What Can You Eat to Lower A1C

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Managing your A1C levels is crucial for individuals with diabetes, as it reflects your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. One way to help lower your A1C is by making healthier food choices. By incorporating certain foods into your diet, you can effectively lower your A1C and improve your overall health.

“If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes, progressing to diabetes is not a given,” Seymour emphasizes. To steer away from type 2 diabetes, Seymour says men and women should try to achieve and maintain a body mass index of 25 or lower. Waist circumference should be under 35 inches for women and under 40 inches for men. Another way to assess whether a product is overly high in sugar is to read the nutrition label. The key to warding off progression of prediabetes is a balanced approach to diet, says Seymour.

The ADA recommends working with a registered dietitian to individualize your diet and achieve glycemic control. Moderate carbohydrate diets (30 to 65% of calories from carbohydrates) have been well studied, reducing A1C with a more sustainable and realistic eating pattern. Limiting certain foods and drinks may help you manage your condition and reduce your risk of complications. Your body does need fat, so it’s essential to include these in your diet. Read on to learn about five types of foods and drinks you can eat while living with diabetes and five you may want to avoid.

Some common whole-grain foods are brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, oats, and whole-grain bread. Oats are whole grains that have been shown to improve glycemic control and insulin sensitivity, which, in turn, help keep blood sugar levels low. Aside from managing your diabetes, a healthy diet offers other benefits too. Because this diet recommends generous amounts of fruits, vegetables and fiber, following it is likely to lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. And eating low-fat dairy products can reduce your risk of low bone mass in the future.

Foods to Include in Your Diet

When you eat extra calories and carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels rise. These problems include a high blood sugar level, called hyperglycemia. If this high level lasts for a long time, it may lead to long-term complications, such as nerve, kidney and heart damage. Your healthcare team can help you develop a treatment plan that involves diet changes, exercise, and medication, if needed, to help lower your blood sugar levels (65).

Chronic alcohol intake and high triglyceride levels can increase your A1C results. Certain medications like glucosteroids, opioids, and some HIV medications can increase your A1C level. Additionally, certain doses of vitamin E and C can alter the results. The most accurate time to see if your changes have lowered your A1C levels is after at least three months of effort.

Elizabeth Ward is a registered dietitian and award-winning nutrition communicator and writer. She has authored or co-authored 10 books for consumers about nutrition at all stages of life. “The most critical thing is being able to stick to whichever diet you pick, so it’s important to find something that works for your lifestyle, your tastes and your preferences,” Zumpano says.

One of the best ways to lower your A1C is by consuming foods that are low in sugar and carbohydrates. Foods such as leafy green vegetables, berries, nuts, and lean proteins are excellent choices for managing blood sugar levels. Incorporating these foods into your meals can help stabilize your blood sugar and ultimately lower your A1C.

Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli are high in fiber and contain minimal amounts of carbohydrates. These vegetables have a low glycemic index, meaning they have little effect on blood sugar levels. By increasing your intake of leafy greens, you can help regulate your blood sugar and lower your A1C.


Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are packed with antioxidants and fiber, making them an excellent choice for individuals looking to lower their A1C. Berries have a relatively low glycemic index compared to other fruits, making them a great option for managing blood sugar levels.


Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are rich in healthy fats, protein, and fiber. These nutrients can help slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. Including nuts in your diet can aid in lowering your A1C over time.

By incorporating these foods into your diet and making healthier choices overall, you can effectively lower your A1C and better manage your diabetes. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist before making any significant changes to your diet to ensure it aligns with your individual health needs. Start making small changes today to see big improvements in your A1C levels.

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