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What is the HbA1c test? And how can you ACE it???
1) Doctors recommend keeping HbA1c levels under a rating of 6 to 7%. The HbA1c test measures your blood glucose levels over a period of 3 months to determine the amount of sugar that clings to the protein known as HEMOGLOBIN, which is found in red blood cells. Having levels of 7% increases the risk of experiencing diabetes complications.
2) Eating a well-regulated and nutritionally-dense diet can work towards improved numbers on your next HbA1c test. A “healthy diet” should contain a variety of nutrients including, mono and polyunsaturated fats, lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and a variety of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. It’s also important to stay away from saturated and trans fats, along with simple-carb processed sugar foods.
3) Eating a balanced, nutrition-rich diet on a regular basis has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, decrease blood lipids, regulate blood glucose levels, and improve HbA1c scores.
4) It’s not just about what you eat, but how much of each food to eat. Try The Diabetes Plate Method to divide your plate with the appropriate proportions of your main nutrients. Each ingredient you choose to include in your meal should provide a specific group of nutrients which can work together inside your body to improve the health of a wide range of diabetes-related functions. So simply choose nutrient-rich options of your 3 main macronutrients, that being CARBS, PROTEINS, and FATS.
5) For The Diabetes Plate Method, break down your plate into 3 sections:
• Half of the plate for veggies and leafy greens
• A quarter of the plate for lean protein
• And the final quarter for whole grains and other complex carbohydrate foods.
6) This ensures that you receive the right amount of muscle-strengthening proteins, heart-helping fats, energy-providing carbohydrates, and diabetes-fighting micronutrients to keep blood glucose and HbA1c levels well regulated. In fact, a small study involving diabetic participants found that those who followed the diabetes plate method for 6 months experienced an average 10% improvement in their HbA1c levels.
7) To better regulate your HbA1c levels, pair a controlled and healthy diet with exercise. During aerobic exercise, your muscles contract, which forces glucose into your muscle cells, where it is then burned as a source of energy. So when you perform moderate physical activities, like jogging, cycling, or even walking, your body will naturally lower your blood glucose levels. Over time, regular physical activity can help you achieve reduced HbA1c levels as well.
8) A recent study revealed that type 2 diabetic participants who completed 90 minutes of aerobic activity 3 times per week significantly improved their HbA1c levels. Most doctors believe that diabetics should aim for about 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week.