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Ideal blood sugar levels

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 09, 2010 at 6:02 PM

I got a blood sugar tester for free, so due to curiosity I decided to measure some pre and post meal levels. But I can't seem to find anywhere what the ideal numbers are. I've looked through some of the big paleo-type blogs but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. The westonaprice blog has a big fat article about ideal blood sugar but doesn't give any actual numbers anywhere.

Can anyone tell me more? What else is interesting about blood sugar levels?

Thank you!

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:22 PM

I don't think cholesterol is much of a long-term health prognosticator. A1c will precede many other ills: it presages insulin resistance, fatty liver, CVD, AGEs. It's probably the best indicator of how fast you're aging (no suprise since less insulin, less glycation).

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:18 PM

Correct, but probably not below 65. If you really have no insulin resistance, then your fasting should be around 80.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:17 PM

72-100 is the lab range. 85 is good. Low 80s is better. But a reliable number is like a weekly (or monthly) average of your fasting BG readings.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:16 PM

If you go very low carb, you will see your numbers creep up.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12867)

on October 19, 2011
at 09:17 AM

"which is a much better predictor of long-term health than cholesterol levels, even in non-diabetics." According to what?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78407)

on April 24, 2010
at 02:24 AM

HbA1c is not a good predictor of long-term health when you have low iron/ferritin levels, correct? In that situation, would C-Reactive protein be a better predictor? THX

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 10, 2010
at 01:30 AM

Cheers for mentioning this website :)

5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

(1922)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:47 PM

My day job is an engineer (see my profile), but yes, I've read lots (and lots) of medical literature, plus a good-sized bookshelf full of health books, as well as majoring in chemistry and biology. It started out as a hobby, then went into high gear when my kids developed health problems when they were very young.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:31 PM

Rick, Don't answer if you feel I'm prying, but what is your profession? You sound like someone who has read a lot of medical literature.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 09, 2010
at 10:39 PM

thanks for putting that out to me. will try it after a long period of fasting then :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78407)

on March 09, 2010
at 09:35 PM

That's thrifty Jaap! Reminds me of when my husband was diagnosed with type 2 and got his new blood glucose meter. I cut my finger cooking and decided to not waste the blood and test myself. I was fine.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 09, 2010
at 08:25 PM

... or you might fail it, yes. Another thing you can do is to fast for a while before taking the test. I did the OGTT to break my 22-hour fast. Fairly good insulin sensitivity at that point.

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:47 PM

Just a head's up, if you're normally a low-carber, you're supposed to reintroduce carbs (at least 150g/day for 3 days) before you do an OGTT.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:32 PM

Cheers, will try OGTT myself to see what my results are :)

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:28 PM

Thanks a lot for this comment and the source of your info :). Im around 90 myself (pre and post meal) and couldn't find any info if this was normal/ok or not. low carb here as well.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:25 PM

This is for people that have diabetes. My guess is that it's far from ideal. I'm looking for information regarding to optimal blood sugar when doing paleo/low carb.

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10 Answers

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6
Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:24 PM

Here's what Dr. Davis says on his blog (emphasis mine):

What are ideal blood glucose levels? From the above discussion, you can see that a perfect consensus does not exist. It is also clear that risks from both fasting and postprandial glucose are continuous with no clear cutoff between no risk and the beginning of risk. However, for our working purposes, the data suggest that ideal fasting blood glucose is 90 mg/dl or less; one-hour postprandial 100 mg/dl or less. At the start of your program, before weight loss, exercise, and the improved insulin responses of the Track Your Plaque diet have taken hold, one-hour postprandial blood glucose of ???110 mg/dl is a good starting point. Long-term, ???100 mg/dl is a better target that likely provides maximum plaque control and reduction of risk.

My fasting level is about 90; when I eat paleo, my post-meal bg stays about the same. Then there was the time I ate a Big Mac and fries right after the holiday and spiked a 157. Yeah, sometimes this testing can be useful even for the non-diabetic!

I'm going mostly low-carb now, but plan to see how I respond to starchier veggies soonish.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:28 PM

Thanks a lot for this comment and the source of your info :). Im around 90 myself (pre and post meal) and couldn't find any info if this was normal/ok or not. low carb here as well.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:16 PM

If you go very low carb, you will see your numbers creep up.

3
5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

on March 09, 2010
at 11:13 PM

I've found the following graph from Wikipedia to be pretty helpful:

ideal-blood-sugar-levels

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Suckale08_fig3_glucose_insulin_day.jpg

However, keep in mind that people who have been on Paleo for a while tend to have lower insulin levels and slightly higher fasting blood glucose--but with a lower HbA1c (glycylated hemoglobin), which is a much better predictor of long-term health than cholesterol levels, even in non-diabetics.

03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:31 PM

Rick, Don't answer if you feel I'm prying, but what is your profession? You sound like someone who has read a lot of medical literature.

5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f

(1922)

on March 09, 2010
at 11:47 PM

My day job is an engineer (see my profile), but yes, I've read lots (and lots) of medical literature, plus a good-sized bookshelf full of health books, as well as majoring in chemistry and biology. It started out as a hobby, then went into high gear when my kids developed health problems when they were very young.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78407)

on April 24, 2010
at 02:24 AM

HbA1c is not a good predictor of long-term health when you have low iron/ferritin levels, correct? In that situation, would C-Reactive protein be a better predictor? THX

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:22 PM

I don't think cholesterol is much of a long-term health prognosticator. A1c will precede many other ills: it presages insulin resistance, fatty liver, CVD, AGEs. It's probably the best indicator of how fast you're aging (no suprise since less insulin, less glycation).

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12867)

on October 19, 2011
at 09:17 AM

"which is a much better predictor of long-term health than cholesterol levels, even in non-diabetics." According to what?

2
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on March 10, 2010
at 01:17 AM

www.bloodsugar101.com is the website that can answer this question and more - like how to adjust your at home OGTT to compensate for eating low carb

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 10, 2010
at 01:30 AM

Cheers for mentioning this website :)

1
48bcadfbb1231cb9f026bdc74dfb37ff

on September 21, 2012
at 01:39 AM

http://chriskresser.com/how-to-prevent-diabetes-and-heart-disease-for-16 heck out Chris Kressers website for how he monitors blood glucose and what levels he recommends. I found it very helpful.

1
D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 09, 2010
at 07:30 PM

At wakeup and after exercise, my BG is 5.5 mmol/L (100 mg/dL), otherwise it seems to keep at a steady 3.8 mmol/L (68 mg/dL). Anything between 72 and 108 mg/dL is considered healhty.

Out of curiosity, I did an OGTT (75g dextrose dissolved into 300 mL water). One hour later I had 7.5 mmol/L (135 mg/dL). You're supposed to get under 8.6 mmol/L (154 mg/dL) after two hours, so I passed it.

If you read Swedish (or care to run it through Google Translate), http://kostdoktorn.se/blodsocker is an excellent resource.

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949

on March 09, 2010
at 08:25 PM

... or you might fail it, yes. Another thing you can do is to fast for a while before taking the test. I did the OGTT to break my 22-hour fast. Fairly good insulin sensitivity at that point.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:32 PM

Cheers, will try OGTT myself to see what my results are :)

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 09, 2010
at 10:39 PM

thanks for putting that out to me. will try it after a long period of fasting then :)

Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10

(482)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:47 PM

Just a head's up, if you're normally a low-carber, you're supposed to reintroduce carbs (at least 150g/day for 3 days) before you do an OGTT.

1
8e606dbf570848c4bc95f98e974a42ca

(312)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:27 PM

Robb Wolf discuss BG levels on the episode of his podcast.

http://robbwolf.com/2009/12/08/the-paleolithic-solution-episode-5/

Show Topics:

Thoughts on the role of dairy in a Paleo diet Blood glucose levels Transition to Paleo Diet Nut intake and substitutions Lower carb vs higher carb diets

Hope that helps!

0
7d64d3988de1b0e493aacf37843c5596

(2861)

on October 19, 2011
at 01:31 PM

According to this article from the Life Extension Magazine, the "optimal" fasting level is 70-85 mg/dL. I have seen other bloggers/commenters say "optimal" is <85 or <80.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:18 PM

Correct, but probably not below 65. If you really have no insulin resistance, then your fasting should be around 80.

0
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3690)

on October 19, 2011
at 06:24 AM

Recommended levels are 72-100 mg/dL, fasted. Mine was 85 mg/dL. What does that tell me? I'm...not sure.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on October 19, 2011
at 02:17 PM

72-100 is the lab range. 85 is good. Low 80s is better. But a reliable number is like a weekly (or monthly) average of your fasting BG readings.

0
A4ef7f1ae882639dddd62ade85b2f174

(10)

on April 24, 2010
at 12:15 AM

i am also wondering what ideal fasting bg should be. i recently tested at 92. is that slightly above what it should be?

-1
33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:03 PM

This site has some stats on it: medicinenet.com

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285

(169)

on March 09, 2010
at 07:25 PM

This is for people that have diabetes. My guess is that it's far from ideal. I'm looking for information regarding to optimal blood sugar when doing paleo/low carb.

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