What You Need to Know About Fasting For Biometric Screening

Part of your employer’s wellness program may require some type of health screening.

Preventative and health screenings can help employees track information like blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI and other physical health components. Biometric screening, applied through a fingerstick is one of the more common types of health screenings utilized in wellness programs.

A biometric screening is a short health exam that provides information about your risk for certain diseases and medical conditions. When prepping for health screenings, specific preparation may be involved, such as fasting for biometric screening. Here are a few things you need to know:

Fasting for Biometric Screening

Wondering how to prepare for a biometric screening? The fasting period prior must occur 9 to 12 hours prior to the test. If you tend to need to eat food frequently due to a health condition, choose the 9 hour fast. Fasting overnight is always the easiest way to accomplish this, so book the earliest available screening appointment.

fasting for biometric screeningFasting for biometric screening is important for achieving accurate numbers. The test takes information regarding your body’s sugar and lipid values, which are both affected by food and drink consumption. By fasting, you receive more accurate measures of your blood sugar and lipid levels.  

When required to fast for biometric screening, this allows two additional cholesterol levels to be measured: LDL and triglyceride levels. These levels can help determine your risk of developing heart disease.  

When learning about biometric screening, fasting coffee is typically the first item people ask about. It’s actually okay to drink coffee and water – but that’s all! And, it may go without saying but your coffee can’t include a dollop of cream and heaping teaspoon of sugar when you are fasting.

Again, all other food and drinks are off limits once the 9 to 12 hours prior to testing has begun.

Have a healthy snack with you for immediately afterward. This is especially important if you tend to have lower blood sugar levels and need a steady supply of nutrients to sustain you. Bring a banana and boiled egg for immediately after your test. The banana will provide instant energy with from beneficial spike in blood sugar, while the egg will provide more prolonged energy from the protein, which aids the movement of oxygen through your blood.   

If you absolutely must, opt for a non-fast screening. Be aware that if you are not able to handle fasting for the prescribed length of time, there are non-fast screenings available. Just make sure to tell you employer and the company doing the screening so they are aware of the necessary changes to make to your test.   

While it may seem inconvenient, fasting for biometric screening is an important part of obtaining accurate readings on your overall health.  For more information on biometric screening and biometric screening results click here.