For those with diabetes, it is extremely important to check your blood sugar regularly. Usually, diabetes patients check their blood sugar at least once a day, with some people needing to check up to seven times a day.
Another test that is important to take for diabetes patients is the a1c blood test. Your doctor will also recommend that you take this test at least a few times a year.
The a1c blood test is a common test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is also used to monitor blood sugar levels. However, unlike a typical blood sugar test, the a1c checks your average blood sugar in the past two to three months.
It also tests the amount of sugar that clings to a particular protein known as hemoglobin. This protein is found in your red blood cells.
The higher your a1c level is, the worse your blood sugar control is. A high a1c level is associated with complications like nerve damage, eye problems, and heart disease..
Your goal should be to get that number lower every time you take the test. How much lower you want it to get will vary based on your individual treatment plan.
With a few lifestyle changes, you’ll be able to lower your blood sugar significantly. Learn how to lower a1c below!
Buy New Kitchenware
One way that you can get your a1c down is to buy some new kitchen gear. If you don’t already own them, you’ll want to buy a set of measuring cups and a kitchen scale.
These tools will help you control your portion sizes. Without proper measuring equipment, it can be very difficult to track how much food you’re intaking. The more food you consume, the more your blood sugar will go up.
At first, you may be surprised to see what one serving of food really looks like, especially in items high in carbs like bread, rice, and pasta.
Watch Your Carbs
As we just mentioned, a single serving of carbs is quite small. For this reason, it’s easy to go overboard with them,
Carbohydrates affect your blood sugar more than other nutrients. Therefore, you should treat them with more caution than other foods.
Also keep in mind that not all carbs are created equal. Some carbs are worse for your blood sugar than others, such as carbs that are highly processed or finely ground.
If you eat starchy carbs on a consistent basis, you’re sure to increase your a1c level. It’s best to stick with whole grains and carbs that are high in fiber.
Eat a Balanced Diet
In addition to watching your carbs, you should also make sure the rest of your diet is balanced. It is recommended to fill about half your plate with vegetables low in starch like carrots, greens, zucchini, and tomatoes.
A quarter of your plate should consist of lean protein like chicken or tofu. Then, the last quarter should be left for whole grains like brown rice or quinoa.
It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a balanced diet. To make things easier on yourself, you should plan out your meals beforehand. If you have set menus for each day, you’ll avoid making mistakes.
In the midst of a busy day, you might not have time to think of meals to eat on the fly. If you end up skipping a meal, you might even end up breaking your diet because of time constraints.
Have you ever had to settle for a lowly meal because it was the only thing available? With a solid meal plan in place, you won’t run into this problem.
Make sure to create a meal plan that you actually enjoy; this is crucial. If you pick foods that are healthy but you don’t actually like, it’s likely that you’ll break your diet.
Besides improving your nutrition, it is also essential to exercise. You don’t need to be running miles around the track every day. In fact, you can lower your a1c levels considerably just through strength training.
Both aerobic exercise and resistance training have been shown to lower a1c levels when done consistently. When you exercise, your muscles are prompted to absorb sugar from your bloodstream. This process helps drop your blood sugar levels the next time you eat.
Similarly to your diet, you should choose activities that you have fun doing. You don’t want to have to force yourself to go to the gym every day if that’s not what you enjoy. If you like playing a sport, try playing it more. If you enjoy birdwatching, try taking a hike.