What is The Prediabetes Glucose Level?

Andrea Jeffery, MS, RDN, LD , On July 22, 2022

The pre-diabetes glucose level is when patients experience a fasting blood glucose of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL. When a patients blood sugar level is greater than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after eating, the person has entered the hyperglycemia blood glucose level.

Prediabetes is a medical condition of impaired glucose tolerance that is above normal but below hyperglycemia or type 2 diabetes blood glucose level.

People with prediabetes glucose level can reverse the condition or progress to get type 2 diabetes. Once people go beyond the pre-diabetes glucose level and into diabetes they can also get other health problems, such as stroke and heart attack.

Talk to your doctor to know for sure if you have a pre-diabetes glucose level. A simple blood test can measure your blood glucose level.

Pre-diabetes terminology you should know:

  • Blood glucose is a way of referencing the sugar in your blood, AKA blood sugar.

  • Type 2 diabetes is when the blood sugar level in your body is too high / into hyperglycemia.

  • Insulin resistance is when your muscles, fat, and liver cells become resistant to insulin. Pre-diabetes is developing insulin resistance.

What are Pre-diabetes symptoms?

If you have pre-diabetes, your body is not responding to the release of insulin. This is called insulin resistance. There usually are not any symptoms that let you know you are developing pre-diabetes, but a blood test can tell you if your blood glucose level is in the pre-diabetes range.

Absence of Pre-diabetes Symptoms Explained:

  • You eat food.

  • Your blood glucose rises.

  • Your pancreas goes to work. It secretes insulin (a hormone) to lower blood glucose levels.

  • Glucose is turned into energy and stored in your muscles, fat, and liver.

  • Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels to keep it in a normal range.

Development of Pre-diabetes Explained:

  • Your muscle, fat, and liver cells do not effectively help insulin take up the blood glucose.

  • Because of this, your insulin levels may become inadequate to keep the amount of blood sugar in your blood at a normal level.

  • Your health risk of Pre-ediabetes includes the development type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

What is the pre-diabetes range?

This chart shows the prediabetes glucose level range based on your blood sugar after an overnight fasting (not eating).

Normal Range

Below 5.7%

Prediabetes range

5.7% to 6.4%

Diabetes range

6.5% +

What puts your body at risk for being in the pre-diabetes glucose range?

A combination of lifestyle choices and genetics increase your risk of developing pre-diabetes blood sugar levels:

Physical inactivity. To revert pre-diabetes being active less than 3 times a week.

Being overweight leads to insulin resistance and you could develop pre-diabetes.

45+ years of age increases your risk of developing pre-diabetes.

Race and ethnicity – African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians, Pacific Islanders, some Asian Americans are more likely to develop pre-diabetes

Genetics contribute to your development of pre-diabetes. Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes increases your risk.

Your health history also comes into play to determine if you are at risk of developing pre-diabetes blood sugar levels. The following conditions put you at risk:

Heart disease


High blood pressure

Abnormal cholesterol readings

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby more than 9 pounds

Is pre-diabetes reversible?

Learn the steps you can take to reverse pre-diabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes from developing. There are scientifically proven action items you can take to reverse pre-diabetes that include:

Eating a healthy diet

Being physical active at least 3 days per week

Losing weight, if you are overweight – a pre-diabetes weight loss of 5 to 7% is a great first step!

What is a good pre-diabetes diet?

Let’s talk nutrition. If you’ve got pre-diabetes, there are ten steps to help reverse pre-diabetes:

  1. Decrease your oil/fat intake – use a splash of oil when you are cooking, avoid deep fried foods.
  2. Watch that saturated fat – decrease your intake of butter, luncheon meats, and marbled meats.
  3. Use low-fat dairy – replace your whole milk with 1% or skim milk, use low-fat or skim yogurt in place of sour cream.
  4. Increase your vegetable intake – eat veggies as your main course or sides to your quality protein dishes. Choose fresh or frozen veggies – or canned with no added salt or sauce.
  5. Boost your fruit intake – fresh, frozen, or canned (in own juice) will work. Add fruit with a protein for a snack, such as an apple and peanut butter or mozzarella cheese stick. Use fruit as desert for that burst of sweetness!
  6. Reduce added sugar intake – choose no added sugar drinks such as water, flavored water, or unsweetened teas.
  7. Go light on the salt – take that saltshaker off the table and use less salt when cooking.
  8. Season with herbs and spices – enhance the flavor of food with herbs and spices such as parsley, basil, oregano, chive, garlic, onion powder, paprika, pepper, ginger, turmeric.
  9. Avoid processed foods – put those boxes back on the shelf and select whole foods.
  10. Make meal prep easy. Shop and plan your meals so you know you are eating a wholesome diet that is portion controlled and has all the essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy lifestyle.

MealPro meals are low in saturated fat and cooked with healthy olive oil. Each meal has two or more servings of vegetables. They cut the salt and seasoned with herbs and spices. Each meal has two or more servings of vegetables. And, there are no added sugars. Subscribing to MealPro can also help reduce trips to the grocery store. To balance the cost of the meal delivery service and embrace healthier eating, reduce how often you eat out.

96 million people in the United States have prediabetes: Yup, that is 1 in 3 adults And, 8 in 10 adults likely have prediabetes but do not yet know it

Does this have to be you? No! Lifestyle changes can turn the tide on prediabetes. And, if you are overweight, losing weight can make a big difference.

So, make a plan, talk it over with a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area, and take control of your nutrition.

Andrea Jeffery, MS, RDN, LD

Andrea holds a B.S in Dietetics and a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Idaho State University. She is a licensed dietitian through the Idaho State Board of Medicine. She is currently a MealPro blog contributor and serves as adjunct faculty at Idaho State University.