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How to Use a Glucose Meter to Create Your Own Personal Diabetes Diet**

If you have diabetes, are you using your glucose meter every day?  Well, hereís a really clever way to use your meter to help you track your blood sugar response to foods you eat every day....and you can create your own personal glycemic index diet!

The originators of the glycemic index actually did this with groups of test subjects, to see what effects certain foods had on their blood sugar levels.  Then, they averaged the results to create the glycemic index list of foods.  But, did you know that individuals often have quite different reactions to certain foods?  Even the official glycemic index list of foods has a range for each number, about 5 points up or down for a total of 10 points.  As you can see, this could make any listed food better or worse for your diet.

Start with your glucose meter
and a notebook

In order to do these personal tests, you will need to buy a spiral bound notebook where you can keep detailed records of your results.  Next, youíll want to start measuring your blood glucose levels with your glucose meter at certain times of the day.

Your first measurement will be before you eat breakfast.  Youíll want to find out what your blood sugar level is first thing in the morning.  Next, add a detailed list of exactly what you eat for breakfast in your notebook with the time of the meal.  About an hour after you eat breakfast, use your glucose meter again and record both the number and time in your notebook. 

Do the same thing at lunch and dinner (test your blood sugar both before you eat and 1 hour afterwards).  Finally, at the end of the day, use your glucose meter just before going to bed Ė record the time and your blood glucose number.

After a week or two of using your glucose meter regularly during the day, you should have an interesting record of your blood sugar fluctuations.  Some of these readings may be quite high while at other times your levels may be much more stable.  As you know, the ideal is to keep your blood sugar levels stable and between 90-130 if possible.

What you have uncovered using your glucose meter is the beginning of your own glycemic index list diet.  Because everyone has different reactions to different foods, doing these tests can help you to find exactly the right diet for you.

Use your glucose meter to test your reactions to individual foods

If you decide to test individual foods, be sure to consult with your doctor to discuss your plans.  It would be best to discuss these ideas with your health professional before you embark on these single food tests.  Itís also a good idea to start by testing safe protein foods (eggs, fish, cottage cheese, poultry or meat) or low glycemic index foods individually as they will not cause blood sugar spikes like some other foods do.

Now that youíve decided to test one food at a time, you could start with breakfast.  If you like eggs, try them without other foods. If you drink tea or coffee, use no-cal sweetener.  Continue to use your glucose meter to record your blood sugar reactions to these foods.  Eat a normal lunch and dinner while still recording your numbers.

Once youíve exhausted breakfast possibilities, try various foods for lunch and see what happens.  Then you might want to try one food at dinner to see what happens to your blood sugar in the evening.  As you may know, itís not healthy to have high blood sugar at night because it will damage your body more than at other times of the day (if it stays high all night).

Use your glucose meter to find out which foods are best for you. 

One of the great benefits of doing these glucometer tests is that you will find out which foods keep your blood sugar stable so you can eat them at night, preventing the problem of overnight high blood sugar.

An even greater benefit is that if you create your own diabetes diet, you may be able to control your blood sugar without medication.  If youíre able to keep your blood sugar within normal levels, you wonít suffer the serious consequences of chronic high blood glucose levels.

** WARNING:  If you have diabetes, never change your diet or medication levels without discussing this with your doctor.



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