What are healthy blood sugar levels? Healthy blood sugar levels are crucial for proper body function. For most people, normal ranges are 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) and 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) after fasting and less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating. However, these levels can vary based on age, health condition, and other factors.
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Why Should You Care About Blood Sugar Levels?
You might wonder why blood sugar levels even matter. Well, they’re like the fuel gauge in a car. Just as you need to keep an eye on fuel levels to avoid stalling your car, you need to monitor blood sugar levels to keep your body running smoothly. Too high or too low can create health problems.
What Constitutes “Normal” Blood Sugar Levels?
Fasting Blood Sugar
After you’ve fasted for at least 8 hours, typically overnight, a blood test should show your glucose levels between 70 and 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Postprandial Blood Sugar
Two hours after you’ve eaten a meal, your blood sugar should be less than 140 mg/dL. However, these numbers can be different for those who are pregnant or have certain medical conditions.
Random Blood Sugar
At any random point during the day, your blood sugar level should ideally be less than 200 mg/dL. A level higher than this could indicate a potential issue, like diabetes.
Factors Affecting Blood Sugar Levels
For older adults, the “normal” range might be slightly different. According to experts, fasting blood sugar levels up to 100-120 mg/dL may be acceptable for people over the age of 60.
Exercise generally helps lower blood sugar levels. However, intense workouts might temporarily spike your levels. Always check your sugar levels before and after exercise, especially if you have diabetes.
Time of Day
Your blood sugar naturally fluctuates throughout the day. It’s usually lower in the morning and starts to rise as you consume meals.
In people with diabetes, maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is even more critical. Uncontrolled levels can lead to complications such as vision loss, kidney failure, and cardiovascular issues.
How Can You Maintain Healthy Levels?
Diet is Key
A balanced diet rich in fiber, protein, and good fats can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Examples of such foods include whole grains, lean meats, and vegetables.
Keep tabs on your blood sugar levels with regular testing. This is especially important if you’re at risk for diabetes or already managing the condition.
Believe it or not, stress can also affect your blood sugar levels. So, activities like meditation, deep-breathing exercises, and adequate sleep can help in keeping your levels stable.
For those who need it, medication can be a crucial part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Always consult your healthcare provider for the most appropriate treatment for you.
So, now you’re well-equipped with the knowledge you need to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels and stay on the path to good health. Monitoring and understanding these crucial numbers can go a long way in helping you live a balanced, healthy life.
Further Reading: 6 Surprising Causes of Blood Sugar Spike