A good diabetes management program can help diabetics avoid the complications caused by high blood sugars over time.
First and foremost, every diabetic has to know what foods affect his or her individual blood sugar levels. Since we are all different, the same foods that one person finds neutral may have a different effect on your blood sugar control.
Fortunately, finding out how foods affect your blood sugar levels is easy to do. Here are the steps:
- Buy a glucose monitor. They are available at any drug store, usually for less than $20.
- Keep a food and blood sugar journal. Take your first blood sugar reading when you wake up. This will be your “fasting blood sugar”.
- After every meal, write down what you ate, and what your blood sugar was 1 hour after eating, and 2 hours after eating.
Evaluating the Results
Over time, youâ€™ll be able to see what foods make it easier to control your blood sugar. In most cases, the results will show that:
- Consuming foods that are high in carbohydrates (whole grains, crackers, bread, fruit, pasta, sweets, root vegetables, and grains like rice and corn) will make blood sugar control harder.
- Eating moderate amounts of protein and more high-fat foods at each meal will make blood sugar control easier since moderate amounts of protein and fats have little effect on blood sugar.
You can evaluate your readings based on being at or below these normal blood sugar levels:
- Fasting blood sugar should be under 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/L)
- One hour after meals, blood sugar should be under 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)
- Two hours after meals, blood sugar should be under 120 mg/dl (6.6 mmol/L)
Once you determine how to eat to control your blood sugar, and your fasting blood sugar is consistently under 100 mg/dl, this indicates you no longer have diabetes, technically speaking. But be aware that if you return to your old eating patterns, more than likely diabetes will also return.
Here’s a case study that highlights how beneficial lowering carbohydrate intake is for diabetics.