A person’s blood sugar levels tend to be highest after eating a meal because the food is converted to glucose, or blood sugar, to provide your body with energy. With the help of insulin, glucose is absorbed by muscles and other bodily tissues and used as fuel. In diabetics, glucose levels can spike too high after eating because of either a lack of insulin, as in type I diabetes, or because of a developed insulin resistance, called metabolic syndrome, as in type II diabetes.
So what are the normal blood sugar levels after eating a meal? The range for normal non diabetic individuals should be below 140 mg/dl. Blood sugar levels of 140 to 199 mg/dl puts you in the pre-diabetic range, and over 200 mg/dl is the diabetic range.
Everyone’s blood sugar rises significantly after eating, not only diabetics. Usually, baseline tests for diabetes are performed after a 12 hour fast, when blood sugar levels can be more accurately gauged. Glucose levels after eating can be wildly variable depending on what types of food has been eaten and how quickly it is digested and released into the bloodstream.
To keep one’s blood sugar level most stable throughout the day, it is important to eat foods with a low glycemic index, which means they are absorbed and broken down slowly in the digestive system and thus sugars are released over a longer period of time, preventing spikes in blood sugar. Processed foods with composed of mainly simple sugars are quickly broken down by the body and released into the bloodstream.
On the other hand, complex carbohydrates and foods high in fiber are broken down much more slowly, leading to a steady release of energy over a longer period of time. If you struggle with controlling your blood sugar, it is imperative that you learn about proper nutrition and eat healthy foods. There are many guides which lists the glycemic index for various foodstuffs.
Another strategy for combating diabetic blood sugar levels is to implement and maintain an exercise program consisting of both cardiovascular and weight training workouts. Glucose is absorbed and burned much more quickly by muscle than by other bodily tissues. Therefore, it is easier for a more muscular and fit persons body to control blood sugar levels.