When sugar is testing high before a meal

Hey guys,

I am looking for advice as to what I should be eating if my sugar is testing high before a meal. I do know that meal skipping is bad but their is nothing that you can eat that will bring down high numbers is there? In general I understand that high carbs will create high blood sugars. So if I am eating reasonably and trying to control my diabetes with diet and exercise what should I eat if I have high numbers right before lunch. Won’t anything I eat (no matter how healthy) continue to elevate my numbers? Is this an indicator that I need metformin?

My rule is to eat food low on the glycemic index, or free foods, like veggies. I usually keep a bag of salad specifically for that purpose, plus some fruit that I know doesn’t sugar me up so fast.

I agree as I do the same thing. If my numbers are high; I have salad for lunch.
The best fruits that I have found to munch on in very small amounts would be any kind of fresh berry. If you want to add meat to the salad try turkey,or tuna (plain) or grilled chicken with spices added only. ( No breading!) I really like to add crab (even if it is cheap imitation.)
Just dont go without eating something small.

Thanks for the advice. That’s pretty much what I was thinking but I needed some confirmation that it’s the right thing to do. Hopefully, I can continue on without meds.

If you are only correcting with diet, and are high you pretty much have to avoid carbs completely. Meat, cheese, spinach, romaine, greenbeans, a walnut or two.

The lw glycemic index stuff will still raise your blood sugar if it has carbs in it. Often a lot.

Thanks Jenny. I guess that makes total sense. I thought there would still be a rise if it had carbs.

Dan, did you ever figure out a new log book to fit in the case?
I’m still on the hunt:)

If I’m high before a meal I just leave out the carbs (or have an insulin jab and wait - but that’s not an option for you obviously).

Not eating at all can actually push your BGs UP as your liver encourages your body to produce some glucose for energy since it thinks you’re starving. A good salad or some ‘free’ foods will satisfy your body and give your pancreas a break.

Why not start metformin?

hi if your high you pretty much have to eat free foods & a low carb lunch depending on how high your #’ is. cheese some friut & arrowroot cookies are good to eat,you can have alot of them.Try these & kept an eye on what happens,untill you get next #’.let me know if that worked.

NO carbs.

Carbs you ate at your previous meal are what raise your blood sugar. So if you are high you are eating too much carb at your PREVIOUS meal.

If you eat nothing but healthy meat, cheese and eggs, that have no carbs, your blood sugar will drop.

If you have diabetes NO food that raises your blood sugar is “healthy” no matter what benefits it might have for someone whose body is able to process carbohdyrate.

I eat what I want, I use my wonderful bolus wizard and just take more insulin. Pretty much works without any serious issues. Personally, I try an keep it simple, changing what you eat, avoiding carbs, way too much messing around. Why make it more difficult than it needs to be? Just my 2 cents.

That is not exactly a true statement “So if you are high you are eating too much carb at your PREVIOUS meal.” If you use a pump or needle injections and bolus using fast acting insulin you may just not calculated your carbs correctly, resulting in higher BG. Too many people worry about their carb intake, nutritionists will tell you low carb all the time. People who carb count and bolus can pretty much eat what they want. It may not be healthy to eat that much but if they do it correctly their BG will be just fine.

Amen. NO carbs. Period.

And to Jenny - I found your “For the Newly Diagnosed” in February when I was diagnosed–totally out of the blue–with diabetes. Told to follow the ADA insane diet and that I should be happy if I ever had an A1c of 7.0. Something didn’t seem right about that advice, so I trolled the 'net; found your page; bought a glucometer (the M.D. hadn’t bothered to tell me to test); found a new physician who has higher expectations for her patients. After three months of testing every mouthful, I found my “magic number” of carbs to reach my blood glucose goal of an a1c of less than 5.5%. 60 grams per day of leafy vegetables, no grains, no legumes, fruit limited to berries, meat, cheese, eggs, poultry and seafood. Etc., etc. The result: just got latest A1c yesterday: 5.2% and ideal lipids across the board. THANK YOU. Now, to get under 5.0% . . . the next target.


If you’re taking insulin, then what you say is absolutely true. Dan (the original poster), however, is not taking any medication at this point – diet and exercise only – so simple for him is eating as few carbs as possible.

Each of us here is dealing with a different set of difficulties and issues. I’ve tried a “no carb” diet (Atkins, actually) and ended up nauseous after about three days. I’ve found that I can’t really go below about 80 carbs a day without feeling terrible, so I have to take oral meds to compensate for the carbs I eat. So “easy” for me is oral meds and around 100g of carbs a day… that way I can still eat with my family a “normal” meal and don’t have to deny the things I like (fruit and beans, occasional rice, pasta, or breads). This works for me, but may not work for someone else. I don’t have the willpower to eat what I want and bolus to cover – I’d weigh over 200 pounds!

Everybody’s body is different. What might not raise the blood sugar of someone else may raise your blood sugar. The body does need some carbs for energy. My doctor has told me to go with complex carbs. Since they don’t digest as fast, you are at lower risk of having high blood sugars from the carbs. I eat what I want and just take the extra insulin to cover it and my hba1c is just fine. Just had one done yesterday and it was low and the doctor was very happy with it. You need to find what works for you. I can eat all the right foods and still have a high blood sugar because stress and illness affect my blood sugar. So your blood sugar may not be being affected by what you eat at lunch, it could just be you are under a lot of stress as well. When I do have a high blood sugar I pretty much do cut out virtually all carbs until it drops. Also drink a lot of water if your blood sugar is high, that will help your kidneys flush out the excess sugar and will bring your blood sugar down as well.

There are (or can be) three tools in your arsenal. Diet, exercise, and medication. None of the three are inherently good or bad. They are simply tools. It has been my experience that resisting any one of these that I need adds stress and unnecessary regimentation to my lifestyle. If your pre-meal blood sugars are elevated, it may be time to add metformin or other medication to the mix. This does not mean you are failing, it means you are being smart about employing all of the tools in the arsenal. Another thing you might try is to go for a brisk walk and see if that brings your numbers down. But that may not be practical in all circumstances unless you have a lot of flexibility in your day. I am Type 1, and now on a pump, but had a relatively slow onset and was initially misdiagnosed as T2 due to my age (27 at onset). I thought I could “beat” diabetes with diet and exercise, and viewed going on insulin as bad, or some kind of failure. Looking back, I can see how warped my thinking was, actually a form of denial. Don’t put yourself through that. Use everything you have available to live well with diabetes.


FWIW, I think the liver dump effect isnt’ as common in the typical Type 2 as it is in people who are insulin deficient. I believe for a glucose dump to happen, the blood sugar has to drop pretty low or the insulin level has to drop. But many type 2s have fairly high blood sugars all the time and fairly high insulin levels, thanks to IR.

So 'm pretty sure not eating probably will lower blood sugar for a Type 2 on diet alone, not raise it.

I know this is old, but i have been searching the forum for help. Yet again, you have the answer. That’s pretty much what I found. So I really can’t eat any carbs until I get on some kind of medication. I was afraid that might be the case. Oh well.


You have Type 2 diabetes and a low A1c, which suggests that you have some basal and/or second phase insulin response left.

Since that is the case, eating no carbs will allow your residual insulin secretion to catch up with that high and lower it, so eating a no or low carb meal will work well.

It is only when people have no insulin secretion as in Type 1 or advanced Type 2 (where they have allowed glucose toxicity from blood sugars over 180 mg/dl day in and day out to kill more beta cells) that blood sugar will continue to rise even without carbs being eaten.

Metformin can be very helpful because it blocks the dumping of glucose by the liver which is a problem for many of us. I’m not significantly insulin resistant, but boy does my liver like to dump glucose so metformin will make a difference in my post-meal numbers.

It’s cheap and worth trying if you have achieved that great A1c by cutting out almost all carbs and are having problems even then.

OTOH, I found that after three years of excellent results with metformin, it started to give me undesireable side effects and I had to stop taking it. So it might be worth waiting until you really need it to start it. Hard to say.

Hi Dan,
Lots of good suggestions and recommendations here but will they work for you? Since you are trying to control your blood sugar with diet and exercise. My suggestion is to use your glucose meter a little more to find out for yourself what different foods do to your blood sugar. Test before eating and 2 hours after. Maybe you need to get better at portion control. It’s not just the food type but the amount that you eat that raises blood sugar. You might also want to see what a brisk walk does to your blood sugar. Test before you go and when you get back. It’s a lot of testing but you will get good answers to your questions. Taking meds if you need them to control your blood sugar is not such a bad thing. Complications due to high blood sugar is.