Diabetes can be challenging. Whether you are newly diagnosed or just struggling to maintain a balance. I am here to help! Check out this list that I put together to answer your Diabetes Everyday FAQ.
A: The American Diabetes Association recommends a blood glucose range of 80-130mg/dl before meals and less than 180 mg/dl one to two hours after a meal. This range should place your A1c under in target which is 7 or below. It is extremely helpful to check your blood sugar in pairs, paired checking when you want to problem solve a reading you are seeing out of range. For instance, if your fasting blood sugar is above 130 mg/dl, you
may want to check your blood sugar before bed and before breakfast for several days watching for any pattern in the readings. By having a before and after blood sugar reading, you will be able to see cause and effect. Is your reading in target before bed but above target when you wake up? This is helpful information in making lifestyle
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A: A normal blood sugar for someone who is not diagnosed with diabetes is 70-99 mg/dl at fasting and two hours after eating a meal the blood sugar should be less than140mg/dl. The term blood sugar and blood glucose are the same things. Both refer to the sugar glucose in your blood. It’s important to note that once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it will always be a part of your medical record. If you have been diagnosed
with diabetes and are seeing blood sugar levels in the normal range for someone without diabetes, that is great. Kudos to you for managing your blood sugar levels. Make sure to continue to do a blood sugar check to make sure your blood sugar ranges remain in target.
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A: The number of times you check your blood sugar is different for everyone. Your doctor or certified diabetes care and education specialist may have suggested that you check before breakfast every day. That usually is the starting point. Knowing your blood sugar reading is helpful to problem-solving readings that may be coming in above or below the target range. If you are experiencing a below or above target reading, it’s recommended
to check in pairs. Checking in pairs will give you a before and after reading. For example, if your blood sugar is above target of 130 mg/dl before breakfast, you will want to gather more of the data (blood sugar readings) to see if there is a trend. Check-in pairs by checking before bed and before breakfast for several days. This information will be extremely helpful for your medical provider to help with cause-and-effect problem-solving.
Not sure what your blood sugars are? Try checking before meals for at least five days in a row. This will allow you to see if there is a pattern for your blood sugar readings. Are each of the readings staying at 130mg/dl or below? If they are above that range, that would be a good place to start for using paired checking. Let’s say your blood sugar is 180mg/dl before lunch. Then you will want to check your blood sugar two hours after breakfast and
before lunch to help identify when the blood sugar is rising.
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A: Hemoglobin A1C stands for glycated hemoglobin test. An A1c is a blood test that gives us an average of your blood sugar readings from the past 2-3 months This result gives you a good idea of how well your diabetes is being managed/controlled. What are the levels of an A1C? An A1C that is below 5.7% is normal for a person without diabetes. An A1C between 5.7-6.4% indicates pre-diabetes and an A1C 6.5% or higher is
for people diagnosed with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends an A1c of less than 7 as research has shown us an A1C below 7 will keep the risk of diabetes complications low.
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A: Insulin is one of the medications used for managing diabetes but not all people with diabetes take insulin. People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes do need to take insulin since their pancreas stops producing insulin. For people with type 2 diabetes, sometimes they will be prescribed insulin usually after seeing if other type 2 diabetes medications have not worked to get their blood sugar into target range. Most people with type 2 diabetes
and pre-diabetes will be started with no medication, and are asked to make healthy lifestyle changes. Note: healthy lifestyle behaviors are required for managing all types of diabetes (pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and type 1 diabetes). Medication does not replace following a healthy eating pattern, being physically active most days of the week, and reducing stress daily.
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A: All foods can fit into an eating plan for people with diabetes. There are a couple of key points to healthy eating: 1) know the portion size of the foods you are consuming and 2) there will be a focus on the number of grams of carbohydrate you will eat to keep your blood sugar levels in target range. Using the plate method for people with diabetes is a great visual to keep your eating plan balanced with the nutrition we need. Fill half your
plate with vegetables; one-quarter of your plate with a source of protein; and the last quarter fill with carbohydrate-containing foods. It is best to work with a dietitian/diabetes care and education specialist on a personal eating plan that will include the grams of carbohydrate per meal and any other necessary requirements like reduced sodium. Eating plans are individualized as there is not a one plan fits all.
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A: Fruits, starchy vegetables, beans, lentils, milk, yogurt, rice, noodles, breads, crackers, cereals, and other grains all have carbohydrate but also give you important nutrients. Snack foods (pretzels, chips, popcorn), as well as sweets and desserts, have carbohydrates too. Remember that sweets include honey, sugar, agave, regular soda,
cakes, candy, and cookies. Make sure to check the nutrition facts label on each food item to find the carbohydrate content. You are looking for total grams of carbohydrate per serving, not grams of sugar. The grams of sugar are included in the total grams of carbohydrate. If a food doesn’t have a label, you can check a carb counting meal plan book, an app, or online to get the total grams of carbohydrate for a food item.
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A: Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet as they contain important nutrients that you will not be able to get from foods that fall into the food groups protein or fat. For instance, carbohydrate foods contain fiber and fiber is helpful not only as a part of gut health but also helps slow down the absorption of the carbohydrate in foods. For people with diabetes, watching portion sizes and getting most of your carbs from healthy
carbs like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and yogurt is key. Besides counting carbohydrate, people with diabetes should monitor the amount of saturated fat and sodium in their eating plan due to being two to four times at higher risk of heart disease.
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A: Yes, you can certainly eat food from a restaurant. I recommend that you practice your portion sizes by cooking at home first so that it is easier to visually figure out the correct portion of restaurant food you will be eating. Remember that what they serve you doesn’t necessarily mean that is the portion you should be eating. A healthy eating plan for diabetes focuses on the portions of foods you eat so be cautious of the quantity of food. It
may be that you can only eat half of the entrée and or side dishes in order to fit into your meal plan or that you will need to add an extra serving of vegetables or side salad to fill you up without raising the carbohydrate content of the meal. And if you can only fit half the portion of a restaurant-bought meal, that is a money saver! Eat the other half of the meal the next day so you get two meals out of the one meal you ordered. Toby Shares Four Tips For Eating Out – Diabetes Everyday
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A: Look to the food label as your guide for knowing how to include foods into your meal plan. On the food label, you will want to look at the total grams of carbohydrate, calories, fat, and portion size. A sugar-free product may simply be lower in total grams of carbohydrate compared to the original food or the product truly may be low enough in total grams of carb that will not affect your blood sugar reading. The definition of “sugar-free” is that one serving has less than .5 grams of sugar. Keep in mind though that some of these foods still have carbs and may affect your blood sugar levels. Foods that are marked “sugar-free” can be part of a healthy meal plan typically in small amounts.
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