Lowering Your A1C: The Best Foods to Eat

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These include biguanides such as Glucophage (metformin) and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors like Precose (acarbose) and Glyset (miglitol). Talk to your healthcare team about whether intramuscular injections are a good idea during hyperglycemic episodes. They can also tell you where and how to give yourself this kind of injection. Be sure you talk to your healthcare provider about how much rapid-acting insulin you should take to bring down dangerously high BGL.

If you have been diagnosed with high A1C levels, it\’s important to make changes to your diet in order to lower it. One of the most effective ways to do this is by focusing on the foods you eat. By incorporating certain key foods into your daily meals, you can help improve your A1C levels and overall health.

Although 100% fruit juice can be enjoyed from time to time in moderation, it’s best to stick to whole fruit whenever possible if you have diabetes. Here are a few foods to consider limiting or avoiding if you have diabetes. Squash, which has many varieties, is one of the healthiest vegetables around. A review looking at 25 randomized clinical trials found a significant association between whole flaxseed supplementation and a reduction in blood glucose. Leafy green vegetables are rich in nutrients like vitamin C as well as antioxidants that protect your heart and eye health.

Whole Grains

I generally think an A1c target of 6.0 to 7.0 percent is ideal and data shows that going below 7.0 percent has fairly little impact on complications. In the opinion of these experts, you should focus more on total calories (read more about calorie counting and diabetes here). I will explain why a measure known as “time-in-range” (TIR) is just as important as a low A1c later in this guide. However, the closer you get to the recommended A1c target, the less benefit you will get from lowering your A1c further. For example, taking your A1c from 12.0 percent to 11.0 percent makes a big difference, while lowering your A1c from 7.0 percent to 6.0 percent provides a much smaller benefit.

Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta are excellent choices for lowering your A1C. These foods are rich in fiber, which helps slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. This can prevent spikes in blood sugar levels and keep your A1C in check.

Fruits and Vegetables

If you don\’t, you could be at risk for potentially life-threatening complications. Some key hyperglycemia symptoms include extreme thirst, frequent urination, and nausea. As is the case for most people, for those with type 2 diabetes, breakfast arguably is the most important meal of the day. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, may promote healthy blood sugar levels, reduce risk factors for heart disease, and help with weight management.

Many fad diets — such as the glycemic index, paleo or keto diets — may help you lose weight. There is little research, however, about the long-term benefits of these diets or their benefit in preventing diabetes. Saturated fats, the \”bad fats,\” are found in dairy products and meats. You can limit saturated fats by eating low-fat dairy products and lean chicken and pork.

Ideally, you want to keep blood sugar from spiking or plunging to maintain steady energy throughout the day. While blood sugar that\’s too low—known as hypoglycemia—can be life-threatening for people with diabetes. Conversely, blood sugar that\’s too high—known as hyperglycemia—is more insidious and easier to ignore. Eating foods that help keep blood sugar, insulin, and inflammation in check can dramatically reduce your risk of complications.

Fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet, especially when trying to lower your A1C. They are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Berries, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are particularly beneficial for managing blood sugar levels.

Lean Proteins

Incorporating lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and tofu into your meals can also help lower your A1C. Protein-rich foods can help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote satiety, preventing overeating and snacking on unhealthy foods that can spike your A1C.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil are important for maintaining balanced blood sugar levels. Including these fats in your diet can help slow down the absorption of sugar and reduce insulin resistance, both of which are key factors in lowering your A1C.

Legumes

Legumes like beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. These foods can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, making them a great choice for managing A1C levels.

By incorporating these key foods into your diet and making other healthy lifestyle choices such as regular exercise and adequate sleep, you can effectively lower your A1C and improve your overall health.

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