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What is Normal Blood Sugar After Eating?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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All people experience increases and drops in the amount of blood sugar that is present at any given time during the day. Monitoring this increase is important to determine if an individual is having difficulty converting glucose into usable energy or if the blood glucose is remaining in the bloodstream, increasing the risk for a number of different health issues. Today, there is a generally accepted range of normal blood sugar readings that apply at one and two-hour intervals after consuming a meal, making it easier to determine the impact that certain foods consumed in specific amounts have on blood sugar levels. Information of this type is helpful for everyone, but is especially important for those who are considered pre-diabetic or diabetic.

Normal blood sugar levels are usually reported in terms of mg/dL or milligrams/deciliter. The idea is to determine the number of glucose milligrams found in a deciliter of blood. This is usually accomplished by taking a sample of the blood at one or two hours after a meal, and determining how much sugar is found in the sample at that time. For an individual who is not considered diabetic, a normal blood sugar level at the two-hour mark would be considered anywhere between 100 and 120 mg/dL, with some physicians favoring a figure closer to the lower end of the scale and considering a reading near the opposite end being cause for concern.

For diabetics, a normal blood sugar level would be somewhat higher. While there are some different ideas among various healthcare professionals on what is considered a safe and normal blood sugar level for a diabetic, the most common scale allows for levels of 180 mg/dL one hour after finishing the meal, and 140 mg/dL at the two hour mark. It is important to note that many physicians urge their patients to select foods that result in lower readings that are close to the range considered normal for non-diabetics, since more efficient management of blood glucose helps to delay the development of health issues like deterioration in eyesight and other ailments that diabetics are more likely to experience in later years.

The identification of normal blood sugar levels is especially important for diabetics who attempt to control the disease with diet. Paying close attention to both the types of foods consumed and the portion sizes can make it easier to determine what seems to cause blood sugar spikes that are somewhat higher and sustained, and which foods tend to have less of an adverse effect on glucose levels. With the right type of diet, a diabetic who combines low-carb meals that are high in nutrients with a consistent exercise routine, and perhaps takes some type of oral medication for his or her condition may experience glucose levels that are within the normal blood sugar range experienced by non-diabetics.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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