Are you familiar with the term “A1C” and how this relates to blood sugar?
A1C, also referred to as glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), is linked to blood sugar as it measures how much sugar is attached to the blood of the hemoglobin protein. A1C is expressed in percentage and is tested through blood tests. A1C is an indication of how blood sugar is controlled over the course of 2-3 months. It is very medically significant in regards to blood sugar management. When A1C is high, this indicates that blood sugar is poorly controlled and could lead to the diagnosis of prediabetes/diabetes.
What is considered a normal A1C?
According to the CDC, a normal A1C falls below 5.7%, an A1C between the ranges of 5.7%-6.4% is an indicator of prediabetes and an A1C of 6.5% or above is an indicator od diabetes.
How often do you need to check your A1C?
If your A1C is within normal range, you can test your A1c twice a year. If you are prediabetic, your A1C should be tested once every year and if you are diabetic, take insulin or your blood sugar is consistently uncontrolled, you may need to have frequent checks of your A1C-perhaps four (4) times a year.
If you are in any way concerned about your blood sugar or have been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, consult with a dietitian at the soonest to help manage your blood sugar.
Dima Salhoobi, RD, CDN, MS
2025A Central Park Ave
Yonkers, NY 10710
Are you Consuming Healthier Carbs?
Carbohydrates most commonly cause blood sugar levels to elevate. This is because carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars and those simple sugars are then absorbed into the bloodstream which then cause blood sugar to rise. This then signals the hormone insulin to be activated by the organ known as the pancreas. Insulin regulates blood sugar by aiding the cells to absorb glucose for the body to utilize as energy. There are three main types of carbohydrates- sugar, starch and fiber. All must be consumed in moderation. Sugar causes blood sugar levels to rise quickly and are high in fat and calories. These may include foods such as cakes, cookies, soda) and should be consumed in limited amounts. Starches raise blood sugar gradually since they are minimally processed. These may include foods such as oatmeal, brown rice, and lentils. Fiber aids in the slow down of sugar absorption. A high fiber diet can help to keep blood sugar levels in normal range. Fiber also makes you feel fuller and aids in optimal digestion. Fiber foods include: whole fruits/vegetables, whole grains, and nuts/seeds. Everyone, including diabetics, need to consume carbs as they are an energy food source. Additionally, carbs should consist of half of your daily calorie intake. However, it is crucial to choose the healthier forms of carbs. For example, the best source of carbs in managing blood sugar would be fiber as it benefits overall health and provides vitamins and other nutrients.