appointment, and I was excited to see the changes. I don’t have a scale at home; I refuse to buy one. So it had been three months since I’d seen the doctor, and two months since I’d started the diet, and he said I’d lost 33 pounds. He was in shock. And not only that, he told me that if I stuck with it, I could reverse my diabetes. I was determined to make it happen.

Two months later I had another appointment. I found out that I had lost an additional 20 pounds. He also shared the most amazing news with me: I didn’t have diabetes anymore! My A1C was 5.3, down from 7. My blood pressure was also down to 115 over 30—healthy numbers I haven’t seen since I was 21 years old. I felt ecstatic, but also relieved.

Even though my health has improved, I haven’t stopped my medications; that’s not what my journey is about. With my long-term blood pressure issues, there’s no way to tell what harm’s already been done, so I need to continue taking them.

My doctor is shocked I’ve maintained my good health and weight loss for so long. He told me he doesn’t care if lose another pound; he just doesn’t want me to put weight back on. “You have made too much progress to go back,” he said. And I agree. I want to do everything I can to maintain my newfound health for the rest of my life.

How you can improve your diet, too
People will say, “I don’t have money to start one of these diets.” But don’t let that excuse hold you back. I shop for food at Walmart, and I promise that you don’t have to spend a lot on groceries. Just follow a healthy shopping list and find ways to keep your portions reasonable. One way I do this is by asking the butcher to cut things into really small portions. This way I don’t have to spend time measuring as many things at home, and I can cook only what I should be eating in one sitting. You just have to figure out what strategies work for you, and not let anything stand in your way.

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