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Ideal blood sugar levels

by (169)
Updated about 16 hours ago
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!

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5132 · October 19, 2011 at 2:22 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
5132 · October 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

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

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8
5132 · October 19, 2011 at 2:17 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
5796 · October 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

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

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c
12847 · October 19, 2011 at 9:17 AM

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

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78417 · April 24, 2010 at 2:24 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 · March 10, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Cheers for mentioning this website :)

5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f
1912 · 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 · 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.

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169 · March 09, 2010 at 10:39 PM

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

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78417 · March 09, 2010 at 9:35 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.

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1135 · March 09, 2010 at 8:25 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 · March 09, 2010 at 7:47 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.

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169 · March 09, 2010 at 7:32 PM

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

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169 · March 09, 2010 at 7:28 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 · March 09, 2010 at 7:25 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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Da9e3c7c4d81dd2c3d84e8b1e0e5cb10
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482 · March 09, 2010 at 7:24 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.

D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3
5796 · October 19, 2011 at 2:16 PM

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

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285
169 · March 09, 2010 at 7:28 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.

5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f
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1912 · 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.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8
5132 · October 19, 2011 at 2:22 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
12847 · October 19, 2011 at 9:17 AM

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

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
78417 · April 24, 2010 at 2:24 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

5ebeec76e20738d0a17cd724d64b1e0f
1912 · 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 · 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.

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2319 · March 10, 2010 at 1:17 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 · March 10, 2010 at 1:30 AM

Cheers for mentioning this website :)

48bcadfbb1231cb9f026bdc74dfb37ff
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10 · September 21, 2012 at 1:39 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.

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1135 · March 09, 2010 at 7:30 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.

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285
169 · March 09, 2010 at 10:39 PM

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

D15d6820ef1545edac65e975cc2d8949
1135 · March 09, 2010 at 8:25 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 · March 09, 2010 at 7:47 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 · March 09, 2010 at 7:32 PM

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

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312 · March 09, 2010 at 7:27 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!

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2861 · October 19, 2011 at 1:31 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
5132 · October 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

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

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3690 · October 19, 2011 at 6:24 AM

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

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8
5132 · October 19, 2011 at 2:17 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.

A4ef7f1ae882639dddd62ade85b2f174
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10 · 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?

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7063 · March 09, 2010 at 7:03 PM

This site has some stats on it: medicinenet.com

B694ff94abba729b4d1568fc12ff3285
169 · March 09, 2010 at 7:25 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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