KNOW YOUR NUMBERS: Blood Sugar + A1C
Carbohydrates, protein, and fat are the macronutrients that provide your body with energy. Among them, carbohydrates have the greatest effect on your blood sugar. This is because they’re broken down into sugar, or glucose, and absorbed into your bloodstream. Maintaining a low carb intake can help prevent blood sugar spikes and greatly reduce the risk of diabetes complications. Some carbohydrate containing foods include breads, pastries, pasta, cereals, fruit, some vegetables, sugar sweetened beverages such as pop or Gatorade and candy.
Your blood sugar becomes elevated immediately after meals and lowers in between or during fasted periods. When your blood sugar is consistently high or greater than 100 mg/dl while in a fasted (not eating) state, this is when pre-diabetes or diabetes begins to develop.
A better measure of your average blood sugar is A1C. Your blood sugar levels can
change day to day depending on what you are eating but the A1C expresses the average blood sugars over the course of 3 months. A healthy person should have an A1C below 5.7, while 5.7-6.4 is considered pre-diabetes and >6.4 is considered diabetic. The goal for most people with diabetes is 7% or less. However, your personal goal will depend on many things such as your age and any other medical conditions.
It is very important that you know your A1C numbers if you are at risk for diabetes. Especially if you are over the age of 45 or if you’re under 45, overweight, and have one or more risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Over time elevated blood sugars and diabetes can damage your body and lead to many other complications such as nerve and blood vessel damage, kidney disease, heart disease, blindness, feet problems and bone problems.
If you believe you are at risk for diabetes be sure to ask your doctor if you need an A1C test when you have blood work done.
In my next video we will discuss some simple strategies to manage and lower your blood sugar levels.
I wish you health and happiness.