Doctors used to gauge the success of their treatment of diabetes by measuring fasting blood sugars in the morning. Now we know that the most important blood sugar is 1/2 hour after a meal.

When you eat, blood sugar rises. The higher it rises, the more sugar sticks to cells. Sugar stuck on a cell cannot get off, and is converted to a poison called sorbitol that damages cells to cause heart attacks, strokes, kidney damage, blindness, deafness and so forth. The horrible consequences of uncontrolled diabetes are caused by how high blood sugar rises after meals and blood sugar is at its highest around 20-30 minutes after eating. Therefore, the most important blood sugar reading is 30 minutes after eating and anything a diabetic can do to keep blood sugar levels from rising too high after meals prevents side effects.

Diabetics should reduce their intake of refined carbohydrates such as bakery products, pastas and foods containing added sugars. They should eat sugar-rich root vegetables and fruits only with meals so other foods can keep them in the stomach longer, delaying absorption and preventing blood sugars from rising too high. They should take drugs that prevent blood sugar from rising too high after meals, such as Glucophage and Actos.

S Soonthornpun, C Rattarasarn, R Leelawattana, W Setasuban. Postprandial plasma glucose: a good index of glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients having near-normal fasting glucose levels. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 1999, Vol 46, Iss 1, pp 23-27

Checked 8/8/05

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