Manage blood sugars with meal timing
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."
TIPS FOR MEAL TIMING:
- 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 gundersenhealth.org/nutrition.