Blood Sugar/Blood Glucose = Same/Same
You might see some charts or read some articles that say ‘blood sugar chart’ and others that say ‘blood glucose levels chart.’
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, numbers can vary slightly. And 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 – 70-99 mg/dl or 4-6 mmol/l (Note: there is some debate about the normal range in mmol/l, ranging from 5.5 to 6 mmol/l)
2 hours post meal glucose – Less than 140 mg/dl or less than 7.8 mmol/l
Pre-diabetes diagnostic ranges – also called impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance
Fasting glucose – 100-125 mg/dl or 6.1-6.9 mmol/l
2 hours post meal glucose level – 140-199 mg/ dl or 7.8-11 mmol/l
Type 2 Diabetes diagnostic ranges
Fasting glucose – More than 126 mg/dl or more than 7.0 mmol/l
2 hours glucose level – More than 200 mg/dl or more than 11.1 mmol/l
Blood Sugar Levels Chart
The above chart and the one below are exactly the same, in different formats.CategoryFasting valuePost prandial / aka post mealMinimumMaximum2 hours after mealNormal70 mg/dl99 mg/dlLess than 140 mg/dl 4 mmol/l6 mmol/lLess than 7.8 mmol/lPre-diabetes100 mg/dl125 mg/dl140-199 mg/dl 6.1 mmol/l6.9 mmol/l7.8-11 mmol/lDiabetesMore than 126 mg/dl More than 200 More than 7 mmol/l More than 11.1 mmol/l
These are the diagnostic ranges. As you can see, the “normal” range for fasting glucose is under 100 mg/dl or 6 mmol/l. Though just to note, there is some debate about the normal range in mmol/l, ranging from 5.5 to 6 mmol/l. So depending what chart you look at, you may see either of those numbers.
After a meal, the maximum reading you ideally want to see is 140 or 7.8.
If you’re getting readings above this, you would be diagnosed with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, as shown in the charts above.
Diabetes Blood Sugar Level Goals
Upon waking before breakfast (Fasting)
- 70-130 (Ideal under 110) mg/dl
- 4-7.2 (Ideal under under 6.1) mmol/l
Two hours after meals
- Under 180 (Ideal is under 140) mg/dl
- Under 10 (Ideal is under 7.8) mmol/l
- 90-150 mg/dl
- 5-8.3 mmol/l
As suggested earlier, there is some variation in the blood sugar levels goals set by different organizations. And additionally, your physician or healthcare team may set your goals at a more stringent level.
For instance, fasting levels:
- Between 70-100 mg/dL or 4-5.6 mmol/l (optimal)
- 70-110 mg/dL or 4-6 mmol/l (still good control)
- 70-130 mg/dL or 4-7.2 mmol/l (more liberal, but realistic for many)
Once you have a type 2 diagnostics the overall goals you should aim for is to get your blood sugar levels as close to “normal” “optimal” levels as you possibly can.
BUT, as suggested above, 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) and lower.
The reason this is often recommended is you can experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia (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 under 100 mg/dl or 6 mmol/l. And an after-meal reading below 140 or 7.8.