Within two hours of eating, the blood sugar level of a non-pregnant diabetic should be below 180 milligrams per deciliter, states the American Diabetes Association. This is a general recommendation, however. Blood sugar targets should be adjusted based on age, the presence of other chronic diseases and additional factors.
Diabetics should check their blood sugar levels within one to two hours of eating, recommends Group Health Cooperative. The information gained from testing blood sugar consistently makes it easier to take the right amount of insulin and increases understanding of how certain foods affect glucose levels. Regular testing also helps diabetics avoid the severe fluctuations in blood sugar often seen with physical activity. Testing glucose levels is especially helpful for pregnant women, people taking insulin and diabetics who have difficulty controlling their blood sugar, notes the American Diabetes Association.
Blood sugar is another name for glucose, a type of sugar found in foods and beverages, explains MedlinePlus. After eating, insulin is supposed to help glucose enter the cells. People with diabetes don't have enough insulin, or they don't use insulin effectively, which causes blood sugar levels to stay elevated. Over time, high glucose levels can cause serious complications such as heart disease, nerve damage and kidney disease. Losing excess weight, following a diabetic diet and getting regular exercise can help keep blood sugar levels under control.