The Best Foods to Lower A1C Levels

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Managing blood sugar levels is crucial for individuals with diabetes, and one key marker to track is the A1C level. To help lower A1C levels, it is important to focus on a healthy diet that includes foods that can help regulate blood sugar levels. Here are some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet:

Finding out your HbA1c levels is particularly important when you’re trying out a new diet, workout regime, or medication. And if your HbA1c levels are higher than usual, depending on whether you are diabetic, prediabetic, or healthy, you need to make some changes in your diet. Here’s a list of foods that could lower your HbA1c levels if eaten regularly. Having diabetes or prediabetes does not necessarily mean you need to entirely avoid certain foods or food groups. But consuming less of certain types of food may help support healthy blood glucose levels and reduce your risk of other chronic health conditions. Probiotic yogurt is a great choice for managing blood sugar levels and in one study was shown to lower fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C among those with type 2 diabetes.

Processing removes the fibrous outer shells of grains and cereals. People who are looking to manage their blood sugar levels may want to consider foods with low or medium GI scores. People can also pair foods with low and high GI scores to ensure that a meal is balanced.

A separate small 2020 study involving 15 people with T2DM also found that the particle size of the whole grains in bread had an impact on blood sugar levels. The researchers behind a small 2020 trial found that consuming less-processed grains led to an improvement in blood sugar levels for people with T2DM. Several mobile apps can help people with diabetes count the carbs in their food and estimate their sugar levels. Some work similarly to a food diary, where the user inputs nutritional information from the food they eat. Others allow users to snap a picture of their meal, and the app will use AI to analyze the food and estimate carb and sugar levels. Avoid less healthy carbohydrates, such as foods or drinks with added fats, sugars and sodium.

Foods Rich in Fiber

Fiber-rich foods are beneficial for lowering A1C levels as they slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. Some examples of fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts.

Lean Proteins

An A1c of 7.0 percent roughly translates to an average blood sugar of 154 mg/dL (8.6 mmol/L) as you can see from this conversion chart (eAG stands for “estimated average glucose”). Identifying patterns like that makes it possible to pinpoint areas of potential improvement so you can start making a plan for how to limit your high and low blood sugars. Also, in a small 2017 study, participants who ate plenty of fatty fish showed better blood sugar regulation after a meal than those who avoided fish. Oats have a low GI score, which means they are less likely to cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.

According to the American Diabetes Association, there is not a one-size-fits-all diet for diabetes. A variety of eating patterns are considered acceptable, although nutrient-dense and high fiber foods are encouraged. Seek a personalized approach to your diabetes management by working with your doctor and diabetes team, including a registered dietitian who specializes in diabetes management. High fiber foods, particularly choices high in soluble fiber, are also linked to improved A1c levels. The soluble fiber found in oats, legumes, barley and many fruits and vegetables forms a gel in the gut and slows the release of glucose into the bloodstream.

Complex carbohydrates that are rich in fiber and minimally processed are your best choices – particularly for breakfast. Fiber helps to slow the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream, which can help to achieve good blood sugar control. Fibrous foods keep you full and can aid in reducing bad cholesterol. Carbohydrates rich in fiber include fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), and whole grains. The American Heart Association says that a diet rich in whole grains can help to reduce the risk of heart disease. One of the golden rules of diabetes prevention and care is constant monitoring of blood glucose levels through diagnostic tests.

Choosing lean proteins like skinless poultry, fish, tofu, and legumes over fatty cuts of meat can help improve blood sugar control. Protein-rich foods also help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the urge to snack on unhealthy foods.

Healthy Fats

Incorporating healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil into your diet can have a positive impact on A1C levels. These fats help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote heart health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What foods should be avoided to lower A1C levels?

  1. Sugary drinks and snacks
  2. Processed foods high in refined sugars and carbohydrates
  3. Fried foods
  4. Fatty cuts of meat

Can I still enjoy desserts while trying to lower my A1C levels?

It\’s okay to indulge in sweets occasionally, but try to opt for healthier dessert options like fruit-based treats or desserts made with natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit.

By incorporating these recommended foods into your diet and making healthier food choices overall, you can effectively lower your A1C levels and better manage your diabetes.

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