A1c Conversion Chart: A Tool for Diabetes Management

Last Updated on by Kari Garner, MS RDN LD CDCES

Today, On The Blog, I am talking about blood sugar goals! By the end of this post, you’ll have the target range for blood sugars and steps you can take to reach your goals. Plus, access to my newest resource – an A1c conversion chart! 

Keeping your blood sugars within range is important to prevent the progression of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes while also preventing other health problems such as kidney disease or cardiovascular complications.

I will answer your questions such as “where should blood sugars be?” and discussing both A1c goals & targets numbers for type 2 diabetes. It is my goal to empower you with the education, resources and support you need to know your numbers so let’s get started!

What Are my Blood Sugar Targets?

Blood sugar targets are going to be a range of values to work toward to maintain or even improve your health.

The targets below are general recommendations for majority of adults. Keep in mind that there is not a one size fits all target. You will need to work with your diabetes care team to determine your specific target range for blood sugars.

Blood Sugar Goals for Diabetes

  • Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
  • Two hours after start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL

A1c Goal for Diabetes

Hemoglobin A1c will be reported as a percentage since it is a calculation of your average blood sugars over the past 2-3 months.

If your blood sugars have been high over the past few months, the percentage will be higher. If your blood sugars have been lower and/or controlled, then the percentage will be lower.

  • If your A1C is less then 5.7%, you are in the normal blood sugar range.
  • If your A1C is between 5.7 and 6.4%, you are in the prediabetes range.
  • If your A1c is 6.5% and greater, you are in the diabetes range.

Understanding your A1c is really important so you can monitor your health and adjust treatment plans or lifestyle habits.

However, I know how confusing it can be to interpret these values and understand how to adjust your management plan.

To reduce frustration, I have created an easy-to-read A1c conversion chart below!

It translates your A1c percentage into an estimated average glucose or eAG. This offers a clearer understanding of how your average blood sugar readings relate to your A1c. 

For example, if you have an A1c of 7.5% then your average blood glucose over the past 2-3 months has been approximately 169. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide on How to Lower A1c!

A1c Conversion Chart

An a1c conversion chart shows the relationship between A1c and your estimated average blood glucose levels for 2-3 months. Your goal is an A1c less than 7%, as keeping your a1c as low as possible helps prevent diabetes complications.

Related: Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors: What You Need To Know

How Do I Know My Numbers?

Blood tests are the preferred method to know your glucose levels.

To check your blood sugars daily, it is best to use a glucometer or a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) since these devices provide real-time data.

Whether you choose a glucometer for traditional fingerstick testing or a CGM for continuous monitoring, you can gain insight into fluctuations and patterns. 

To check your blood sugars over a period of time, have an hemoglobin A1C blood test completed with your healthcare provider.

This blood test checks your average blood sugar over a 2-3 month time frame to provide clarity on overall blood sugar control.

How Can I Treat Blood Sugars Out of Range?

Work with your diabetes care team! This team is essential for diabetes management as it is this group of providers that should be working to support you each and every day. This team may include:

  • Endocrinologist
  • Nurse(s)
  • Registered Dietitian/Certified Diabetes Educator
  • Dentist
  • Podiatrist
  • Counselor
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Social Worker

Sharing your daily numbers and monitoring your A1c with your team, can help you determine the best actions to take to stay within your blood sugar range. Your diabetes care team should know your routine and challenges in life and be there to support you in finding your approach to diabetes management.

They may recommend any of the following actions:

  1. Increasing activity such as walking outside for 20 minutes each day.
  2. Eating more vegetables by adding non-starchy vegetables at lunch each day.
  3. Staying hydrated by increasing water intake.
  4. Taking medicine as prescribed by your physician.
  5. Finding a sustainable meal plan like my 25/75 Method Meal Planning Guide!

Looking for a dietitian to join your care team?

I now offer Diabetes Diet Discovery sessions! I will look at your lifestyle habits and food intake then give you constructive feedback to help improve your blood sugars.

Skip the face-to-face appointment in an office and instead receive your diet review and recommendations from the comfort of your own home!

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Flourish with Diabetes!

If you are ready to take the leap and transform your health, check out my Resources Page. I can help you grow & flourish with diabetes!

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Springtime Nutrition, LLC was founded on my passion to partner with individuals to eliminate the stress, frustration and overwhelm of changing their nutrition lifestyle. I am committed to supporting you at every step of your journey. Ready to transform your life?  Get started today!

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Certified Diabetes Care & Education Specialist/ Registered Dietitian/ Owner / Springtime Nutrition, LLC

Kari is a diabetes expert with more than 18 years of experience. Kari currently works as a diabetes educator with a large hospital system in Charleston, SC and is committed to improving the lives of people with any type of diabetes.

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