My Doctor Just Told Me To Watch My Sugar. What Does This Mean?
You may feel confused about what you should be doing to track your sugar. There are two different ways for you to manage your sugar.
The first is to be aware of how much ‘sugar’ you consume in your diet. The second thing you can do is check your blood sugar throughout the day. This is to see how much sugar you have in your bloodstream.
Why Do I Need to Watch My Sugar?
If your doctor has told you to watch your blood sugar, there’s a reason. It’s likely because you show signs of Type 2 Diabetes or Prediabetes.
This means that your body cannot process sugar as it should. There is too much sugar from food building up within your bloodstream.
Signs of diabetes can include:
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Dark patches of skin
- Blurry vision
- Weight gain
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
One specific blood test can show your average blood sugar over the past three months. This blood test is an A1C and how doctors determine if you have prediabetes or Type 2 Diabetes.
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What Foods Increase Blood Sugar?
Type 2 Diabetes means the body has difficulty lowering blood sugar levels. Especially after meals, like it usually should. You can help your body regulate blood sugar by eating fewer carbohydrates.
Starting a ketogenic diet is also very helpful. When you eat a diet with too many refined or processed carbohydrates, blood sugars can spike. Your body will have difficulty lowering your blood sugar.
Examples of foods that can cause your blood sugar to increase include:
- Sweetened beverages and desserts
- Trans (unhealthy) fats
- Processed vegetable oils
- Bread, rice, pasta, and cereals
- Processed snack foods
- Many sugar-free sweeteners such as sucralose, mannitol, aspartame, saccharin, etc.
Click here to read our article I Don’t Have Energy To Cook For My Type 2 Diabetes
What Foods Should I Eat?
My doctor told me to watch my sugar – does this mean I have to be careful of everything I eat? Well… YES.
If you have to watch your sugar, you may need to change how you eat. You should eat foods with a low-glycemic index. This means that these foods will not cause a significant spike in your blood sugar. These foods include:
- Low glycemic fruits such as berries, but in moderation
- Non-starchy vegetables like green leafy vegetables
- Fatty fish (not farmed but wild-caught if possible)
- Lean meats
- Full-fat dairy if you can digest dairy products
- Healthy fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, butter/ghee, and believe it or not, animal fats such as duck fat, lard, fish oils, tallow, etc…
When is The Best Time to Check My Blood Sugar?
The best time to check your blood sugar is when you have fasted1. This means you have not eaten in at least eight hours and it is usually best done when you first wake in the morning.
You can also check your blood sugar 2 hours after eating.
Make sure to keep a diary of your blood sugar results. Share this with your doctor, including the date, the time of the reading, and the blood sugar result.
How to Check Your Blood Sugar
Every blood glucose monitor is different. Make sure you become familiar with your blood glucose machine. Read the instructions before using them.
- First, wash your hands.
- Prepare your lancet to prick your finger with a clean needle.
- Remove a test strip and insert it into your meter as directed.
- Prick the side of your finger with the lancet and squeeze out a small drop of blood.
- Wipe off the first drop of blood and then collect the second drop of blood using your test strip.
- Allow the machine to process your results and stop the bleeding on your finger with a gauze pad. Hold pressure on the area until the bleeding stops.
Helpful Tips for Checking Your Blood Sugar
- Keep your blood glucose meter and the necessary supplies together. This way you can check your blood sugar without looking for the things you will need.
- Check about 2 hours after eating a meal or snack.
- Prick a different finger each time you check your blood sugar. It is also important to use the sides of your fingers because they have fewer nerve endings. This way there will not be as much discomfort when checking your blood sugar often.
- Create a diary of your blood sugar results, including the date, time, and blood sugar reading. This will make it easier to share the results with your doctor.
What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Levels Are High?
Your blood sugar should be less than 100mg/dL in the morning after not eating for eight hours. Two hours after a meal, your blood sugar should be less than 180mg/dL. At bedtime, it should be in the range of 100-140mg/dL.
If you are getting blood sugars higher than these values, you will need to make changes.
Following a low-carb diet is important. Speak to your doctor to discuss medications that may help lower your blood sugar. Many people have reversed their Type 2 Diabetes. They did this by following the recommended dietary changes.
You can join our free group here, and get some excellent dietary recommendations that may just reverse your Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis!
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