Diabetes And Heart Health: Are They Associated?

Diabetes is a growing syndrome in the world. India is home to the second-largest diabetes population. According to a study by the International Diabetes Federation, India has the second-highest number of people with diabetes in the world, with an estimated 77.2 million people living with the disease in 2019. The study also found that the number of people with diabetes in India is projected to increase to 134.3 million by 2045. Additionally, about 57% of these individuals remain undiagnosed (ICMR-INDIAB, 2022). 

These staggering statistics serve as a wake-up call for us to take action and prioritize our health. It’s time to raise awareness about diabetes and take control of our well-being

Dealing with diabetes can be a challenging journey, but it’s important to remember that managing your blood sugar levels can, not only help your body cope with the condition but can also be a powerful tool in preventing other health issues, such as heart diseases.

Yes, you read that right. 

There is an interesting relationship between diabetes and heart disease.

What is Diabetes and What are its Symptoms?

Type 2 Diabetes is an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses glucose. This chronic condition can lead to too much glucose/sugar in the bloodstream. Diabetes can be caused by two interrelated problems, where the body is unable to produce a hormone, insulin, that regulates blood sugar movement into the cell or the cells do not respond to available insulin and do not take in blood sugar for utilization.  

Eventually, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to circulatory, nervous, kidneys and immune system-related complications.. Let’s take a look at how there is a strong correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular health.

According to the CDC, here are some common diabetes symptoms you need to watch out for

  • Urinating a lot, often at night (Polyuria)
  • Frequently thirsty (Polydipsia)
  • Frequent feeling of hunger (Polyphagia)
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Experiencing numbing or tingling of hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired
  • Having very dry skin
  • Having sores that heal slowly
  • Suffering more infections than usual

How Diabetes Affects Your Heart

Those who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease at an early age. When compared to non-diabetics, adult diabetics pose approximately double the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. (Source)

Heart disease may occur because over time high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. Blood flows through the arteries with more force when you have high blood pressure, which can damage the arterial walls. Your risk of heart disease might significantly increase if you have both high blood pressure and diabetes.

The good news is that taking small healthy steps and managing your diabetes can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease or stroke!
Know more about how sugar affects your heart health.

How To Manage Diabetes

The question, “how to control sugar” has definitely crossed your mind. Yes, some people are prescribed medication to control diabetes, however, along with doctor’s instructions making simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping you manage  diabetes.

Here are some suggested lifestyle modifications: 

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

According to a study, people with a high BMI, who lost around 7% of their body weight through dietary and physical activity improvements had a nearly 60% reduction in their chance of getting diabetes. To manage disease progression, the American Diabetes Association advises prediabetic individuals to lose between 7% and 10% of their body weight if they have a higher BMI. Indians have a higher body fat percentage genetically, and a healthy BMI of 18-22.9 should be maintained for better overall and heart health. 

  • Get More Active

According to the World Health Organization (2020), adults aged 18-64 years should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity; or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity. Regular physical activity can increase the body’s ability to use insulin and lower glucose levels, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, exercise can improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and promoting healthy weight.

  • Eat Healthier

Consuming a balanced diet   is helpful in managing both diabetes and heart health. Consume more whole grains (about half the total cereals), good quality protein, and fresh produce. If you are a diabetic, avoiding sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates, sweets and snacks will help you maintain your blood sugar levels. Drink more water and steer clear of alcohol. A healthy diet to manage your diabetes will also help you on your journey to strengthen your heart health.

Here are 4 Foods to Eat to Manage Diabetes

  • Nuts

Snack on items rich in protein and healthy fats, such as nuts, to avoid evening refined carbohydrates cravings and keep you feeling fuller until dinner. Nuts also contain polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), and phytosterols which have been linked to decreasing the progression of type 2 diabetes. You can also opt for a blended oil (multi-sourced) like Saffola Gold which has a good balance of MUFAs and PUFAs to help keep your heart healthy.

  • Oats

In a one-cup serving (250 gms) of oatmeal, there are about 3 grams of soluble fibre. Enjoying a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast will keep you fuller for a long time. According to a study, individuals who consume sufficient fibre—more than 26 grams per day—have an 18% reduced risk of getting type 2 diabetes than those who consume less than 19 grams daily. Fibre helps in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, which may reduce your chance of diabetes.

  • Protein

Protein can help manage diabetes by helping to regulate blood sugar levels and slowing down blood sugar rise post-consumption. High-protein foods can also increase feelings of fullness, which can help manage weight and improve insulin sensitivity. It’s important to note that some high-protein non-veg foods can also be high in saturated fat, so it’s important to choose lean protein sources and limit processed meats, such as sausages and bacon. 

  • High-Fibre Fruits

Eating fruit regularly can provide a richness of vitamins and minerals in your diet. You should concentrate on fruits that are high in fibre, such as apples (with the peel), berries, and citrus fruits, as a diet high in fibre has been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and lower blood pressure.

  • Green Vegetables

All veggies should be a part of your diet, but when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes, it’s crucial to concentrate on green and non-starchy vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli, and green leafy vegetables like spinach, and fenugreek give you the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly.
In addition to having a high fibre content,cruciferous vegetables also include anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the risk of diabetes-related blood vessel damage and aid in blood sugar regulation.

We’ve now understood the
relationship between diabetes and heart disease and know that managing diabetes is a key part of maintaining a healthy heart. We hope that this article has given you some new and useful information that you can use to keep your heart healthy!


New Year, New You: 7 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy in 2023

The start of a new year is a time for renewal and rejuvenation. Many people use this opportunity to set ambitious health goals such as achieving a healthier weight, making positive lifestyle changes, and committing to a regular exercise routine.  

Despite the best of intentions, it’s not uncommon for individuals to find themselves struggling to keep up with their resolutions. It can be challenging for people to stick to their health and wellness plans, as their goals can often be ambitious and difficult to maintain long-term.   That’s why creating resolutions that not only improve our health but are also sustainable in the long term can be very beneficial in the maintenance of a healthier lifestyle.

Here are some heart-healthy tips for the new year that are easy and sustainable!

1.  Drop the Fads

It’s important to remember that fad diets and extreme exercise routines are not sustainable in the long term. Instead, focus on making small changes to your daily habits that can have a gradual but significant impact on your heart health. This New Year, make a decision to end the dieting cycle and establish a healthful eating pattern that suits you rather than deciding to adhere to yet another restrictive fad diet. 

A diet that is high in whole, nutrient-dense and low in highly processed, sugary foods is the healthiest!Here’s a guide to the 5 Superfoodsyou should include in your heart-healthy diet!

2. Switch to a Healthier Cooking Oil

Cooking oils are a staple in Indian households, and choosing the right one can be beneficial to your heart health. Saffola Total is a great option as it is clinically proven to reduce bad cholesterol levels and help better heart health. This makes it a heart-friendly option for cooking. You can also opt for a heart-healthy cooking oil like Saffola Gold, which has a good balance of healthy fats like MUFA and PUFA that can help you on your journey to stay healthy and fit. 

3. Limit Processed Food Intake

Snacking is a part of our daily routine. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips, try replacing it with whole fruit. Fruits are high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and can help manage heart health. Additionally, sugary beverages like soda and energy drinks can be high in calories and can contribute to weight gain leading to other conditions as well.  Instead, try traditional drinks like chaas which is a traditional Indian drink made from yoghurt, water, and spices. It’s a great way to stay hydrated 

4. Switch to Low-Sodium Salts

Salt is a common ingredient in our meals, but it’s important to remember that more than the recommended amounts of 5g/day (2000mg sodium) can, over time, raise blood pressure. Try using low-sodium salts like Kosher salt, pink Himalayan salt or salt alternatives like lemon zest, pepper, garlic powder etc., to reduce your sodium intake.

5. Get That Body Moving

Physical activity, including exercise, helps maintain heart health by improving cardiovascular function, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and promoting healthy weight and blood circulation. Regular exercise also helps reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost overall mood, which are all beneficial for heart health.

6. Get Better Quality Sleep

Sleep is a crucial component of general health, and sleep loss can have negative effects. For instance, a lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to heart disease, depression, and weight gain. In order to find the best strategies to increase the amount and quality of your sleep, it’s vital to consider your sleep schedule and lifestyle. Some easy measures to enhance sleep quality include limiting screen time before bed, decreasing light exposure in your sleeping area, minimising coffee intake, and setting a consistent bedtime.

7.  Practice Meditation

The practice of meditation has been proven to improve mental health and is also a healthy tip for a healthy heart. For those suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, meditation could be very beneficial. There are many different ways to meditate, and it’s easy to find books, podcasts, and apps that teach you how to start a meditation practice, so giving it a try is a great New Year’s resolution to help you stay mentally strong.

By making small changes to your daily habits, you can manage your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease. Remember to focus on simple changes that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. With these heart-healthy resolutions, you can start the new year off on the right foot and take the first steps towards a healthier and happier you.


Foods That Help To Reduce LDL Cholesterol


In today’s rapidly globalising world, our lifestyles and dietary habits have undergone significant transformations. Unfortunately, these changes have contributed to a surge in lifestyle-related diseases, including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, respiratory diseases, and even cancer. Experts estimate that these diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases, account for approximately 60% of all deaths in India. In fact, in 2016 alone, cardiovascular diseases were responsible for 28.1% of total deaths in the country. Risk factors such as family history, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and inactivity further increase the prevalence of cardiovascular disease.


Understanding Cholesterol 

To understand the impact of lifestyle on heart health, it’s important to explore cholesterol, a vital substance that plays a key role in the body. Cholesterol exists in two forms: Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol, and High-density Lipoprotein (HDL), commonly referred to as “good” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol, when present in excess, can accumulate in the arteries walls and heighten the risk of heart health issues. On the other hand, HDL cholesterol acts as a beneficial component that collects surplus LDL cholesterol and transports it back to the liver for excretion. Since saturated fatty acids can raise LDL cholesterol levels and pose harm to our bodies, adopting a low-cholesterol and low-saturated-fat diet becomes crucial. By making small changes to our diet and incorporating specific cholesterol and saturated fat-lowering foods, we can effectively manage our blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risks associated with high LDL cholesterol.


Read on as we explore the foods that help reduce cholesterol and learn how they can be seamlessly integrated into our diet for improved heart health.

Here Are the Top 4 Foods That Lower Cholesterol Fast

1. Whole Grains: Power-packed Oats and Whole Wheat

Are you looking for a delicious way to lower your cholesterol? Look no further than whole grains like oats and whole wheat! These power-packed grains are not only nutritious but also work wonders for your cholesterol levels. The secret lies in their bran, which contains soluble fibre that binds with cholesterol and helps eliminate it from your body. So, how can you incorporate these heart-healthy grains into your daily diet? Start your mornings with a comforting bowl of oatmeal or swap out regular bread for whole wheat bread in your sandwiches and toast. By making these simple switches, you’ll be on your way to enjoying a healthier heart with lower LDL cholesterol.

2. Legumes and Beans: Delicious and Cholesterol-Lowering

Did you know that your favourite legumes and beans can actually help lower your cholesterol? It’s true! Lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and other legumes are not only delicious but also fantastic allies in the battle against high cholesterol. Packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and proteins, these culinary delights offer a range of health benefits while effectively reducing LDL cholesterol levels. Don’t worry, incorporating them into your daily diet is easier than you might think. Try adding them to Indian classics like dal, chana masala, or rajma for a flavorful and cholesterol-lowering boost. With these cholesterol-fighting ingredients, you can enjoy tasty meals while consuming good food for heart health.

3. Avocados: The Creamy Superfood for Heart Health

If you’re looking for a creamy and heart-healthy food, avocados are the way to go! These superfoods are not only delicious but also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and potentially raise HDL cholesterol—the good kind. So, how can you incorporate avocados into your daily diet? Get creative! Whip up some guacamole for a tasty dip, add sliced avocados to your salads, or spread them on toast for a satisfying snack. With their versatility and heart-healthy benefits, avocados are a fantastic addition to your culinary repertoire.

4. Fruits and Berries: Nature’s Antioxidant Powerhouses

Want to give your heart some extra love? Embrace nature’s tastiest snacks—fruits and berries! Not only are they delicious, but they also offer a plethora of benefits for your overall health, including their ability to combat high cholesterol levels. Packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, these natural wonders lower LDL cholesterol while providing essential nutrients. Whether you enjoy them as a refreshing snack or incorporate them into your meals, fruits and berries are a tasty way to promote a healthier heart. So go ahead, indulge in a variety of fruits and add some berries to your breakfast cereal or yoghurt for an extra burst of flavour and heart-healthy goodness.


As we journey toward better heart health, it’s important to make informed choices, starting with our diet. By incorporating these cholesterol-lowering foods into our meals, we can take a proactive approach to manage our cholesterol levels naturally. Additionally, choosing a healthy cooking oil, such as Saffola Total, which is scientifically proven to help manage cholesterol levels in the blood, can help you reach your dietary goals. It contains oryzanol which helps keep your cholesterol in check! Its dual-seed technology helps you achieve a good balance of healthier fatty acids like MUFA and PUFA for better nutrition. Remember, these foods suggested are easily accessible and can be part of anyone’s heart-healthy diet plan. Let’s embrace a diverse range of nutritious foods and prioritise our well-being—one delicious bite at a time!


Blended Vs Refined Oil: Which One Should You Choose?

One of the biggest parts of our daily cooking is oils. While cooking oils receive a lot of flak, we cannot ignore this vital ingredient. Almost everything we cook needs a certain amount of oil, whether our vegetables or any other dish. However, when it comes to oils, there is always a debate about the type of oil we should go for! One debate is blended oil vs single seed refined oil. People choose to use blended oil because they believe it is healthier than single-seed refined oil. However, each type of oil has its own benefits and drawbacks. 

But first, let’s address the central question…

Difference Between Blended & Refined Oils

To answer this question, you must first know what they are. These are the same kind of oils but have different nuances. Refined single-seed oils are extracted from a particular (single) food ingredient like soybean, rice bran, groundnut, mustard, etc. Blended oils, on the other hand, are a mix of more than one type of oil, for example, soybean and rice bran or sunflower with olive oil. 

Let’s look at the benefits of both these types of oils.


Oils do not have a good reputation- among consumers. However, healthier oils low in saturated fats can be consumed daily in controlled amounts. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in various vegetable and seed oils. MUFAs and PUFAs are essential for health, and a balanced approach will help our bodies. 

Benefits of blended oil

The debate of blended oil Vs refined oil isn’t a debate since they come with exceptional benefits. Let’s check out some of the benefits of blended oil:

  1. Some blended oils are rich in MUFAs and PUFAs. These fatty acids are essential for the body. Some blends are proven to lower bad LDL cholesterol and help manage heart disease. 
  2. Blended oils with specific blends may help in managing cancer cells. They also lower triglycerides and overall body weight. 
  3. Blending oils help with a higher smoke point, making them ideal for frying our tasty treats. Their higher smoke point also makes them perfect for all types of cooking, without generating toxic chemicals.
  4. Blended oils are excellent for providing health benefits that exceed the benefits of a single-source oil. 


Single-seed oils are equally crucial for our health as blended oils. In fact, the question: why oils are refined is a popular one. Several oils need to be refined because they often contain certain impurities that can affect the consumption of this oil. These oils need to be refined to make them edible and safe to consume. Refined oils also ensure longer shelf life. 

Benefits of refined cooking oil

Again, pertaining to the debate of blended oil Vs single seed oil, both  come with their own sets of advantages and let’s take a look at them: 

  1. Fats are an integral part of our life. According to ICMR dietary guidelines, dietary fat intake should be 15-30% of total energy intake. This means that not more than 30% of our dietary energy should come from oils and fats. Refined oil is a good source of fats and should be a part of our diet. 
  2. Packed refined cooking oils are good also because there is less chance of adulteration. 
  3. Refined cooking oils are replete with fatty acids essential for our bodies Refined oils tend to keep twice as long as unrefined oils – at least 6 to 12 months if stored properly.

In Conclusion,

Both blended and refined oils come with their benefits, however, choosing them is a personal choice. Blended oil has quite a bad reputation when in fact, it’s a good thing. It doesn’t mean that it’s adulterated; it just means it’s been combined with other types of oil. Since blended oils combine two oils, to have a rich source of MUFAs and PUFAs from a single healthy cooking oil! 

For instance, Saffola Gold is a blended oil that combines rice bran and sunflower oil and is developed to be good for your heart health. You can choose Saffola Total with a blend of rice bran oil and safflower oil if you want to decrease your LDL cholesterol. A blend of these two oils has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels more effectively than single-source oils.
Also read more about natural ways to reduce cholesterol levels.


6 Questions About High Cholesterol, Finally Answered!

We live in an age where plenty of information is available and is growing by the day. One aspect of this is the way we deal with our health. As of today, there is a lot of data out there on how to deal with our overall health and well-being. Yet, there is a lot of confusion when it comes to maintaining overall heart health.

A vast majority of people don’t know what cholesterol is, why it’s important, or even how to test for it. It is one of those things that gets talked about in a very casual manner.

So, read on as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about cholesterol: 

1. What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of lipid, or fat, waxy kind, that is found in the cells of the body and circulating in the blood. It is important for the body’s normal l functioning and helps in the production of hormones, vitamin D, and the bile acids that help digest fat. Cholesterol is mostly synthesized by the liver and some is obtained by diet from animal foods. However, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease.

2. What are the types of cholesterol? 

There are primarily two types of cholesterol, High-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL cholesterol) also called good cholesterol and Low-Density Lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) also known as bad cholesterol. The main difference between HDL and LDL cholesterol is that the latter is harmful and the former is protective. LDL cholesterol accumulates in the walls of the arteries and makes them hard and narrow increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, whereas HDL cholesterol picks up excess fat and carries it back to the liver, from where it is flushed out. An ideal ratio of HDL: LDL helps maintain heart health and keep you healthy!

Know more about cholesterol with our complete guide.

3. When To Check Cholesterol Levels & How Often?

For most people, high blood LDL cholesterol has no symptoms at all. However,  it involves the blockage of large arteries in the body. Blockage of the coronary artery further leads to reduced oxygenated blood and causes chest pain (angina) or tightness, nausea, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), and fatigue. This is why after turning 20, getting your cholesterol levels examined once every 4-6 years can help you detect high cholesterol levels at the right time. If you have a family history of high blood cholesterol, are overweight, or have high blood pressure, you should get it checked more often. A simple lipid profile is used to measure the total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in the body.

Research recommends blood LDL cholesterol levels to be below 200 mg/dL, Higher levels than recommended can put your heart at risk of diseases. HDL protects against heart disease so levels higher than 60 mg/dl can help with a healthy heart. 

4. What Are The Causes Of High Blood LDL Cholesterol?

Lifestyle and dietary choices play a major role in the development of this condition. A diet consisting of foods high in saturated fatty acids and trans fats like red meat, egg yolks, cheese, butter, highly processed foods and foods made in vanaspati (partially hydrogenated oils) often can make your blood cholesterol levels go up.  Being overweight, smoking and having high alcohol consumption can also increase your chances of developing high LDL cholesterol. There are many factors leading to high levels of LDL cholesterol. Still, simple lifestyle changes by being mindful of the food you consume, incorporating moderate exercise and controlling your smoking and alcohol consumption can help you manage your cholesterol levels. 

According to a study, stress may have some effects on blood cholesterol levels. People who are dealing with chronic work stress or personal conflict are at a higher risk of developing high blood cholesterol. Psychological stress may increase triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol and reduce HDL cholesterol in the body and is hence associated with heart risk. Eliminating the stressful situation, following a nutritious diet and regular exercise can help maintain heart health. 

5. What Are The Effect Of High LDL Blood Cholesterol & Why Is It Bad? 

High blood cholesterol (LDL) in the body causes an accumulation of it on the walls of the arteries. These grow with time by attracting other blood cells and forming a plaque that can restrict blood flow through these arteries.  The blocked blood supply can cause chest pain (angina), a rupture of the plaque can cause a heart attack and a blood clot can cause a stroke. It is crucial to keep the LDL cholesterol levels in check and aim to achieve a healthy heart. 

6. How can I maintain my cholesterol levels? 

Foods low in saturated fat, and sodium and high in fibre, and protein are great starting points. Reduce your intake of red meats and full-fat dairy products that contain saturated fats that raise blood cholesterol levels and avoid highly processed foods rich in trans fats. Focus on shifting your diet to lean proteins like fish, chicken, and turkey. Also, add fibre to your diet in the form of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats like nuts and seeds.  Getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day can help manage weight and maintain cholesterol levels. 

Also, choose a blend or rotation of oils for healthy cooking. Saffola Total is a blended oil which is clinically proven to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. It contains oryzanol which helps lower your bad cholesterol! Its dual-seed technology helps you achieve a good balance of healthy fatty acids like MUFA and PUFA for better nutrition, making it a better cooking oil for heart health. 

To summarise, it is possible to maintain normal cholesterol levels by following a healthy lifestyle including a balanced diet, and regular exercise. It is important to get your cholesterol levels checked when you are young since high blood LDL cholesterol does not have any early warning signs. We hope this article answers your questions. Stay healthy!