Do you know what your normal blood sugar level should be? Don’t worry if you don’t, because other than those in the medical profession, very few people do!
For the majority of healthy individuals, normal blood sugar levels are as follows:
- Between 4.0 to 5.4 mmol/L (72 to 99 mg/dL) when fasting.
- Up to 7.8 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) 2 hours after eating.
Periodically checking your blood glucose when fasted and monitoring the results, will help you track how your diet and lifestyle are affecting your blood sugar levels. But there is a word of caution. Insulin is very good at keeping blood glucose under control and therefore even if your blood glucose level is fine now, it is important to understand that if your diet is poor, the affect might take many years before it shows up in elevated blood sugars.
There is also another purposeful use of measuring your blood sugar. Our blood sugar levels are greatly affected by what we eat. While we have various charts and graphics on our website (plus the glycaemic index), we are all built slightly different. While a small bowl of rice will for sure increase your blood sugar level, it does vary slightly from individual to individual.
What some people find very useful and informative, is to measure their blood sugar level before a meal and then measure it again an hour post meal. Want to see what a bowl of rice or a baked potato does to your own blood sugar level? Then try this technique. It is known as paired testing.
Here is some additional information you might find interesting taken from our free book called “Inner Health made Easy”.
Here is some more on Insulin
Your blood sugar homeostasis (balance), releases a hormone called insulin to help keep your blood sugar at this very low level. Why? Because high blood sugar is very harmful to health. Even a mildly elevated level of sugar for a long time can be seriously harmful. Previously type 2 diabetes was diagnosed when our fasting blood glucose level was at 7.1mmol per litre – or just 1.5 teaspoons of sugar in the entire blood volume. That is just a 2 to 3g total increase.
Now, let’s look at what challenges our blood sugar homeostasis. When we take on food, we need to burn it or store it to ensure the body remains in harmony. No matter what we throw at the body it must try its best to keep in homeostasis. The body has several control mechanisms to maintain normal blood sugar levels, but its key tool is a hormone called insulin. Virtually every cell in the body responds to insulin and while it performs many different roles, two of its key tasks is to maintain sugar levels at around one teaspoon and in promoting the creation and storage of fat in the body.
In brief, when we eat sugary food or foods that turn into sugar (carbohydrates), insulin is released from our pancreas. The insulin travels around the body in our blood and instructs cells to “open their doors” to let sugar out of the blood and into the cells.
This allows the blood sugar level to return to normal. If the whole body is in a happy and harmonious state, then blood sugar homeostasis occurs relatively easily. However, if blood sugar is frequently challenged by sugary food and foods that turn to sugar once digested, then over time, the cells can become “over-stuffed”.
For millions of years we have had no issue with insulin and never really experienced elevated levels. We eat fruit in the autumn, it turned to sugar and insulin was summoned to store it as body fat to get us through the winter. Perfect. But unfortunately, in our modern sugary world, sugar has become plentiful and available all year round.
If you have any concerns about your blood sugar level, then please see your doctor.