Fasting blood sugar levels measure how much glucose is in the blood after fasting for at least 8 hours. Fasting blood sugar levels are used to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes. The test is also used to monitor people who have diabetes. A normal fasting blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) defines a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) as normal. However, normal fasting blood sugar levels can vary depending on a person’s age, weight, health history, and other factors.
If one is concerned about fasting blood sugar levels, it’s important to talk to a diabetologist. They can help determine if the levels are within a healthy range or if they may be indicative of a more serious condition, such as diabetes. If the fasting blood sugar level is between 100-125 mg/dL (5.6-6.9 mmol/L), this is considered prediabetes. A fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L) or higher indicates diabetes. A few things can affect fasting blood sugar levels, such as what one eats, when they last ate, how much insulin their body produces, and how well their body breaks down and uses glucose.
What Does Abnormal Fasting Blood Sugar Level Mean?
If someone has reasons to believe that their blood sugar levels are abnormal, the first thing to do is get their blood tested. It is important to go to a reputed and trustworthy diagnostics lab to ensure that the result they get is dependable and not manipulated in any way.
If the fasting blood sugar level is above 100 mg/dL, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person might have diabetes. However, it does mean that the body is having difficulty processing sugar properly and may be at risk for developing diabetes in the future. There are a few things one can do to lower their fasting blood sugar levels, including:
-Eating a healthy diet
-Limiting the intake of sugary foods and drinks
-Cutting back on alcohol consumption
Causes of Abnormal Fasting Blood Sugar Levels
There are a variety of factors that can cause abnormal fasting blood sugar levels. Some common causes include:
-Not eating enough carbohydrates: If one doesn’t eat enough carbohydrates, their body won’t have enough glucose to use for energy. This can cause their blood sugar levels to drop too low. However, it is also important to note that including excessive carbohydrates in the diet is also not optimal. Consult a dietician or nutritionist to understand the safe levels of carbohydrates that can be included in the diet.
-Eating too many sugary foods: Eating excessive sugar-containing foods can cause blood sugar levels to spike.
-Certain medications: Some medications, such as steroids, can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
-Diseases: Some diseases, such as diabetes, can cause blood sugar levels to become abnormal.
If you are concerned about abnormal fasting blood sugar levels, then you should talk to your doctor. They can help develop a plan to get your numbers down to a healthy range.
The importance of diet in diabetes control
There are a few things to consider when it comes to diet for diabetes control. The first is that carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels more than any other nutrient, so it’s important to be mindful of the types (sugar, starch, and fibre) and amounts of carbs one eats. Regarding carbohydrates, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. Choose complex carbs like whole grains, beans, lentils, and vegetables rather than simple carbs like white bread, pastries, and sugary drinks. And be sure to monitor the portion sizes—even healthy carbs can cause spikes in blood sugar if eaten too much.
Second, fibre can help slow glucose absorption into the bloodstream, making it an important nutrient for blood sugar control. Aim for foods that are high in fibre and low in refined carbs.
Fibre is mainly classified into two types: soluble and insoluble. As mentioned earlier, soluble fibre slows down glucose absorption into the bloodstream. In contrast, insoluble fibre helps regulate bowel movements (which is important for people with diabetes who are at risk for constipation). Good sources of soluble fibre include oats, barley, legumes, apples, oranges, and flaxseeds. Good sources of insoluble fibre include whole wheat bread and wheat bran, nuts and seeds, carrots, and dark leafy greens. Lastly, fat doesn’t directly impact blood sugar levels, but eating too much can lead to weight gain, affecting blood sugar control.
Superfoods to eat for those with diabetes
When it comes to managing diabetes, what one eats is just as important as how much is eaten and when it is eaten. Incorporating certain superfoods into the diet for diabetes control is a smart way to help keep blood sugar levels in check. You can use a glucometer to keep constant tabs on your blood glucose level.
Some of the best superfoods for those with diabetes include:
- Leafy greens: spinach, kale, collards, and chard are all excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. They’re also low in calories and carbohydrates, making them a great option for those watching their weight.
- Salmon: this fatty fish is packed with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower triglyceride levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Salmon is also a good source of protein and B vitamins like niacin and vitamin B12, both of which are important for maintaining healthy sugar levels.
- Walnuts: these nuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in insulin metabolism. They’re also a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Just be sure to limit the intake to a handful per day, as they are high in calories.
- Garlic: this potent herb has been shown to help lower blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity.
Maintaining healthy sugar levels is important for overall health and well-being. By understanding what fasting blood sugar is and what the normal range is, one can take steps to ensure that their own levels are within a healthy range. Certain medications and high-sugar foods may cause abnormal sugar levels leading to complications. A healthy diet laden with the right amount of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats can help keep blood glucose under check. Superfoods like leafy vegetables, nuts etc., are a must-have for anyone looking to maintain a normal blood sugar range. Strictly following a diet for diabetes can help improve one’s health significantly.