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How Long After Eating Should You Check Your Blood Sugar


Black Tea May Help Reduce Insulin Resistance

When to Check Your Blood Sugar

Black tea comes from the same plant as green tea, so as with green tea, youll reap diabetes-friendly benefits. Though it’s the same plant, different processing methods are used to create it, explains Stefanski.

A review published in June 2019 in the journal Antioxidants notes that some epidemiological studies show that drinking black, green, or oolong tea may reduce the risk of developing diabetes or diabetes complications. Plus, the researchers suggest tea may work in the body in part by improving insulin resistance, playing an insulin-like role, as well as alleviating the inflammatory response.

Also, black tea may work to help people with diabetes in other ways. Animal studies on black tea have found it may reduce carbohydrate absorption and therefore improve blood glucose control however, more research is needed on humans, explains Palinski-Wade. A review published in December 2016 in the journal Molecules found that black tea lowered body weight in animals.

Other research, published in January 2017 in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that drinking black tea after consuming sugar helped control blood glucose. The small study looked at people with prediabetes as well as people without diabetes.


More positive news for black tea drinkers: Another review found that tea drinkers, including those who drink black tea, had a lower prevalence of incidence of type 2 diabetes.

Why They Happen And How To Try And Reduce Them If You Live With Type 1 Diabetes

Living with type 1 diabetes requires you to regularly check your blood sugar levels before you eat. However, we may not always consider what happens to our sugar levels immediately after we eat where it is very normal for people who dont have diabetes, let alone those who do, to temporarily have high sugar levels. Given that having high sugar levels can give you symptoms like thirst, tiredness and needing to go to the toilet a lot, learning about ways to try and reduce spikes in your sugar levels after meals may make a difference to your overall health and wellbeing.

How To Deal With High Postprandial Blood Sugar Levels

Obviously, check your levels first meaning at least 90 minutes after a meal. Why? By that time rapid-acting analog insulin has reached its maximum effect By the way, the blood sugar reminder in the mySugr app is a great way to check your glucose after a meal. After all, no one can be expected to remember everything! Just set the reminder for a specific time and youll automatically be reminded. If you have type 1 diabetes, your blood sugar should be between 5 and 9 mmol/liter at least 90 minutes after eating . Of course, your doctor may recommend another postprandial level according to your personal needs and state of health

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What If I Have Trouble Getting To My Blood Sugar Goals

There may be times when you have trouble reaching your blood sugar goals. This does not mean that you have failed. It means that you and your health care team should see if changes are needed. Call your health care team if your blood sugar is often too high or too low. Taking action will help you be healthy today and in the future.


Keeping Your Levels In Range

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If you have diabetes, keeping your blood glucose within normal range after a high-carbohydrate meal can be difficult. The type of carbohydrates you choose can make a difference in your blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates, which must be broken down into simple sugars before your body can absorb them, slow the absorption process and help stabilize your blood sugars. The glycemic index defines carbohydrates by their absorption rate. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index, less than 45, cause a slow steady rise in blood glucose. Whole grains such as oats, wheat, barley, brown rice and lesser known grains such as quinoa help keep your levels within range. Foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, also slow digestion and help stabilize blood glucose after meals. Exercise can also help slow digestion and stabilize peaks in glucose.

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Other Ways To Measure Blood Sugar

Checking your blood sugar levels with a glucometer is not the only way to measure blood sugar. Other tests that your healthcare provider might use to check your blood sugar levels are hemoglobin A1c and oral glucose tolerance test . If youre really lucky, you may have access to a continuous glucose monitor .

HbA1c provides an estimate of your average blood sugar levels over time, giving you a sense of your blood sugar control over the last two or three months. An HbA1c test is the most common measurement used for diagnosing type 2 diabetes.16

However, HbA1c tests and blood sugar tests dont always agree. Using HbA1c levels to diagnose diabetes often fails to identify individuals who would otherwise be diagnosed with diabetes using blood sugar levels.17


Your HbA1c is normal if it is below 5.7%. You may have prediabetes if your HbA1c is above 5.7% but less than 6.5%. You may have diabetes is your HbA1c is 6.5% or over.

HbA1c
6.5% or higher
Cautious approachLess than 5.4 %

To learn more about HbA1c measurements and how they relate to blood sugar levels you record with your glucometer, see our full guide to understanding HbA1c.

An oral glucose tolerance test can be more accurate in terms of diagnosing prediabetes or diabetes.18 It measures your blood sugar two hours after you drink 75 grams of glucose. Because it requires drinking a large sugar solution, an OGTT may not be a useful test for someone on a long-term low-carb or ketogenic diet .

Whats My Target Range

You might be asking, what’s the normal range for blood sugar levels? The answer is, there is a healthy range that you should ideally be aiming for. The infographics above show the general guidelines, but your individual target range for your blood sugar levels may be different. Youll healthcare team will agree with you what it is.

Youll get different readings at different times of the day, depending on things like what youve eaten and how much you are moving around. Heres a guide to help you get started on finding your target range:


If youre a child with Type 1 diabetes

  • when you wake up and before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
  • after meals: 5 to 9mmol/l

If youre an adult with Type 1 diabetes

  • when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
  • before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l

If you have Type 2 diabetes

  • before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
  • two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l

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Blood Sugar Levels After Eating

Blood sugar level simply means the concentration of a simple sugar in certain amount of blood. In the United States, it is measured in mg/dl or milligrams per deciliter. Glucose concentration in the body fluctuates the whole day. Actually, there can be significant variations from minute to minute. Blood sugar levels after eating normally skyrocket and exercising will normally drop the levels. Doctors are interested in fasting glucose, glucose levels after eating, which is at times tested.

How To Stay In Target

When should you test your Blood Sugar

Eating healthy, exercising and taking medication, if necessary, will help you keep your blood sugar levels within their target range. Target ranges for blood sugar can vary depending on your age, medical condition and other risk factors.

Targets are different for pregnant women, older adults and children 12 years of age and under.

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How To Choose A Blood Glucose Meter

There are many blood sugar meters to choose from, so start by thinking about what’s most important to you. Ask yourself a few questions.

  • Are you concerned about accuracy? Make sure you’re using a meter and test strips that provide accurate results. Roche quality control processes ensure consistent accuracy. Find out more about our accuracy commitment.
  • Do you use blood glucose results to dose insulin? The Accu-Chek Guide meter sends results directly to a smartphone app that includes an insulin calculator.5
  • Do you feel like you’re always short on time? A system that syncs your data wirelessly, without manually entering results, can save time with every test. You may also want to consider a blood glucose meter that gives results quickly, makes it easier to handle test strips, doesn’t require coding, or simplifies lancing or dosing.
  • Would you like to reduce the pain of testing? Choose a system with a lancing device specifically designed for comfort, such as the Accu-Chek FastClix lancing device. Precision-guided technology minimizes the lancet’s painful side to side motion and thin-gauge, bevel-cut lancets help ensure smoother entry. Plus, 11 customizable depth settings make it easier to get the right amount of blood the first time.
  • Will you track results in the blood sugar meter, with an app or on a computer? Most blood sugar monitors have built-in memories, and many can beam or transfer data directly to your computer or an app on your smartphone, such as the mySugr app.

Ginger Tea Lowered Fasting Blood Glucose In Studies

Yes, a cup of ginger tea may come with a zing, but it might be worth sipping this spicy drink, especially if you have diabetes.

For starters, a past review suggests that ginger root supplementation technically a more potent form than tea lowered fasting blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as A1C.

Whats more, a small study published in February 2015 in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicineobserved that people with diabetes who took ginger supplementation for three months improved their glycemic control, and results were significant between the ginger group and the control group.

Ginger may affect glycemic control in the body by inhibiting enzymes that are involved in the carbohydrate metabolism process as well as increased insulin sensitivity, a . As a result, the researchers note, theres more of an uptake of glucose into the peripheral adipose and skeletal muscle tissue.


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Expected Blood Glucose After A High

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Blood glucose levels normally rise after a high-carbohydrate meal and drop back to normal levels within a few hours. But if your glucose levels rise higher than normal and recover more slowly, you might have diabetes. Your doctor can administer tests that measure your blood glucose levels immediately before you consume a high-carbohydrate meal and for several hours afterward. If you already have diabetes, your doctor might want you to check your blood glucose levels after meals, to make sure you’re keeping your glucose within the expected range.

The Best Time To Check Blood Glucose After A Meal

How Often Should You Check Your Blood Sugar?

Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating.

Q: I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Should I check my blood glucose two hours from when I start eating or after I finish eating my meal?

A: Most of the food you consume will be digested and raises blood glucose in one to two hours. To capture the peak level of your blood glucose, it is best to test one to two hours after you start eating.


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The American Diabetes Association recommends a target of below 180 mg/dl two hours after a meal. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a lower target: below 140 mg/dl two hours after a meal.

Ask your doctor which target is right for you. Postmeal blood glucose monitoring is important because it helps you see how your body responds to carbohydrates in general and particular foods. Managing postmeal blood glucose can help reduce your risk of developing heart and circulation problems.

Virginia Zamudio Lange, a member of Diabetic Living’s editorial advisory board, is a founding partner of Alamo Diabetes Team, LLP in San Antonio.

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Why Should You Test Your Blood Sugar

When you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels dont always stay in an optimal range. Testing your blood sugar helps you understand how food, activity, and medicine affect your blood glucose, according to the American Diabetes Association. They suggest keeping a log, noting the date, time, and blood glucose level. You might also want to notate what you were doing or eating prior to testing your glucose levels.

Misusing Lancets And Test Strips

For the least pain and the most accurate results, you need the right blood sugar testing supplies: lancets, an accurate glucose meter, and manufacturer-recommended test strips. Skimping may not offer you the payoff you’re hoping for lancets start out very sharp but quickly get dull and will hurt if you try to reuse them, says Amori. Also, using expired or poorly stored test strips can result in inaccurate readings.

Solutions for better diabetes control: Use a fresh lancet, make sure test strips are stored in a closed container, and check the test strip expiration date before using.

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How Long After Eating Does Blood Sugar Return To Normal

The blood sugar level falls back to a normal level around 1-2 hours after taking food. During this time digestion slows down and the sugar is absorbed by the tissue.


In diabetics, there can be a sudden spike in blood sugar after eating causing headache, dizziness and discomfort. This is called a post-prandial reaction. Normally, taking prescribed insulin medication can help mediate this problem.

The Effects Of Protein And Fat

How Long for your A1C to lower? When to test glucose?

The rate at which food leaves your stomach, called gastric emptying, affects the amount of sugar in your blood after you eat. Protein and fat both slow down gastric emptying, which helps keep blood sugar lower shortly after a meal. In a study published in 2016 in the journal Diabetologica, people who ate high protein-foods before eating carbohydrates , experienced a rise in glucagon, which is thought to play a role in slowing down gastric emptying.

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Plus, says Palinski-Wade, “if you’re eating a meal that has a large amount of fat or protein, the fat, the protein or the fiber will slow down the absorption and conversion of the sugar, so the peak might be a bit delayed.” She suggests eating carbs with at least one good source of fiber, protein or fat. “Not only is it going to help with the release of blood sugar,” she says, “but it’s also going to help keep you more satisfied.”

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Times To Check More Often

There will be times when you need to check more often, however you should first discuss this with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. Example of these times include when you are:

  • Being more physically active or less physically active
  • Sick or stressed
  • Experiencing changes in routine or eating habits, e.g. travelling
  • Changing or adjusting your insulin or medication
  • Experiencing symptoms of hypoglycaemia
  • Experiencing night sweats or morning headaches
  • A female planning pregnancy or are pregnant.
  • Pre/post minor surgical day procedures
  • Post dental procedures

Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you work out self-monitoring approach especially for you.

When Your Stress Increases

Stress, physical or emotional, can alter your blood glucose levels according to the American Diabetes Association. If you are going through a period of high stress, take the time to test your glucose more often than you typically do. When testing your glucose, rate your stress level between 1 and 10. After several weeks, you should be able to see a pattern and discern how stress affects your blood sugar and make corrections accordingly.

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Know Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugar is the amount of sugar in your blood at a given time. It’s important to check your blood sugar level, because it will:


  • determine if you have a high or low blood sugar level at a given time
  • show you how your lifestyle and medication affect your blood sugar levels
  • help you and your diabetes health-care team make lifestyle and medication changes to improve your blood sugar levels

When You Are Sick

When Should I Check My Blood Sugar Levels?

Blood sugars are more difficult to manage when youre sick, so its more important than ever to check your blood sugar frequently if youre under the weather with anything from the common cold, to a nasty flu, to even fighting off an infection.

Its often recommended to check as often as every 4 hours when sick, and to if:

  • Your blood sugar has been over 250 mg/dL for several hours and you have mild or moderate ketones
  • You cannot get your blood sugar above 70 mg/dL for several hours
  • You cannot keep liquids down
  • You have a temperature above 101 F
  • You have diarrhea and/or vomiting

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Normal Levels After Eating

Healthy, non-diabetic people normally have blood glucose levels of less than 120 milligrams per deciliter two hours after a normal meal, rarely exceeding 140 mg/dL, according to the American Diabetes Association. Levels return to normal within two to three hours. When you undergo a glucose tolerance test, you consume a high-carbohydrate drink or snack containing 75 grams of carbohydrate.

At one hour, your test falls into the normal, non-diabetic range if your blood glucose remains below 200 mg/dL. Two hours after your meal, blood glucose should remain below 140 mg/dL.


A level of over 200 mg/dL at two hours post-prandial — which means after a meal — indicates diabetes. Levels between 140 and 200 mg/dL indicate pre-diabetes, a condition with a strong risk of developing diabetes in the future.

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