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Controlling Your Blood Sugar

For seniors, one of the biggest risks to health is diabetes. If you have it, you’ve undoubtedly been to the doctor before about it, and if you don’t have it, the importance of not developing it has probably been made clear to you. Diabetes has such a wide-ranging and negative effect on all aspects of bodily health, that management of it becomes one of your primary health concerns. And with diabetes, the first and most important step is managing your blood sugar.

While the medical definition of high blood sugar is levels over 180mg/dl, symptoms often do not occur until 200mg/dl or much higher. Because you can have high blood sugar, causing damage throughout your body on an imperceptible level, regularly checking your blood sugar is very important. Since it varies from person to person, check with your doctor about when the best time to check your blood sugar is.

Diet is the most important factor. A high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. With carbs too, there are actually two types of carbohydrates. Simple carbs, like refined flour, white bread, sugar, or pasta, are quickly broken down by the body and can spike blood sugar to dangerous levels. Complex carbs, like the ones in whole grains, some fruits, and other foods, take longer for your body to process, and elevate blood sugar a smaller amount, over a longer period of time.

Increasing fiber intake can also lower your blood sugar, in addition to having a whole host of other beneficial effects, like lowering bad cholesterol and improving digestion.