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HEALTH TIPS
IDEAL BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS

A blood sugar, or blood glucose, chart identifies a person’s ideal blood sugar level throughout the day, including before and after meals. It can help a person with glucose management if they need to keep levels within a normal range, such as those with diabetes.

For the majority of healthy individuals, ideal blood glucose levels as follows:

Between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L (72 to 99 mg/dL) when fasting.

Up to 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) 2 hours after eating.

Some of the things that can maintain our ideal blood sugar are as follows:

  1. Go low-carb. Carbohydrates (carbs) are what cause blood sugar to rise.
  2. Eat fewer refined carbs.
  3. Reduce your sugar intake.
  4. Keep a healthy weight.
  5. Exercise more.
  6. Eat more fiber.
  7. Drink more water.
  8. Introduce some vinegar into your diet.

 

Doctors use blood sugar charts to set target goals and monitor diabetes treatment plans. Blood sugar charts also help those with diabetes assess and self-monitor their blood sugar test results.

The ideal blood sugar level for an individual depends on when in the day they carry out blood glucose monitoring, as well as when they last ate.

BLOOD SUGAR CHART

Blood sugar charts act as a reference guide for blood sugar test results. As such, blood sugar charts are important tools for diabetes management.

Most diabetes treatment plans involve keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal or target goals as possible. This requires frequent at-home and doctor-ordered testing, along with an understanding of how results compare with target levels.

Doctors often provide A1C blood sugar recommendations in blood sugar charts. They tend to give A1C results as both a percentage and an average blood sugar level in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).

To help interpret and assess blood sugar results, the following charts outline normal and abnormal blood sugar levels for those with and without diabetes.

Time of check

Target blood sugar levels for people without diabetes

Target blood sugar levels for people with diabetes

Before meals

less than 100 mg/dl

80–130 mg/dl

1–2 hours after the start of a meal

less than 140 mg/dl

less than 180 mg/dl

Over a 3-month period, which an A1C test can measure

less than 5.7%

less than 7%
less than 180 mg/dl

Although a doctor will provide these as a guide, they will also individualize a glucose management plan and include either more or less stringent personal targets.

An A1C test measures a person’s average blood sugar levels over a 3-month period, which gives a wider insight into their overall management of their blood sugar levels.

GUIDELINES

Appropriate blood sugar levels vary throughout the day and from person to person.

Blood sugars are often lowest before breakfast and in the lead up to meals. Blood sugars are often highest in the hours following meals.

People with diabetes will often have higher blood sugar targets or acceptable ranges than those without the condition.

These targets vary according to a range of factors, some of which include:

  • age and life expectancy
  • the presence of other health conditions
  • how long a person has had diabetes
  • diagnosed cardiovascular disease
  • problems with the smallest arteries in the body
  • any known damage to the eyes, kidneys, blood vessels, brain, or heart
  • personal habits and lifestyle factors
  • not being aware of low blood sugar levels
  • stress
  • other illnesses

Most blood sugar charts show recommended levels as a range, allowing for differences between individuals.

 

 


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