Wondering what your blood glucose levels should be? Well - that’s a difficult question to answer. It depends on so many factors, including whether you have diabetes or not, the type of diabetes you have, and biological influences. However, if you don’t have diabetes, it’s useful to be aware of normal blood sugar levels for a non-diabetic person, especially normal blood sugar levels after eating, as high blood sugar levels can be a sign of diabetes. If you have diabetes, your target blood glucose levels will be different to someone without diabetes. So we’ll also cover the ideal blood sugar ranges for people with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
Your blood glucose levels will naturally go through highs and lows throughout the day - these variations depend a lot on when and what you eat, but there’s a bunch of other factors that affect blood sugar levels. More on that in a bit.
Here’s what you need to know right now: checking your blood sugar isn’t as simple as checking your weight, although it’s equally as helpful in understanding your health. Because your blood glucose changes a lot, one measurement might not reveal the full picture.
Here are the most popular blood sugar metrics, all useful for understanding your blood glucose levels:
Before we get into normal blood sugar levels for people without diabetes, and for people with diabetes, let’s explore the factors that affect blood glucose levels:
This is not even nearly an exhaustive list - you can find a fuller list of factors that affect blood glucose here - but these are some of the most common reasons for blood glucose fluctuations. There are plenty of biological factors that affect blood sugar as well, like puberty, menstruation, and having Celiac disease.
It’s also easy to overlook behavioural and decision-making factors that have a way bigger effect on our blood glucose levels than we actually think. In reality, the number of times you check your blood glucose, your decision-making biases and social pressures influences your attitude towards controlling your blood sugar levels, so often has a significant effect.
This really illustrates the strength of Time-in-Range, which is considered the gold standard in blood glucose monitoring. Instead of focusing on an average, like A1C, or one measurement, like fasting glucose, Time-in-Range accounts for all the variations in your blood sugar levels, giving you a percentage of time you are within your target glucose range.
See more about our Time-in-Range in this blog post.
Non-diabetic individuals should aim for blood glucose metrics in the following ranges:
Every study into normal blood sugar levels for adults finds slightly different results, because every sample population is different. And metrics like the post-meal glucose peak, which indicates normal blood sugar levels after eating, can vary hugely depending on what you eat. But the ranges we give above take into account the conclusions of the most recent, reputable studies, like this study on continuous glucose monitoring in healthy individuals.
If you have any type of diabetes, it’s important to speak to your doctor to understand your target blood glucose readings. As we’ve discussed, blood sugar depends on so many factors, and for people with diabetes, there are real dangers of not getting your targets right. So speak to your healthcare practitioner to learn about your ideal blood glucose goals.
Whether you have diabetes or not, the important thing to remember is that everyone’s blood glucose levels are naturally different. You could eat, sleep and exercise exactly the same as someone else, and your readings could still be dramatically different to each other.
That’s why Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices are so powerful. With traditional Blood Glucose Monitoring (BGM), you need to use a fingerstick, and measuring your blood sugar is a manual process. CGMs provide a new level of freedom - it’s a sensor inserted just under your skin, connected to a transmitter. CGMs automatically take blood glucose readings at regular intervals (without you even noticing), allowing you to get more data on your blood sugar variations throughout the day compared to traditional BGM.
Sync your CGM with SNAQ, which allows you to see how your meals affect your glucose levels. You can see your glucose curve for each meal, and make more intelligent choices about the food you eat, with a better understanding of how they will affect your blood sugar.
The SNAQ website does not contain medical advice. The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images and other material are intended for informational and educational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice. The contents of this website are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional for personalized medical advice.