What exactly is the HbA1c level, and what does it say about your health?
Chances are you don't know the answer.
In this blog, you'll learn exactly what an HbA1c value is. And you'll get 7 tips to improve it easily and fast.
Want a healthy HbA1c range? It's possible!
When diagnosed with type 2 prediabetes, a lot changes in your life within a few weeks. You suddenly have to take scary medication and clean up your diet. You'll also have to deal with routine checkups.
Here, your glucose and HbA1c levels are measured. Chances are you don't have a medical background and therefore don't know what all this means.
It's a good idea to read about this disease and find out what a healthy HbA1c level is. Although you probably know what blood sugar level is, the word 'HbA1c' sounds to most people like something out of a science fiction movie.
But your HbA1c is probably even more important than your blood sugar level in the treatment and potential cure of your type 2 diabetes.
Purpose of this article
Which is why you will learn in this blog exactly what a normal HbA1c range is and what you can do if it's too high. Reading this blog will give you a lot more insight into your own illness.
You will also be stronger and more confident during your regular checks. After all, you know exactly what a good HbA1c test outcome is and whether or not it's necessary to adjust your type 2 diabetes diet even more.
Blood sugar level and HbA1c
It is quite easy to connect 'sugar disease' and 'blood sugar level'. Both indicate 'something' to do with sugar. A glucose measurement measures the amount of sugar (also called glucose) in your blood. This gives a good picture of how severe your type 2 diabetes is. In general, you can say:
The higher your blood sugar level when fasting, the worse your type 2 diabetes is.
If your blood sugar level is 7,0 mmol/L or higher when fasting, you have type 2 diabetes. If you have eaten, your glucose level should not exceed 11,1 mmol/L.
Although your blood sugar level gives a good picture of your type 2 diabetes, it can also give a distorted view. When you are doing a blood test, you only measure the amount of sugar in your body at that precise moment.
But how was your blood sugar level last week?
It is not possible to determine what your blood sugar level was last week. So, why is this bad?
It turns out that your blood sugar levels can fluctuate from day to day. Even from hour to hour. Playing sports and following a diet can have a relatively quick effect on your glucose level. This means that there are three scenarios when measuring your blood sugar level:
What exactly is the meaning of HbA1c?
To prevent your doctor (and you) from getting a misleading impression of your type 2 diabetes, you also need to have your HbA1c level checked. The level indicates the average blood sugar level over the last 8 to 12 weeks. This way, you won't be penalized if you ate unhealthily the day before... and you will be found out if you've been eating unhealthy food for weeks.
Although the term 'HbA1c' sounds very complicated, it's really quite simple. The 'Hb' part of the word stands for hemoglobin.
This is another word for red blood cells. The 'A1c' bit refers to a certain part of a red blood cell that is being measured. To be precise, the 'beta-N-1-deoxy fructosyl' part of a red blood cell.
In your blood vessels, sugars stick to your red blood cells. The more sugar you have in your bloodstream, the more it adheres to the red cells.
Since red blood cells remain alive for about 100 to 120 days, you can measure the average blood sugar level of the past 3 months. This gives a much clearer picture of your type 2 diabetes.
What is a healthy HbA1c level?
Not so long ago, anyone whose hba1c level was higher than 48 mmol/mol (6,5%) was officially classified as diabetic. Recently, however, a nuance has been introduced. The HbA1c reference range now depends on your age and stage. To find out whether your level is normal, or maybe even ideal, we've created this standard HbA1c chart:
This automatically means that the further below 53 mmol/mol you are, the healthier you are. In healthy people, the HbA1c value is even less than 42 mmol/mol. This corresponds to a blood glucose level of 7.0 mmol/L.
Mmol/L, mmol/mol or a percentage?
If you're confused about the difference between mmol/L, mmol/mol and percentages, I'll simplify it for you.
HbA1c is calculated as a percentage or mmol/mol.
You don't have to know the chemical and biological meaning of this.
It's just a way of expressing the amount of sugar that sticks to your red blood cells. In contrast, the level of sugar in your blood is expressed in mmol/L. This unit is used when you go for a blood sugar test.
Use the conversion table below to convert your HbA1c and glucose levels. This way, you don't need a converter to do the calculations.
Tips to improve your HbA1c level
#1 Improve your knowledge of nutrition
Unfortunately, many people do not know what healthy eating is. Although you probably know that a cinnamon roll isn't healthy, you probably wouldn't know whether you can eat fruit as a diabetic or not. After all, fruit contains a lot of sugars... right?
Or does it not matter that a product is sugar-rich as long as it's 'natural'?
These are all excellent questions. But you really need to find out the answers for yourself; otherwise, they'll pile up unanswered. The first step towards a normal HbA1c level is simple:
Look into the matter
You might be surprised, but it's relatively easy to cure type 2 diabetes with food – not to mention improve your HbA1c value. You don't have to do much to accomplish this. But there are a lot of things you must not do!
Broaden your understanding of nutrition!
The first step is to buy a good book. You don't have to get your masters in nutrition – a simple book like The Longevity Code will tell you what you need to know about type 2 diabetes. You'll also find out what healthy eating is and what you should/shouldn't eat to lower your blood sugar level.
#2 More fatty food makes it better
All food on earth consists of 3 simple building blocks:
These three blocks are essential for nutrition. With this threesome, you can do everything from running a marathon to building muscle mass. Food also comes with vital micro-nutrients like fiber, vitamins and minerals, but these are not energy rich. Your body needs them purely to function better.
If you want to lower your HbA1c test result, you'll have to reduce your blood sugar level. Carbs are nothing but a lot of sugars stuck together. It helps to keep your carb consumption down. Protein can, if you eat a lot, be converted into sugars. So not overeating protein is a big plus.
Fats do not affect your sugar and insulin levels
But it's better to eat foods rich in healthy fats.
Fat contains no sugars and cannot be converted into sugars. In addition, it works saturating.
Which makes you less inclined to binge eat. You might even start to think about just eating fats and nothing else 😉
Don't worry about eating a lot of fats. Fatty food does not make you fat. This is because insulin is not released when eating fatty foods. This storage hormone is (in excess) one of the main reason why people get fat.
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#3 Stop buying low-fat products
The best way to eat more fats is to reduce your consumption of fat-free or low-fat products. In low-fat products, part of the fat content is replaced by sugars, which are supposed to be healthy.
Research has shown, however, that the rise in cases of obesity and diabetes since the 1970s, correlates closely with the rise in the popularity and consumption of low-fat products.
There is no reason for eating low-fat products
When you take fats out of food products, they taste nasty. If you've ever eaten low-fat cheese, for example, you'll know that it tastes like cardboard.
To prevent people from throwing up at the awful taste, manufacturers add large quantities of sugars to give low-fat products a semblance of flavour.
The problem, however, is that these sugars are not friendly to your blood sugar level. Especially not for your HbA1c reference range if you eat light products daily. Although light products are promoted as healthy, they are far from it.
The fatter a product, the healthier it is for you. Fat does not affect your blood sugar or insulin levels. Never buy fat-free products. Your body will thank you for it.
#4 Be careful with that serving spoon!
In itself, there is nothing wrong with a full plate. Few people on earth would enjoy a dinner of three lettuce leaves and a glass of water. Eating until you are satisfied is not an unhealthy habit. What can make it unhealthy is what you eat.
Around the world, one product group is cheaper to eat than most others. And most people around the world eat it most of the time – mainly because it can fill your belly for relatively little money, and it doesn't taste too bad. I'm talking about carbs. Think mainly:
Whatever culture you look at, one of these four makes up a large part of their diet. It is, therefore, unfortunate that all these sources of carbohydrates are very unhealthy.
Full of carbohydrates and low in fibers, they are far from ideal. They increase blood sugar levels. And, eaten daily, they take your HbA1c value through the roof.
The more fibers, the better your diabetic HbA1c range
It's best to go for the fiber-rich ('wholemeal') varieties of the products mentioned above.
Because of the additional fiber, carbs are released more slowly and your blood sugar level won't rise as high
Even better, of course, is to serve yourself fewer carbs! After all, prevention is better than cure. Serving less of the wholewheat variety than you usually would is the best way to get a good HbA1c range.
Try to fill half of your plate with vegetables. By this, I don't mean potatoes. I'm talking about real 'vegetables'. Then fill your plate with however much meat you want. And finally, add the carbohydrate source. Because your plate is already quite full by now, you'll be forced to serve yourself fewer carbs. And your body will be grateful for this.
#5 Eat like indigenous peoples
Did you know that type 2 diabetes and other prosperity diseases hardly occur in indigenous populations? You know what I'm talking about – people that live in a remote forest somewhere, far from so-called civilization.
Many population groups who have little or no contact with the western world, do not develop the diseases that we develop.
The main reason is that these people collect and cook "real" food. Now, I've never been to the Amazon, but I do know one thing for sure:
You won't find any supermarkets with unhealthy processed food!
The food these people eat has to be "real" food they can grow, pick, catch and so on. Nothing comes in shiny packaging as seen advertised on TV.
In fact, the healthiest products on earth are products that NEVER get advertised. How often do you see a celebrity promoting broccoli?
Real food cures type 2 diabetes
Unprocessed food is full of fiber and water and contains relatively few carbs. Because of this, you will not eat much of it, and your blood sugar will not rise quickly or very high.
This is the best for your type 2 diabetes and HbA1c range in the short and long term.
Therefore, always ask yourself whether what you are eating now – in its current form – can be found in nature.
If the answer is "no", then you should stop eating it.
Pasta does not grow on trees. You cannot pick cookies. And boxes of fruit juice do not run around freely in the wild. So, don't take them home with you.
#6 Add structure to your life
Your HbA1c increases for one reason only:
You regularly eat unhealthily
Earlier, you read that your HbA1c value is a reflection of your glucose level over the past 8-12 weeks. So this can't mean your blood sugar level has increased because you ate unhealthily for a couple of days.
To get a consistently healthy HbA1c level you need more structure in your diet.
Most people don't know what they're going to eat until they get hungry. Breakfast is usually fixed. But it starts going bad during lunchtime and dinner. Because you want 'variety', chances are that you will make unhealthy choices.
If you plan your meals based on your 'feelings', you will almost always prefer unhealthy products to healthy ones.
Therefore, make yourself a weekly schedule that sets out when and what you will eat. In this way, you can prepare a healthy diet for yourself in advance.
As a result, you are much less likely to eat a cookie instead of an apple, and you will also be purchasing healthy products only.
Make a weekly schedule
If the product is not on your weekly schedule, you should not buy it. Practically, it is easier to make a day '1' and a day '2'. Then you can alternate these days. It is just what you prefer. One person wants more variety and the other wants a simple diet.
#7 Never again worry about your HbA1c
You now know how to get an ideal HbA1c range. But how would you feel if you never had to worry about your HbA1c levels again?
It has recently been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. Everything you need to do this can be found in your local grocery store.
You can reverse type 2 with one powerful principle. It's something I call" The Diabetes-Free Secret." I have written a number of pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:
Enter your e-mail address below, and I will send you the E-book for free.
PS: what do you do to get healthy hba1c levels? Leave a comment below