Did you know that your metabolic health can significantly impact your overall wellbeing? According to research, only 12 percent of American adults are metabolically healthy, which means many adults have higher risk factors for various health conditions, including insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease.
Luckily, there are a variety of lab tests that can give you insights into your metabolic health. An important thing to keep in mind is that your metabolism is constantly changing. So, it's a good idea regularly test for various conditions.
1. You'll be able to spot problems early.
2. You can tailor your diet and exercise routine to your specific needs.
3. You'll have a better understanding of how your body responds to different foods and activities.
4. You can catch potentially serious health problems before they become serious.
5. You'll feel more confident about your health and wellness journey.
By understanding more about the types of lab tests available, you can work with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re doing everything to maintain good health.
An important thing to remember here is not to take any of this information as medical advice. So, while we’ve given you some recommendations for typical healthy readings, remember that these will change based on your specific needs, body type, and other health conditions you may have.
Whether you’re trying to pick a lab test, read test results or make lifestyle changes based on that, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional like your primary care physician. They will be able to check your health history to see what laboratory tests are best for your needs. In the meantime, here’s a little more about each one:
The fasting glucose test is a simple blood test used to assess your risk for diabetes. The test is typically done in the morning before you have eaten breakfast—it will check your blood sugar levels after at least eight hours of fasting.
A fasting glucose test is a helpful tool for identifying people most at risk of diabetes who may benefit from lifestyle changes or medication.
If your fasting blood sugar level is between 100 and 125 mg/dL, you may be at risk of prediabetes. If your fasting blood sugar level is 126 mg/dL or higher on two different occasions, you may be at risk of diabetes.
Like fasting glucose levels, this gives you some information about your insulin but only provides a snapshot of what's happening in a fasted state.
The fasting insulin levels test is a blood test that measures the amount of insulin in your body. It can help diagnose type 2 diabetes, which occurs when your body doesn't produce enough insulin or doesn't use it properly.
The test is usually done in the morning before you've eaten anything. The normal range for fasting insulin levels is four to 25 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL). While a fasting insulin level of 25 mcg/dL or higher is typically a sign of type 2 diabetes, you will need further testing to confirm a diagnosis.
In one study investigating insulin resistance, subjects who were nonobese maintained fasting insulin of five to seven uIU/mL. There is some evidence that fasting insulin more than nine is associated with pre-diabetes.
The NutriSense Nutrition Team recommends aiming for fasting insulin levels between two to eight mcg/dL.
The HDL cholesterol test is a blood test that measures the level of HDL cholesterol in your body. HDL cholesterol is "good" cholesterol because it helps remove other types of cholesterol from your arteries.
Why test for HDL? Having good HDL cholesterol levels can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. The blood test is usually part of a lipid panel that includes LDL cholesterol and triglycerides tests.
To prepare for the test, you will need to fast for 12 hours before your appointment.
Also, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages or caffeine for at least 24 hours before the test. Remember to check with your healthcare provider to see if there are any other restrictions.
Seeing a higher number on your test results indicates higher HDL cholesterol levels in your blood. The NutriSense Nutrition Team recommends aiming for values >60. This value is optimal in protecting against cardiovascular disease.
A triglycerides test measures the triglycerides in your blood, usually in conjunction with the cholesterol test mentioned above. A person's total cholesterol level includes HDL (good) cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglycerides.
If you have a high triglyceride level (compared to your HDL and LDL levels) may be a sign of heart disease. Too much triglyceride in your blood can also cause pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ that produces enzymes that help digest food.
If your triglycerides level is high, your doctor may order additional tests to check for health conditions that may be causing it. Treatment for high triglycerides may include lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising, and medications.
According to this meta-analysis, subjects with triglyceride levels less than 90 mg/dL had no significant risk of all-cause mortality and had a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
The NutriSense Nutrition Team recommends aiming for values <150. If you have concerns about your triglycerides level after you get your test results, it’s best to consult with your doctor.
The Triglyceride/HDL Ratio test is a simple, non-fasting blood test that can help assess your risk of heart disease. The test measures the ratio of triglycerides (a type of fat) to HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.
A high triglyceride/HDL ratio is a marker for atherosclerosis, which is plaque buildup in the arteries.
The Triglyceride/HDL Ratio test can help determine whether you are at increased risk for heart disease.
The test is usually part of a routine physical exam or lipid panel. It’s important to note that this is not a diagnostic test for heart disease. If your ratio is high, it does not necessarily mean that you have heart disease, but it does indicate that you may be at increased risk.
The ratio is calculated by dividing your triglyceride level by your HDL cholesterol level. A high ratio indicates an increased risk of heart disease, while a low ratio indicates a lower risk.
The NutriSense Nutrition Team recommends aiming for a triglyceride to HDL ratio of less than 1. But remember that the exact level will vary depending on other factors like your age and sex.
A blood pressure test is not technically a lab test—you won’t have to give blood samples or get test results from a lab. But the routine test deserves a spot on this list because it’s a test that can give you an idea of other health conditions you may be at risk of.
The test measures the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. It usually uses an inflatable arm cuff and mercury or aneroid manometer. A mercury manometer is a device that uses mercury to measure blood pressure.
An aneroid manometer does not use mercury. Your health care provider may also use a digital blood pressure device that uses sensors to measure your blood pressure in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).
As the cuff on your arm deflates, you’ll hear a few sounds. The first is the sound of your heartbeat; it’s called systolic pressure.
The diastolic pressure, which is the second sound, is when blood flow begins again. Blood pressure readings have two numbers, such as 120/80 mm Hg.
The top number is the systolic pressure measuring the force your heart generates when it contracts and pumps blood through your arteries. The bottom is diastolic pressure, which measures blood's force against arterial walls between heartbeat contractions.
A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mmHg. If your systolic blood pressure is 120 to 139, or your diastolic blood pressure is 80 to 89, you may have prehypertension.
Prehypertension means that you are likely to develop high blood pressure unless you take steps to prevent it. If your systolic blood pressure is 140 or higher, or your diastolic blood pressure is above 90, you may have high blood pressure.
The NutriSense Nutrition Team recommends aiming for < 120/80 when testing your blood pressure.
ALT and AST are two liver function tests. ALT stands for Alanine Transaminase, and AST stands for Aspartate Aminotransferase.
These enzymes are found in the liver and are responsible for breaking down amino acids. The enzymes enter your bloodstream when your liver is damaged.
So, it’s no surprise the ALT and AST tests typically help diagnose liver damage or liver disease.
In most cases, test results that show a high level of ALT or AST in the blood indicate liver damage. Normal ranges for AST are five to 37, and ALT are seven to 56. They can also vary based on gender. The NutriSense Nutrition Team recommends aiming for values of 20 or less for both.
However, other conditions can cause elevated levels of these enzymes, so your doctor will interpret the test results with your overall medical history in mind.
The hsCRP test is a blood test that measures the level of hs-CRP in your blood. hs-CRP is a protein that your liver produces in response to inflammation.
While inflammation is typically a normal process in response to injury or infection, chronic inflammation can lead to conditions like heart disease.
The hsCRP test can help assess an individual's risk for developing these conditions. A high level of hs-CRP in your blood is associated with an increased risk of developing these conditions.
According to the NutriSense Nutrition Team, it’s best not to exercise right before the test. When reading your test results, aim for values < 1.
For most people, uric acid leaves the body in the urine. However, some people have a condition called hyperuricemia, which means they have too much uric acid in their blood.
High uric acid levels can lead to gout, a type of arthritis that causes pain, swelling, and inflammation in the joints. The uric acid test can help doctors diagnose hyperuricemia and gout. If you have been diagnosed with gout or kidney stones, your doctor may order this test to check for flares or monitor your treatment. They can also use it to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
According to the NutriSense Nutrition Team, it’s best to aim for values <5. Remember, ranges can vary based on your gender.
The BUN test measures the amount of nitrogen in your blood from urea. Like uric acid, urea is a waste product. But while urea can come out through sweat and urine, uric acid only comes out through your urine.
When your liver breaks down amino acids (the building blocks of protein), it produces urea. The BUN test (along with other tests) evaluates kidney function and can also help other conditions like heart failure and dehydration.
The BUN test is usually done along with a creatinine test.
A high BUN level may indicate kidney disease, dehydration, heart failure, or urinary tract blockages. A low level may indicate liver diseases, such as hepatitis, or an inherited disorder that affects amino acid metabolism.
According to the NutriSense Nutrition Team, normal values are generally between six to 24 mg/dl.
A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) is a blood test that measures the levels of various substances in your blood, including glucose, electrolytes, and enzymes. It is a combination of many of the tests mentioned above. The CMP can help diagnose and monitor liver, kidney, or pancreas problems.
The CMP includes 14 different tests, each measuring a different substance in your blood. Most of these tests are known as "liver function tests" because they measure the levels of enzymes that your liver produces.
The CMP also measures the levels of electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, and the level of glucose in your blood. The CMP is often part of a routine physical exam.
Remember to fast for eight to 12 hours before your test. On your results, you will likely see a range of values. Most people will fall into the “normal” range. However, it might be worth digging into these values in more detail if your value is on the high or low end of that range.
Making informed decisions about your health can be challenging, but a continuous glucose monitor can help. That’s where NutriSense comes in. With a subscription to our CGM Program, you can continuously monitor your blood sugar levels and get real-time feedback on the impact your lifestyle factors have on your health.
You can manage and monitor your responses in the NutriSense app as you make the changes you need to optimize your metabolic health. You also get personalized support from a team of credentialed dietitians and nutritionists.
Age isn't the only factor that can affect fertility. Let’s explore how new technology has changed our understanding of fertility and reproductive health..
Watermelon is a hydrating and delicious summertime snack, but have you ever wondered if it can raise your glucose levels? Read on for more about this tasty fruit.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that involves endocrine and metabolic imbalances. Here are some PCOS friendly foods to include in your diet for better health.
NutriSense dietitian Katrina Larsen, MS, RD,N, LD, CDCES discusses the risk factors for sleep apnea and how this disorder is linked to other health conditions.
A well-stocked kitchen is the key to making healthy eating choices. Let’s explore some kitchen staples that you can keep on hand to make healthy eating easier.
Have you ever wondered how your glucose levels might be connected to joint pain? We'll take a deep dive into this connection and share tips for reducing pain.
Hiking has a host of benefits for your health and fitness. We'll explore how this activity can boost your wellbeing and share a few tips for getting started.
In this article, we break down what a low FODMAP diet looks like for beginners, and its potential benefits and drawbacks for gastrointestinal health.
Russell Battles shares how using a CGM helped him revamp his diet, exercise, and lifestyle after suffering from a heart attack.
Wondering how effective ketones are for building muscle? In this post, we’ll dig into ketones, exercise, and muscle growth to see what the connection is.
Here are nine tips for stabilizing your blood sugar levels, plus some insights from the NutriSense dietitian team on how to detect blood sugar imbalances.
In this article, we explore the the effects that tomatoes may have on blood sugar levels and insulin response, plus other ways that tomatoes can affect your health.
Macro setting and tracking can be valuable tools in reaching your health goals. Here's how to get started.
Let’s take a deep dive into how high blood sugar levels can be a risk factor for kidney failure and what you can do to ensure optimal kidney health.
Did you know that aging can lead to problems with your balance? Read on to find out what can cause balance issues and how you can combat this occurrence.
Do mangos raise blood sugar? Are they good for your health? Read on to find out.
Whether you're trying out “meatless Mondays“ or exploring vegan food for the first time, here's a beginner’s guide to getting started on a plant-based diet.
Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin. Here's how to manage it with evidence based nutrition and lifestyle tips.
Learn what high-intensity resistance training is, how it can benefit your metabolism, and nine tips to get started with HIRT.
Learn more about whether or not avocados raise blood sugar levels, and the many health benefits that can come from including avocados in your diet.
Member Stuart Tutler explains how insights from a CGM helped him change his approach to nutrition and improve his blood sugar levels.
Did you know that living with a pet can do more than just put a smile on your face? Read on to learn all the ways living with pets improves your wellbeing.
Amanda Seitz explains how the NutriSense's 3 month CGM program helped revamp her habits and lifestyle for better glucose response.
Let’s take a deeper look at conditions like the common cold and the flu to see what they can do to your blood sugar levels.
Starting on a weight loss journey might sound daunting if you’re someone who doesn’t love to hit the gym. Here are 20 practical ways to shed a few extra pounds without exercise.
The summertime means switching out hot lattes for iced coffee. Read on to explore dietitian-approved healthy iced coffee drinks.
Kate Brown shares how she was able to lose weight, reduce stress, and manage her anxiety using a CGM.
Let’s have a look at 11 reasons why you may not be shedding weight on a keto diet and a few solutions to help you make it over your weight loss plateau.
A blood ketone level of .5 to 3.0 millimoles per liter is the ideal range for ketosis. Find out more here.
Read on to learn about the potential causes of constipation, how constipation can affect your blood sugar, plus a few tips for healthy stool formation.
In this post, we share our roundup of six NutriSense dietitian-endorsed healthy desserts that will hit the spot this summer. Read on to discover healthy treats for your sweet tooth.
Nordic walking is a full-body workout in which special lightweight poles are held in each hand to activate the entire body while walking. Learn the benefits of Nordic walking and how you can get started with this activity.
Meredith Standridge discusses her takeaways after a year with a CGM, and how NutriSense has helped her implement new, lifelong habits to help her optimize her health.
In this article, we’ll cover 12 of the best exercises to add to your routine to help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve your metabolism.
What are the healthiest types of noodles and how can you turn them into a delicious noodle bowl? Read on to find out.
Insulin resistance can be tough to manage. Learn why it’s important to improve insulin resistance and how you can reduce or reverse the effects of insulin resistance with healthy weight loss.
Polyphenols and tannins are prominent antioxidants found in many common foods. So, what exactly do they do and how can you add them to your diet? Let's find out.
Reducing your exposure to toxins means making your environment healthier. Here are eight dietitian-approved tips for a healthy environment.
Want to boost heart health? Learn which foods reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and which foods add to it.
Weight management is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Here are nine weight management tips.
Staying hydrated is important. We'll guide you through a few dietitian-endorsed hydration tips that can help you boost your daily fluid intake.
Let’s break down just how vital water is for overall health and how dehydration, among other things, can affect blood sugar levels.
The best way to combat low blood sugar at home is to take a glucose tablet or glucose gel. Here’s what to do with low blood sugar at home.
Ready to learn all about fiber beyond just the basics? In this post, we dive deep into the different kinds of fiber and health benefits of each. From functional fiber to fermentation, we break down all the jargon into a layman's language.
Inflammation can have a negative connotation it comes to your health. But could it actually be a good thing when it comes to muscle-building? Read on to find out.
Check out these healthy Fourth of July recipes plus some tips on keeping blood glucose levels steady through the holiday from the NutriSense Nutrition Team.
Dietitian and author of "Heart Disease Cookbook" Katie Reines discusses using a CGM to help balance blood sugars and hormones to manage and reverse health conditions.
Technical writer, competitive ballroom dancer, and seven-year veteran of the carnivore diet, Linda Salant talks about using the CGM to get clarity on how a unique diet could affect blood sugar levels.
Founder of health and fitness brand Shack Fit, John Shackleton is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. He talks about using the CGM to "check under the hood” and see how his physiology was responding to certain foods.
Athletic trainer Shaye Reynolds talks about feeling stuck on her health journey, and how NutriSense and the CGM Program helped fine-tune her wellness routine and have a better understanding of her diet and workout practices.
If you're gearing up to travel or spend more time outdoors this summer, here are a few tips to help you stay safe and hydrated in the sun.
When Christine Aochi was diagnosed with prediabetes, she knew she had to start focusing more on her health. She tells us how the CGM and dietitian support with NutriSense helped her to lower her blood glucose levels, lose weight, and enjoy her food.
Charlotte LaGuardia, MS, CNS, CDN, is the owner of virtual nutrition practice, Thrive East. She talks to us about using data points and experiments with a CGM to make informed decisions about health and wellness.
Elite athlete and founder of Pure Massage Boulder, Tracey Jacobs is committed to her health. She discusses using the CGM with dietitian support to help maximize performance and elevate her workouts.
Jennifer Brumit loves the CGM because it helps her add to what she already does to stay healthy. She talks about why she thinks everyone should be using one to educate themselves and boost overall wellness.
Donating blood can save a life, and these donations are needed more often than you may think. Read on to learn how autoimmune conditions affect your eligibility to donate.
As a new mom, you may be eager to regain your pre-pregnancy body, but it's essential to take things slow and follow postpartum diet guidelines. Read on to discover dietitian recommended postpartum guidelines to losing weight.
Alongside a healthy diet, adding certain nutrients can help with achieving optimal blood glucose levels. Here are nine supplements that help your body do just that!
We asked our Nutrition Team to help us debunk 14 popular nutrition and lifestyle myths. Here's what our dietitians—and the research—say about these age-old myths.
You may have always considered oatmeal to be a healthy breakfast option, but is it really that good for you? Let’s break down the different components of oatmeal and find out.
To help you make the most of the warmer weather, we asked Carlee Hayes, RDN, CD, and Nutrition Manager here at NutriSense, to share a few of her favorite summer soup recipes.
Insulin resistance can create a variety of health issues and lead to type 2 diabetes. Here are nine effective ways to improve insulin sensitivity for improved metabolic health.
Did you know your gut influences how well your brain functions? Here are our top dietitian approved tips to boost gut health for improved cognitive functioning.
Catherine Staffieri discusses the impact of glucose on hormones, perimenopause and menopause, weight loss and the incredible benefits of using a CGM as a tool to help you feel your best.
To discuss how a health coach can incorporate this in their practice, Health Coach Academy invited Carlee Hayes to the show.
This week, we’ve compiled some of our favorite podcasts that go beyond nutrition. Here are 20 wellness-focused podcasts to add to your queue.
Are BCAAs worth it? This post digs into 30+ years of research to answer this question. The answer may surprise you.
Menopause can be a difficult journey, so we've compiled some of the most effective, science backed tips to help you with menopause-related weight gain.
Father’s Day is around the corner, and whether you’re celebrating your dad, a father figure, or another cherished loved one, helping them take care of their health can be the ultimate gift.
Here's a helpful list of some of our favorite low-carb snacks that can help you keep your diet varied and full of healthy nutrients.
Whether you're looking for low GI summer snacks or healthy sweet treats, this post has got you covered. Here are tasty low glycemic index recipes everyone will enjoy!
Wondering if grapes are safe for people with diabetes to include in their diet? Read on to find out.
Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body, contributing to the structure of the cells, helping with vitamin D synthesis, and also promoting the production of steroid and sex hormones, like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. But how exactly is cholesterol connected to blood glucose levels?
We sat down with Kara Collier, our co-founder and VP of Health here at NutriSense, to take a closer look at how CGMs work and what you need to know about these devices before using one.
Are carbs and sugar the same? In this post, we break down the key differences between the two and share the benefits of complex carbohydrates.
Read on to learn more about DOMS, how long it can last, and then pick from our list of the best breakfasts to help beat that post-workout soreness, support muscle building, and encourage fat loss.
When it comes to lowering blood sugar levels, not all supplements are created equal. From ginseng to aloe vera, here are some of the best supplements to help avoid high blood sugar and encourage blood sugar control.
Bloating that results from a surgery can sometimes be an unexpected part of the recovery process. Is there anything you can do to reduce bloating or prevent it from happening? And what causes this bloating anyway? Read on to find the answer to these questions and much more to help you combat your post-surgery swelling.
Learn why fiber is classified as a carb and how to increase your intake of this health promoting nutrient.
Did you know Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease? Read on to learn what it's like living with PD plus discover treatment options.
From rosemary water to dry scooping, should you be trying every new trend that hits TikTok? How can you tell which ones may help and which ones to steer clear of?
As great as sugar tastes, including too much of it in your diet can lead to certain health problems. Read on to learn more about the role sugar plays in keeping your skin healthy.
Read on to see which podcasts our dietitians recommend if you’re interested in learning more about nutrition and health.
Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco that can affect your health in various ways. Read our article to learn how it impacts blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
CGMs are now an excellent tool for anyone who wants to optimize their metabolic health. Read on to find out more about the benefits CGMs can have for healthy people!
Although bariatric surgery can be an effective way to lose weight and improve health for people who are obese, it’s a major decision. Find out what lifestyle changes you need to make before going under the knife.
Excited to fire up the grill this summer? Read on to learn if grilling is healthy for you plus check out the NutriSense Nutrition Team's favorite grilling recipes for the season.
Did you know that your gut health can impact your blood glucose levels? Explore ways to improve your gut health for optimal glucose levels.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that can cause swelling and joint pain. Learn more about how it develops and how other health conditions affect its onset.
We’ve hand-picked the best weight loss apps available. Here are the thirteen best weight loss apps.
An emerging treatment, red light therapy promises to prevent and treat the signs of aging and other skin issues. Read on to find out more.
Struggling to stick with a health-promoting diet? Here’s how to make it enjoyable so you can reap the benefits.
VP of Health and co-founder of NutriSense Kara Collier discusses reaching optimal health through blood sugar regulation, what a continuous glucose monitor is, and who might benefit from using it.
In this episode of Zero to CEO, Jason Sherman talks to Dan Zavorotny about how to turn your idea into a 120 person team in 2.5 years.
Body mass index is a term you may have seen tossed around quite a bit in the health world. You may know that it’s a way to measure body fat, but with so many new tests for measuring overall fitness and health, is BMI still reliable?
If you're watching your glucose levels, traditional BBQ staples may not be the best choice. Here are some recipes that will help you enjoy a Memorial Day meal without a blood sugar spike.
Mental health has a significant impact on your overall health; here are tips, tools, and apps to improve your mental wellbeing.
Living with diabetes can be a challenge, especially when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels regulated. Learn if you can check your blood sugar at home without a meter.
With summer right around the corner, it’s time to make sure you have the tools you need to protect yourself from sunburn and sun damage. But how do you choose the right one for adequate sun protection?
Learn how Japanese water therapy can help with weight loss, energy levels, and detoxification.