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Diet for High A1C

by Mirna
(El Cajon, CA)

Mirna's Question:

What is a good diet for A1C result of 8?

Suzy's Answer:

Hi, Mirna,

Thank you for submitting your question regarding a recent A1C test

For those visitors who don't know, the A1C test shows your average blood sugar level for the past 2-3 months. If your blood sugar is chronically high, the red blood cells, specifically the hemoglobin, becomes coated with sugar, or "glycated," which is a sign that your diabetes is not being well managed.

Since this is a medical issue, Mirna, you (or the person you are referring to) will need to talk to your doctor and schedule an appointment with a dietitian to set up a menu plan that takes into account your taste preferences, food budget and the particulars of your health issues.

Having said that, a high A1C number indicates that there is consistently too much glucose (sugar) in your blood, which can damage the organs and systems of the body. Your doctor and your dietitian will be able to help you with diet and lifestyle changes you need to make to get your blood glucose levels into a healthier range.

In general, I would eliminate soft drinks and other sugary beverages, limit or eliminate foods with added sugar, and concentrate on a balanced diet of whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, proteins (meat,dairy,beans, etc.), complex carbs(whole grains), and healthy fats.

Make sure to include enough fiber in your diet since it will help
to stabilize your blood sugar. For a list of fiber foods, click on this link: Fiber Foods

Keep in mind that if you eliminate most highly processed foods, such as cookies, white bread, cakes, chips, etc., and eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you will automatically be increasing the fiber in your diet.

It is also important to eat regular meals and snacks (preferably at the same time every day) with a balance of all of the nutrients. Your dietitian may recommend that you go on a regimen where you count your carbs, and will help you to learn how to do that.

It is very important that you take steps now to get your blood sugar under control. Chronically high blood sugar is deadly. The good news is that if you follow a healthy diet and exercise plan, you will not only feel better, but you will avoid all the serious side effects of high blood sugar.

In addition to visiting a dietitian, here are some links that may help

Diabetes Facts

Diabetes Page

Registered Dietitian

The last link is to a dietitian's online website, in case you are unable
to meet with one in person or for more information on diabetes from an authoritative

I hope this helps, and please contact me if I can be of further assistance and to let me know how you are doing.

Thanks for visiting our healthy eating website!


Suzy Staywell

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