Ask Leyla: How can I lower my HgbA1c?

| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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Q: Six months ago, my HgbA1c was 5.9 which was very concerning but now my most recent bloodwork indicates it’s up to 6.5. 

I’m on a low carb diet, and the only remaining sugars in my diet result from three carrot juices (4 oz. carrot and 4 oz. celery) daily and three servings of fruit, usually apples or berries. This is part of an anti-cancer protocol I am on after having had a breast lumpectomy three years ago. 

Since diet and exercise (40 minutes on the treadmill, 4 times a week) haven’t helped me lower my A1c, are there any supplements that might help? I am thin at 105 pounds at 5’2”, and 65 years old. Other than this, I feel healthy.

A: I’m afraid your A1c is in the range of diabetes (greater than 6.4). This is an excellent example of how slim individuals can become diabetic. It’s all about the food. Since you now have this condition defined as carbohydrate intolerance, and given our knowledge that cancer loves sugar, it’s time to reevaluate your cancer protocol. 

I would strongly urge you to swap out those high glycemic carrots in your daily juice with other greens like kale, arugula, spinach, various lettuces, greens like dandelion, parsley, cilantro and other herbs—basically everything you might include in a bowl of salad. Add a little avocado too, for healthy fats and to blunt any impact on your blood sugar. You’ll be getting plenty of nutrients from your greens as you were with carrots, including beta-carotene, but without all the sugar. 

Secondly, three servings of fruit is too much given your most recent A1c. Limit it to just one or two servings per day, concentrating on very low glycemic fruits such as berries, Granny Smith apple, kiwifruit, plums and grapefruit (avoid grapefruit if you’re currently taking medications which interact with grapefruit—there are many). 

Given that you’ve had cancer and now have diabetes, it is imperative for you to follow up with a qualified nutritionist for a full assessment in order to correct the diabetes and lower your risk of any further cancers, as well as to review all supplements and/or medications you may be taking to ensure there are no interactions. 

To your health!

Leyla Muedin has clients all over the country via telephone consultations. No need to travel to New York City for a nutrition consult. Should you require her services, please call our office to set up an appointment: (212) 779-1744.


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