Q. My husband has just had a heart attack; he had 2 stents installed and the doctor said he has way too much plaque for his age. In this process, he was also diagnosed borderline diabetic and the icing on the cake is he suffers from GERD. Can you steer us in the right direction for food choices?
A. The type of diet that is good for preventing of managing heart disease is also the one that is good for preventing or managing diabetes: focus on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, beans, eggs, nuts, seeds, poultry, lean meats, low-fat dairy. Limit fried foods, bacon, cheese, sweets like pies, cakes, cookies, donuts, candy. Spacing food, including protein foods, throughout the day in 5-6 meals/snacks as opposed to one or two large meals is also important for controlling diabetes. Various foods can trigger GERD (gastric reflux/heartburn). Common triggers include fatty or fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, mint, green pepper, cucumbers, garlic, onion, caffeine, but these can vary by individual. Other preventative measures include eating smaller meals, not smoking, and waiting about 3 hours before you lie down after a meal. All of these diseases can be reduced by maintaining a healthy weight. For more assistance about your diet, ask your doctor to refer you to a registered dietitian, or find one in your area by searching EatRight.org.