The A1C reflects the average person’s blood glucose levels over the past 3 months. It is measured in percentage form; hence the A1C level is the percentage of your red blood cells that have sugar molecules attached to them. It is also known as glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobinA1C and HbA1C.
The A1C level is measured via a blood test. Normal A1C levels are considered to be between 4 and 6. If one has either type 1 or type 2 diabetes one should strive to keep A1C levels below 7 percent which is done by eating right.
Foods to avoid
One should avoid deep fried foods. It is essential to control the amount of carbohydrates, fatty foods and calories by limiting intake of potatoes, rice, pasta and foods made using white flour. Sugary desserts should also be avoided as they increase sugar levels at alarming rates especially if one has diabetes. Deep fried foods, frozen TV dinners, lunch meats, sugared soft drinks and flavored water should also be avoided.
Vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, fiber, minerals; protein and antioxidants which help balance one’s HbA1C levels. A diet rich in asparagus, broccoli, carrots, red onions, spinach, tomatoes, soy eaten as tofu or as soy milk products are good in controlling blood sugar levels. Flaxseed used as oil or a nutty seed is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and can be incorporated into salads, breads, cereals and meal dressings. Nuts are generally a great source of cholesterol lowering plant sterols but are very high in calories and should as a result be eaten in moderation.
Including fruits in the diet
Fruit berries like cranberries, blueberries and red grape fruits can lower LDL-cholesterol and promote good heart health. Grapefruits can however interfere with the efficiency of some medications and one should consult with their doctor before enrichening their diet with grapefruits. Apples are an excellent source of fiber. Melons including cantaloupe, watermelon and honey dew are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and folate.Raspberries too are rich in these elements. Raw and cooked fruits should be eaten in moderation for better control of blood sugar levels.
Low fat lean protein
Fatty meats make blood sugar levels sky rocket. Grilled, baked, steamed or broiled skinless catfish fillets, orange roughy or white fish are better alternatives. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, trout mackerel and herring lower triglycerides, reduce inflammation, decrease blood pressure and decrease the probability of forming internal blood clots. Baked, broiled and roasted chicken with its skin removed is a good lean protein main course or incorporated into a salad.
Other HbA1C lowering foods
Low fat, no fat and Greekyogurts are excellent sources of protein, calcium and zinc and can also be made into parfaits. Tea, green, black or white are excellent sources of cancer preventing flavonoids and are rich in antioxidants. They can be drank hot or cold, caffeinated or non-caffeinated. They are best enjoyed freshly brewed.
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