High blood glucose levels contribute to the development of heart disease.

The way in which high blood glucose levels (as a result of diet and in particular high sugar foods) may affect the risk of developing heart disease are two-fold:

On the one hand, high blood glucose levels may directly contribute to damage to blood vessels. The damage is in part the result of the inflammatory process caused by high sugar levels in the blood. This inflammatory response associated with high blood sugar levels and blood vessel damage may also play a key role in the release of body chemicals and hormones that also contribute to central obesity. Central obesity in itself is a major compounding risk factor contributing to heart disease.

On the other hand, high blood glucose levels may indirectly contribute to heart disease as it can increase a specific type of fat in the blood, namely triglycerides. Increased levels of lipids/fat in the blood contribute to plaque formation and narrowing of blood vessels and veins, another major risk factor associated with heart disease.

Controlling blood sugar levels in a person with high cholesterol levels is as important as controlling it in a person with diabetes. This holistic approach to the nutritional management of heart disease is vital to ensure that dietary changes are not only affective in reducing blood fat levels, but also affective in reducing the initial causes of blood vessel injury and heart disease.

The only difference between blood sugar control in a diabetic and blood sugar control in a person with high cholesterol, is that when a person with diabetes is unable to optimise blood sugar levels it will have an immediate effect on him/her, whereas a person with high cholesterol may be able to compensate for those occasional overindulgences, but the damage to blood vessels and veins continues unbeknown to him/her.