Celebrity chef Paula Deen is known for her heart-stopping recipes such as the Lady's Brunch Burger: a beef patty topped with bacon and a fried egg, then sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme donuts.
So in 2012, when Deen informed the public that she had Type 2 diabetes, it was hardly a surprise. The food she'd cooked and eaten for years increased her risk for heart problems as well as diabetes.
A diagnosis of heart disease indicates that you may be making lifestyle choices that raise your risk for developing diabetes.
Poor glycemic control is linked to earlier disability, becoming housebound, and earlier death for people with cardiovascular disease. Around 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from heart disease.
The good news? Maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle reduces your risk for Type 2 diabetes.
A study published in the journal Diabetologia assessed the heart health and diabetes risk of nearly 8,000 adults in comparison with their meeting, or not meeting, healthy benchmarks for Life's Simple 7:
• Maintaining healthy blood pressure
• Maintaining healthy glucose level
• Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels
• Eating a healthy diet
• Exercising at least 150 minutes per week
• Not smoking
• Maintaining a healthy weight
Those who scored in the recommended range for at least four of these factors had an 80 percent lower risk of developing diabetes 10 years later.
So protect your heart health and you can dodge the diabetes bullet too.
That means no red or processed meats; a plant-heavy diet with 100 percent whole grains and lean proteins; regular physical activity; and no first- or secondhand smoke.