I was talking to one of my clients recently about the importance of getting blood sugar levels under control.
So before sharing the diabetes blood sugar levels chart, I want to OVER EMPHASIZE the importance of you gaining the best control of your blood sugar levels as you possibly can. Just taking medication and doing nothing else is really not enough.
You see, I just don’t think many people are fully informed about why it is so crucial to do, because if you already have a diabetes diagnosis then you are already at high risk for heart disease and other vascular problems.
Maybe you’ve been better informed by your doctor but many people I come across haven’t. So if that’s you, it’s important to know that during your pre-diabetic period, there is a lot of damage that is already done to the vascular system. This occurs due to the higher than normal blood sugar, that’s what causes the damage.
So now that you have type 2 diabetes, you want to prevent any of the nasty complications by gaining good control over your levels.
Truly, ask anyone having to live with diabetes complications and they’ll tell you it’s the pits!
You DO NOT want it to happen to you if you can avoid it.
While medications may be needed, just taking medication alone and doing nothing is really not enough!
Why is it not enough even if your blood sugars seem reasonably under control?
Well, one common research observation in diabetics is there is a slow and declining progression of blood sugar control and symptoms. Meaning, over time your ability to regulate sugars and keep healthy gets harder. If you take medication you will likely have to take more and more.
BUT, if you empower yourself with the right nutrition and lifestyle and put scientifically proven strategies into practice, then you can prevent, or at least slow down, this gradual decline.
What that means for you is a happier, healthier life overall.
So now that you understand just how important this is, let’s get down to blood sugar numbers and target ranges.
Blood Sugar/Blood Glucose = Same/Same
You might see some charts or read some articles that say blood sugar and others that say blood glucose. Just in case you are confused these both mean the same thing. The words sugar and glucose are often used interchangeably.
Let’s Crunch Some Numbers
I’ll give these numbers to you in a written, chart, and visual format because it will make sense to you depending how you read it.
Depending where you live in the world, your numbers will either be mg/dl or mmol/l. You’ll find the numbers for both of these readings below.
Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Fasting glucose – 70-100 mg/dl or 4-6 mmol/l
Pre-diabetes – also called impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance
Fasting glucose – 101-125 mg/dl or 6.1-6.9 mmol/l
2 hours post meal glucose level – 140-200 mg/ dl or 7.8-11.0 mmol/l
Fasting glucose – More than 126 mg/dl or equivalent to or more than 7.0 mmol/l
2 hours glucose level – More than 200 mg/dl equivalent to or more than 11.1 mmol/l
Blood Sugar Levels Chart
|Category||Fasting value||Post prandial / aka post meal|
|Minimum||Maximum||2 hours after meal|
|Normal||70 mg/dl||100 mg/dl||Less than 140 mg/dl|
|4 mmol/l||6 mmol/l||Less than 7.8 mmol/l|
|Pre-diabetes||101 mg/dl||125 mg/dl||140-200 mg/dl|
|6.1 mmol/l||6.9 mmol/l||7.8-11.1 mmol/l|
|Diabetes||More than 126 mg/dl||More than 200|
|More than 7 mmol/l||More than 11.1 mmol/l|
The above two charts are exactly the same, in different formats.
They are the diagnostic ranges. As you can see, the normal range for fasting glucose is a maximum of 100 mg/dl or 6 mmol/l. And after a meal, the maximum normal reading is 140 or 7.8.
If you’re getting readings above this, you would be diagnosed with prediabetes or with type 2 diabetes, if you have high blood glucose of 126 or 7 when fasting, or more than 200 or 11.1 after meals.
Diabetes Blood Sugar Level Goals
|Time to Check||mg/dl||mmol/l|
|Upon waking before breakfast (Fasting)||70-130 (Ideal under 110)||4-7.2 (Ideal under under 6.1)|
|Two hours after meals||Under 180 (Ideal is under 140)||Under 10 (Ideal is under 7.8)|
Once you have a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, the next thing to understand is what goals you should aim for.
Overall, your goal should be to get back to normal ranges, which are a fasting glucose of a maximum of 100 mg/dl or 6 mmol/l. And after a meal, the maximum normal reading is 140 or 7.8.
BUT, often goals are set with higher targets initially. For instance, if you have a high reading of 250 or 300 (13 or 17), your physician or health practitioner may recommend 200 (11.1) be an initial goal, then 180 (10), before gradually working toward 140 (7.8).
The reason this is often recommended is you can experience symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if you bring your levels down very quickly. So working toward tighter and tighter control does take some time.
You should work with your healthcare team on this. But overall the most optimal targets to work toward are a fasting glucose of maximum 100 mg/dl or 6 mmol/l. And an after-meal reading of 140 or 7.8.
The Visual Version 🙂
Commonly Asked Questions About Blood Sugar Levels
What is the difference between blood sugar and A1c?
Blood sugar is a daily reading while A1c is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar from the previous 3 month period.
You can read more about the difference between the two over here.
Will weight loss help with my diabetes management?
Yes, by default weight loss helps because it reduces inflammation in your body and improves overall metabolic function. However, weight loss alone won’t lower blood sugar levels. You often have to make several diet and lifestyle changes to bring your levels within normal range.
I’ve been prescribed Metformin, will that help with my blood glucose levels?
Yes, Metformin is one of the most commonly prescribed diabetes medications worldwide. It belongs to a class of medications known as “Biguanides,” which lower blood glucose by decreasing the amount of sugar put out by the liver. And it is one of the medications that does not increase weight gain.
Why does high blood sugar cause complications like neuropathy?
The body is designed to have a blood sugar level within a certain range, with a maximum of 140 (7.8). Levels above normal for extended periods promote inflammation in the blood vessels throughout the body, along with changes to cells – simply because the body isn’t designed to operate with levels above normal.
Diabetic neuropathy is damage to the nerve vessels resulting from chronically high blood sugar – meaning long-term, not a few high readings now and then. Other types of diabetes complications are also caused by the same factors.
What type of diet helps to lower blood sugar levels?
Scientific research indicates that a low carb diet works best for improving blood sugar, A1c, weight, cholesterol and other factors.
Carbohydrates are the main nutrient that influences your blood sugar levels. The type is important, but the amount has the greatest impact on both daily blood glucose and A1c measurements.
Is daily blood glucose monitoring recommended?
If you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, daily self-monitoring using a blood glucose meter (which involves a simple finger-prick test), can be a great way to understand what is happening in your body so you can bring your levels under control.
When you download our free chart below, we’ll also provide some blood sugar logs so you can record your blood sugar readings.
Well there you have it. Hope you find this information helpful and if you do please pin it and share it around to help others. Thanks!