What Foods Help Lower Your A1C

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If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to manage your blood sugar levels to prevent complications. One way to lower your A1C, which measures your average blood sugar level over the past three months, is through a healthy diet. Eating certain foods can help regulate your blood sugar and improve your overall health.

Making small changes to your diet can have a big impact on your A1C levels. To help lower your A1C, be sure to incorporate these healthy foods into your diet. When you have diabetes, you probably know you should check your blood sugar regularly. Your doctor will also recommend that you take an A1c blood test a few times a year, with a goal of lowering the results to help protect your health.

If you don’t use a CGM, all you can do is look at your manual blood sugar measurements and pay attention to the amount of high and low blood sugar readings outside of your target range. Time-in-range refers to the percentage of time during which your blood sugar is within a specific range. To see why time-in-range is important, take a look at the three lines in the graph below.

Here’s a rundown of foods to avoid, what to eat instead, what to enjoy in moderation and, importantly, how to successfully make these changes to your diet and lifestyle. “The goal is to reduce your carbohydrate intake by choosing more complex carbs and exercising to burn them off,” she says. Healthy fats can help regulate high blood sugar by supplying anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that can help regulate your metabolism and body’s response to insulin. Mushrooms have high concentrations of beta-D-glucans, a form of fiber shown to lower blood glucose response. As a bonus, mushrooms have a low glycemic index and come in a variety of options – portobello, shitake, cremini and more.

Achieving an A1c in the recommended range is, therefore, one of the most important things you can do to improve your long-term health when you live with diabetes. “The A1c test is based on the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Lean proteins like chicken, oily fish, and non-starchy vegetables can also be good choices for hyperglycemia.

Foods that Can Lower Your A1C:

  • Leafy Greens: Vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens are high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, making them great choices for managing blood sugar levels.
  • Options include choosing portion sizes that suit the needs for your size and activity level. But if your doctor has prescribed medication, such as metformin, miglitol, or insulin, it’s important to take them exactly as prescribed. If you miss doses regularly, your blood sugar numbers may creep up and cause your A1c to rise. But if you follow the medication plan that your doctor recommends and go to every appointment, your blood sugar should stay under control — and your lower A1c number will reflect that. If your goal is to cut down on, or even stop needing, your meds, tell your doctor that you want to work toward that.

    One of the golden rules of diabetes prevention and care is constant monitoring of blood glucose levels through diagnostic tests. 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. If you live with diabetes, it\’s important that you partner with your health care provider and dietitian to create an eating plan that works for you. Use healthy foods, portion control and a schedule to manage your blood sugar level.

  • Whole Grains: Foods like brown rice, quinoa, and oats contain fiber, which helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
  • Lean Proteins: Incorporating lean sources of protein like chicken, fish, and tofu can help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full.
  • Healthy Fats: Avocados, nuts, and olive oil are rich in monounsaturated fats, which can improve insulin sensitivity and lower A1C levels.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can fruits help lower A1C? While fruits contain natural sugars, some options like berries, apples, and citrus fruits can be included in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
  2. Are there any foods to avoid? Foods high in refined sugars and carbohydrates, such as sugary drinks, white bread, and pastries, should be limited to maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Overall, focusing on a diet rich in whole foods, including plenty of vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, can help lower your A1C and improve your overall health. It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to create a personalized meal plan that meets your individual needs.

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