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