Monitoring your diabetes is important in both short-term and long-term blood levels. Daily glucose monitoring determines the short-term status of your blood sugar, while your glycated haemoglobin levels (A1C) show your average glucose levels over the past three months. According to the American Diabetes Association, our ideal A1C level should be below 7 per cent. Reducing your glycated haemoglobin levels requires patience, commitment and a few strategic steps.
- Skill level:
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Monitor your blood glucose daily on a set schedule. Think of your A1C level as an average of your daily glucose; lowering the individual components lowers the average total. Don't allow yourself to skip tests because you're afraid of the results. An honest relationship with your body is critical to maintaining control of your diabetes.
Maintain a routine. Testing your glucose regularly is only accurate if you eat similar foods at the same time each day. An eating routine also encourages regular, well-balanced meals as opposed to starving and overeating.
Stay active. Taking your dog on a brisk walk, gardening and cleaning your house encourages healthy blood flow and burns calories, which helps you maintain a healthy weight and prevent setbacks in your A1C levels.
Eat foods with a low glycemic index. Not all fruits and vegetables are considered equal. The American Diabetes Association identifies certain "super foods" because of their nutrient density and low sugar content. A few foods recognised as super foods include beans, sweet potatoes, berries, leafy greens, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.
Tips and warnings
- Keep a journal detailing your food, exercise and how you feel physically and emotionally each day. This record will highlight changes in your mood and energy based on your food and activity decisions.
- Recognise small victories. Your eating habits won't change entirely overnight but cutting out your morning doughnut or afternoon candy break can make a difference over time.
- Check with your doctor before beginning any new health regimen. He can help you adjust and monitor your treatment plan as necessary and request blood work to check your progress in other areas.
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