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How Food Affects Your Blood Glucose

Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, what, when, and how much you eat all affect your blood glucose. Blood glucose is the main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy.

If you have diabetes (or impaired glucose tolerance), your blood glucose can go too high if you eat too much. If your blood glucose goes too high, you can get sick.

Your blood glucose can also go too high or drop too low if you don't take the right amount of diabetes medicine.

If your blood glucose stays high too much of the time, you can get heart, eye, foot, kidney, and other problems. You can also have problems if your blood glucose gets too low (hypoglycemia).

Keeping your blood glucose at a healthy level will prevent or slow down diabetes problems. Ask your doctor or diabetes teacher what a healthy blood glucose level is for you. For most people, target blood glucose levels are 80 to 120 before meals, and 100 to 140 at bedtime.

Talk with your health care provider about your blood glucose target levels. Ask your doctor how often you should check your blood glucose. The results from your blood glucose checks will tell you if your diabetes care plan is working. Also, ask your doctor for an A1C test at least twice a year. Your A1C number gives your average blood glucose for the past 3 months.

How can you keep your blood glucose at a healthy level? Follow these tips:

  • Eat about the same amount of food each day
  • Eat your meals and snacks at about the same times each day
  • Do not skip meals or snacks
  • Take your medicines at the same times each day
  • Exercise at about the same times each day

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