Blood sugar control

dietitian tips Dec 11, 2023

If you're wanting to lower your A1C (known also as Hemoglobin A1c or Hgb A1C), the 3 month average of your blood sugar levels, to help prevent yourself from being diabetic. 

OR if you're wanting to reduce blood sugar levels for inflammation and/or weight loss- this blog post is for you. 




       1. Avoiding skipping meals:
          Skipping meals can cause a dip in blood sugar and then if you go too long without eating, the body will release stored blood sugar called glycogen. This can cause an even higher spike in blood sugars  than just eating a balanced meal or snack.
 Most people need 3 meals a day and 1 to 2 snacks a day (depending on their activity level). 

       2. Pairing your carbs (fruit, breads, pastas, potatoes, chips etc) with a protein or fat to help stabilize blood sugars. 

  • The stomach empties carbohydrates out of your stomach first, then protein, and last fats. Think of it as your stomach is as fast as its slowest entity. If you ate just an apple, you’d digest that fast and even though it’s super healthy for us, it can cause an increase in blood sugar bigger than what you may want. Adding a protein/fat with that apple can help slow the release of those carbs into the bloodstream.
    • For this example, we can pair that apple with nuts, or no sugar added nut butter, cheese, or even a beef jerky. 



       3. Ensure meals have enough protein: 

  • The RDA (recommended daily allowance) for protein is 0.8g/kg of body weight. I find most people need at least 1.1-1.2g/kg of body weight. 
  • For a 180lb female lifting weights a few times a week, her protein intake for the day would come to 98g protein. 
    180lbs divided by 2.2 = 81.8kg. 
    1.8kg x 1.2 = 98g protein per day
    This would come out to about 25-30g protein/meal x 3 meals plus room for snacks


      4.  Eat complex carbohydrates, as able. 

  • Complex carbs is a fancy way of saying the carb has fiber with it. Think brown rice vs white rice or sweet potato vs a cookie. Now do I eat my white rice? Yes! I prefer white rice as white rice has less arsenic that brown rice BUT I do often add milled flaxseed to my rice after it's been cooked and ensure I'm adding in enough protein and fiber rich vegetables (both of which will help prevent spike in blood sugars). 
    • FUN FACT: You can make starch resistant carbs by refrigerating or freezing your carbs. 
      • Try cooking rice, potatoes, beans, and pasta a day in advance and cool in the refrigerator overnight. It's ok to reheat the starch before eating. Reheating doesn't decrease the amount of resistant starch.


Be mindful of sugary beverages and fried foods. 

  • Juice, soda, coffee with added sugar/creamers, teas etc. Liquid will digest fast and cause a spike in blood sugars.
  • Many people don’t realize how much fried foods will cause a spike in blood sugars, but they do! I have some patients with elevated blood sugars not from eating or drinking sugary foods but from eating a lot of fried foods. Think about it- fried foods are coated in a breading and even if you put those frozen fried foods in the air fryer, you'll still have the increase spike in blood sugars
    • A study found that people that ate fried food more often tend to have more inflammation and less beneficial bacteria, both that can contribute to elevations in blood sugars and/or insulin resistance (1).



  • Physical activity can lower your blood glucose up to 24 hours or more after your workout by making your body more sensitive to insulin (2).  Exercise helps in two main ways: 
    • Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity (2).
    • When your muscles contract during activity, your cells are able to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not (2). 


Stress reducing tools:



Improving your blood sugars won't happen overnight but every smart choice you make will lead you one step closer! Remember health journeys are marathons and they're not linear, meaning expect to have some ups and downs. Expect to make a "whoops that wasn't the smartest choice" and learn from it (also know that perfection doesn't exist and letting yourself have some of the foods you want is important. 


Here's an example of how eating smart carbs throughout the day can work and please know this is not for you to follow to a T. I'm a dietitian, not customizing this to you. So please seek advice from your dietitian or sign up for a session with me here: 

1.  1 hour nutrition session with health plan :

2. 1 hour nutrition session without health plan :




 Sample day of eating with blood sugar control in mind: 

Breakfast: 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1-1.5 cups cooked vegetables, topped 1/4 - 1/2 avocado and salsa (or make it Asian influenced with sesame seeds, soy sauce, and gochujang)

Lunch:  3-4oz cooked chicken, 1 cooked sweet potato, 1 cup mixed vegetables

Snack: 1/4 cup nuts and 1 apple

Dinner: Homemade cheese burger on brioche bun with a side salad and beans 







1)   Fried Foods, Gut Microbiota, and Glucose Metabolism, Lu Qi,  2021 Sep; 44(9): 1907–1909. Published online 2021 Aug 26. doi: 10.2337/dci21-0033


3) Stress-Induced Diabetes: A Review, Monitoring Editor: Alexander Muacevic and John R Adler, Kapil Sharma,et all,  2022 Sep; 14(9): e29142. Published online 2022 Sep 13. doi: 10.7759/cureus.29142