Although the medical community has made great strides in diabetes management, there are still some
aspects of glucose management that can be confusing to both patients and medical professionals alike.
To help you effectively manage your diabetes, we’ve compiled a list of five terms that you should
become familiar with in order to properly care for yourself. If you have questions about these terms or
any others, ask your doctor or nurse so that you can maintain good control over your diabetes and
prevent health complications from occurring.
1) The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a system that ranks carbohydrate-containing foods according to how much they
raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a high glycemic index are those that cause a rapid rise in blood
sugar, while foods with a low glycemic index are those that cause a slow, gradual rise. The glycemic
index can be useful for people with diabetes, as it can help them choose foods that will not cause spikes
in their blood sugar levels.
High glycemic index foods cause an increase in blood sugar levels, which can be problematic if you have
diabetes. These foods typically are sweeter or starchy, and they’re digested very quickly by your body.
According to health experts, eating high glycemic index foods can lead to insulin resistance and elevated
triglyceride levels. On the other hand, low glycemic index foods cause a slow rise in blood sugar and can
help you manage your blood glucose levels better than high GI foods. Low GI foods tend to be non-
starchy vegetables, some fruit, whole grains and certain types of legumes.
2) Understanding Insulin (How it works, what you should know)
Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. It is produced by the pancreas and
released into the bloodstream after eating. Insulin helps cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream and
allows the body to use it for energy. Without insulin, glucose builds up in the blood, causing health
3) Fasting Insulin
Fasting insulin is a blood test that measures the level of insulin in your body after you have fasted for at
least 8 hours. This test is used to help diagnose type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. A fasting insulin level of
5 mIU/mL or higher suggests insulin resistance, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. A fasting insulin
level between 3 and 5 mIU/mL is considered normal.
To get a fasting insulin test, your doctor will ask you to fast overnight. Typically, you’ll need to abstain
from food and drink (except water) for at least 8 hours before giving a blood sample. If your fasting
insulin level is normal, it’s likely that you’re not insulin resistant. However, if your level is higher than
normal, it’s worth seeing a doctor who can help guide you through treatment options. The good news is
that prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are both completely preventable if caught early enough and easy
treatments—such as exercise or medication—can help bring levels back into range.
4) Carbohydrate Counting
Carbohydrate counting is a method of managing blood sugar levels that involves tracking the amount of
carbohydrates you eat and drink throughout the day. By knowing how many carbs are in your food, you
can better control your blood sugar levels.
Many people with diabetes use carbohydrate counting in combination with other glucose management
methods. Although there are some differences in how they do it, counting carbs generally involves:
Eating three meals and two snacks each day; Measuring or estimating grams of carbohydrates in each
food you eat; Recording your carb intake at each meal and snack; Keeping track of your carb intake over
time to identify patterns or problems.
5) BGs in the Afternoon/Evening
Your body’s natural insulin production usually starts to decrease in the afternoon and evening hours.
This means that your blood sugar may start to rise during this time, even if you haven’t eaten anything
since lunch. To help prevent this, you can:
– Eat a small snack with protein and fat around 3 pm.
– Exercise regularly in the afternoon and evening.
– Avoid eating high-carb foods close to bedtime.