As diabetics, we tend to manage our blood sugar pretty much from moment to moment, especially when it comes to measuring the effect that certain foods may have on it. For instance, we'll eat something and then see what our PP readings are, which means basically looking to measure the peak of our blood sugar in response to the food.
So this is certainly a good idea, we do want to see how things spike us, but that's only one effect of a meal and it can affect you beyond this short time frame as well. So this is why you want to also focus on how a certain pattern of eating, or any changes that you make to your treatment, affects average blood sugar.
This is all good information actually although average readings are even more important, yet a lot of diabetics, and even a lot of very diligent ones, will tend to give too much weight to immediate blood sugar responses to food and not look at the bigger picture enough.
For instance I found out early on that things that may raise me up a little more right away may sometimes produce lower blood sugar overall. Now this may or may not be the case with you but the important thing is to be aware of the possibility of this and take this other data into account as well.
I've also seen instances where a certain treatment, particularly certain supplements, may raise blood sugar quite a bit initially, and unmistakably so, like berberine for instance, for a period as long as a week or 10 days, and then things start to turn around and you end up with significantly lower blood sugar after a little more time passes.
There are good reasons for this sort of thing sometimes and we must realize that there are adjustments that are often made, and the beneficial effects of something on the body do not always emerge immediately, and often times they don't.
This is the case with diet as well and the best example that I can think of is what we tend to see with high fiber diets and their effect on diabetes. Changes in the gut can take a long time to manifest, and in studies comparing low and higher carbohydrate diets, what we tend to see is that the low carb diets initially do better, bit over time, in some cases anyway, the higher carb diets that are very high in fiber tend to be more effective in managing blood sugar.
Here's an interesting article that talks about this a little.
So after 3 months, the low carb diet was clearly ahead in terms of beta cell function, but when we fast forward to a year into the study, beta cell function was actually better on the higher carb and higher fiber diet, by 25 percent, which is a very significant amount.
So this is believed to be due to the high fiber diet's more positive effect upon a hormone that is very important to diabetes, called GLP-1, which is secreted by the gut. There are a couple of classes of medication that raises this, although it's certainly preferable to raise it naturally, and as it turns out fiber raises it naturally, but it takes quite a bit of time to do so.
So this should give us some real food for thought as far as the time frames we should be considering, and while we obviously can't wait a year or more to make decisions regarding our treatment, we should look at data like this and take it into account.
However what is clear is that we really don't want to make the mistake of being too myopic and treat ourselves based upon very short term blood sugar readings, if we're out to do the best for ourselves and make the best choices.