There is no panel matching the key "MicroAlert"

Published on May 08, 2018

vegetable clocks

Manage blood sugars with meal timing

Nancy L. Ernst, RD, CD, CDE

Gundersen Health System diabetes educators work with patients in one-on-one and group settings and focus on the importance of self-care by balancing medication, activity and food. This includes strategies like timing meals throughout the day.

"We empower patients with the right tools to help them self-manage their diabetes," says Nancy Ernst, registered dietitian and diabetes educator. "Many patients have seen success using a planned meal schedule, which helps manage blood sugar levels."

Eating consistently throughout the day can help patients maintain glycemic control, which helps level blood sugars and reduce complications. "How often a person should eat during the day depends on the individual," Nancy says. "We create a plan for each patient designed to meet their personal needs."

Nancy adds, "It is important diabetes patients remember that a plan for self-managing diabetes is likely to change over time. A patient may see positive results with one method, but that may need to be adjusted in the future for continued success. It is an ongoing process."


  • Eat within 1-1½ hours of waking.
  • Eat every 4-6 hours.
  • Do not skip meals.
  • If eating a carbohydrate, pair with protein.
  • A small evening snack can help maintain blood sugars overnight.
  • Exercise and be active in between meals.

To learn more about meal timing and other helpful diabetes management strategies, visit

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

Stay safe