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Diabetes Food Tips to Control Blood Sugar

Consider these diabetes tips when choosing foods to control blood sugar!  Controlling blood sugar can delay or prevent diabetes complications.

What, when, and how much you eat affects your blood sugar...

  • What - Foods high in simple sugars (candy, soda, juice, etc.) can increase your blood sugar levels.  As whole foods become more processed (juiced, pureed, mashed) blood sugar increase quicker as well.  Each day choose a variety of foods including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy, and lean meat & meat substitutes.  Limit fats and sweets.
  • When - The timing of eating a meal is very important for controlling blood sugar.  Eat around the same time each day and do not skip meals or snacks. Why?  The goal is to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level throughout the day.  When you eat a large dinner on one day and a small dinner the next, blood sugar can fluctuate.   Taking medication and exercising should also be conducted at around the same time each day.
  • How much -   How much you eat depends on your gender (women generally require less calories than men), activity level (physical activity can increase your calorie needs), and whether you are overweight.  If you need to lose weight, you will want to eat less calories to support weight loss.

Why should you control your blood sugar?

Controlling blood sugar can delay or prevent diabetes complications.  In a recent study, for each percentage point reduction in A1c (for example 8% to 7%), there was a 35% decrease in risk for microvascular complications.  Microvascular complications are those occurring in small blood vessels such as the nerves, eyes, and kidneys.  Findings are from The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study, UKPDS.  This is the largest study on type 2 diabetes completed to date.

What is an A1c test?

An A1c test is a blood test evaluating average blood sugar control over the past 2-3 months.  This is an important test that you should consult your doctor about.  The American Diabetes Association recommends an A1c of 7% or less to help avoid diabetes complications such as retinopathy (eye damage), nephropathy (kidney damage), and neuropathy (nerve damage).  The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (endocrinologists are medical doctors specializing in disorders including diabetes) recommend an A1c of 6.5% or less to minimize complications.

Better control starts with you!

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