Using a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) can help you understand the impact of food, medication, and other factors on your blood sugar. Since your CGM tracks your blood sugar 24/7, it can show you how the foods you eat can help you keep your blood sugar balanced.
Paired checking is checking your blood sugar before and after a meal and/or activity. It shows the cause-and-effect relationship between blood sugar levels and factors such as food and exercise. With a CGM, you don’t have to stop to take a blood sugar reading to understand how different factors affect your blood sugar. Here are the blood sugar ranges recommended by the American Diabetes Association:
- Before meals: Your blood sugar should be between 80-130 mg/dl
- Two hours after meals: Blood sugar should be between 80-180 mg/dL
Your individual targets may be different. Talk with your doctor about targets that are right for you.
The impact your meal has on your blood sugar depends on the size and nutritional makeup of that meal.
Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on your blood sugar. Refined carbohydrates like rice, white bread, and foods that contain sugar increase blood sugar more quickly than higher-fiber carbohydrate foods like vegetables, beans, and whole grains. You may be using carb counting to control the carbs you eat at each meal.
Protein and fat both impact blood sugar, but not as much as carbohydrates. There is no specific recommendation for protein and fat intake. However, it is important to watch the impact that both nutrients have on your blood sugar. This way, you can adjust your meals as needed.
Use the balanced plate model as a guide to keep your portions in check.
If you’re having trouble managing your blood sugar around meals, message a coach through the Livongo app or schedule a coaching session.