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How To Lower A1C

By June 29, 2017February 14th, 2021Nutrition Education

How To Lower A1C

I work with a lovely woman with Type 1 diabetes who said something so striking to me, “Maria, I wish I would gain weight when I cheated. We are a vain society. I know that I have internal inflammation but since I don’t see it on the outside I have a hard time staying on your keto meal plans.” She was right. She had terrible internal inflammation. Her A1C was 11.5 and she had a stroke. Jennifer was only 28 and just had a baby girl that she needed to stay healthy for but the addiction for carbs and sugar was getting the best of her. She also was right; we are a vain society. It isn’t until we look unhealthy on the outside that we finally change bad eating habits.

When clients tell me that their doctor told them, “Don’t worry, eat whatever you want, just make sure you cover your glucose with insulin,” it’s like saying to a firefighter, “Don’t worry, pour as much gasoline as you like on that fire, as long as you cover it with enough water.” It is absolutely dangerous and irrational. In this case, I suggest finding a new doctor who will encourage you to eat a keto-adapted diet while watching your need for insulin. There is also a Facebook group called “typeonegrit” that has a whole group of people managing their type 1 diabetes with diet and is a great source for how to adjust your insulin and adapt to this lifestyle.

We have helped many type 1 diabetics achieve A1c levels below 5.0! Following this lifestyle and adjusting your insulin as needed can result in very good blood sugar control.

Cutting carbohydrates lowers inflammation and WILL lower A1c!

A1c is a test that estimates the average blood glucose levels of the last 3 months. This is a great indicator of how well you have managed your blood glucose and also is a great indicator of health. Figure 1 shows that the higher your A1c, the more likely you are to get cardiovascular disease or stroke.

Figure 1: Correlation of Heart Disease and stroke to A1c levels.


A1c also has a strong correlation to cancer. This is shown in figure 2.

Figure 2: A1c versus cancer risk.

So A1c can be a great indicator of risk for many disease, not to mention metabolic syndrome and diabetes. An A1c above 6.5 or higher is considered diabetic. But the treatment targets for diabetics is only 7 or less.

What is A1C?

A1c is a blood test that analyzes the glycated hemoglobin. Red blood cells have a lifespan of about 4 months. So that is why this test gives you an average of the glucose concentration over the last 3 months.

You really want your A1c (as you can see in the charts) to be less than 5.4 and ideally less than 5.0. And yes, even type 1 diabetics following this lifestyle routinely see A1c’s below 5.0. This puts you in the best (least risk) spot for many disease including stroke, diabetes (type 2), heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and much more.

A1c can be a really good indicator of overall health and longevity so working on getting it down A1c down is a good idea for everyone.


I LOVE getting photo testimonies like this!

This photo was posted on my group The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse group (click HERE to join). Not only does he look amazing, his A1c went from 12.9 to 5.2 in only months of eating from my book The 30 Day Ketogenic Cleanse (which has complete meal plans and grocery lists)!

Click HERE to find the book on SALE today!

Thank you for your love and support!

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Susan says:


    I started my Keto Jouney with my husband in september, together we have lost over 100 pounds. My A1c went from 5.8 last year, to 5.0 this year. God and Keto get all the credit!

  • Don says:

    What units are you using for A1c? Mine are mmol/L.

  • Lisa says:

    So, if I had my physical 1.5 months after I started doing low carb, it wouldn’t necessarily show “true” results for A1C? I ask because my A1C was 5.8 last time I went but I had started doing low carb 1.5 months before and had already lost about 20lbs. I was so disappointed that it was showing pre-diabetic, although it was still slightly lower than last time, which was in 2014 (6.0). Sadly, my cholesterol numbers looked worse than last time, which was surprising. I go back after 6 months so I’m hoping things stabilize by then and my numbers are more accurate.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Correct, you would just see partial. Another test in 3 months would show you the improvements from this lifestyle. And over time it can continue to come down while keto. 🙂

  • linda says:

    People need to stop worrying about cholesterol. Our bodies make it! If your doctor doesn’t understand this you need to find another one. Please help stop the madness!!

  • Robin says:

    I’m trying to lower my A1c even more than I already have. I thought this article was going to give more information and not just be another promotion for selling your book and products. Bummer. I will get my help elsewhere. Your site has become a disappointment and I’m sad when I see people blindly following you like with the flax/chia “information”. People need to do their own research and realize that anything taken in huge amounts can be unhealthy.

    • Leena says:

      She is not promoting her books but is promoting incredible information for long term health. How you find her diggtbsnd newsletter dissapointing is simply shocking!

    • Dana says:

      Yeah, anything taken in huge amounts can be unhealthy. Some things taken in smaller amounts are unhealthy. Seeds in general take more away from you than they give, and we’re simian primates. We can argue all day long about whether primates are supposed to be herbivores or omnivores but one thing they are not is seed-eaters. That’s rat food. That’s bird food. Are you a rat or a bird? Didn’t think so.

      Nuts, OK, they’re not quite as harmful and it helps that they have thick shells, which means they don’t have to be as high in antinutrients since they have something physically protecting them, but you can still screw up your insulin sensitivity eating too many of them. We’re not squirrels either.

      But stamp your little foot and throw your little snit. Whatever.

  • joanie says:

    Hi I was reading your article on Facebook my twin posted for me to look at cause I’m a diabetic. I see you say type 1 a lot, what about type 2 diabetes? It’ not that I eat bad or too much it’s that I am on a fixed income on disability and now with barely anymore state help so barely eating at all. Just started trulicity a few mos ago and getting ready to check my A1c in a couple weeks. I have missed insulin cause I haven’t eaten and had to take dextrose my twin got me for christmas and ran out. I’m not doing this on purpose. I see a nutriontist this coming week and would be willing to talk to her about this new eating style. Is it affordable? How many times a day do I have to eat and snack? That’s just a couple general questions.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      I have helped tons of type 2 diabetics with this lifestyle. Most no longer require any insulin. And most people find they spend less on food with this lifestyle. 🙂

  • Mary says:

    Oh my, I have read some of the replays and realize people are not being educated by their docs at all. The meds for diabetics are aimed only at lowering the a1c. The damage continues while people are taking their pills.

    Buyer beware…. my brother, 57, took his first diabetic drug and died in bed that night. Some of the meds today are dangerous

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. Yes, any prescription drug comes with risks and side effects.

  • krickt says:

    it’s like saying to a firefighter, “Don’t worry, pour as much gasoline as you like on that fire, as long as you cover it with enough water.”
    I’m posting this to twitter in just a bit. This is classic! I will of course reference you.

    As a teacher (a science teacher at that) it has been frustrating to watch parents basically drown their diabetic kids with carbs. This quote is a fantastic way to illustrate to them in a way they can understand. Maybe it will help them pummel their doctors with logic as well.

    • Maria Emmerich says:


    • Dana says:

      Parents of T1D kids as a general rule get REALLY ANGRY when you suggest to them that carb-and-chase is not such a great approach to T1D management. “How can you tell my kid they can’t have sweets?” Easy. Look at the kid. “You can’t have sweets.” Up to a point, anyway. I mean, the internet’s full of recipes for safer substitutes now. Learn how to cook? …Nah. That’s too simple. Let’s yell at the blogger instead.

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