Understanding FPG, PPG, and A1C

When it comes to diabetes, there are a lot of numbers and acronyms to remember. Understanding what they mean can help you understand how to reach your blood sugar goals.

Understanding and controlling blood sugar spikes can help you reach your A1C target

Your A1C level is the sum of your FPG and PPG levels
Your fasting blood sugar level

Fasting plasma glucose (FPG)

Your blood sugar level after eating

Postprandial plasma glucose (PPG)

Blood sugar by the numbers

Your daily blood sugar targets and A1C goal may be more or less than the targets below based upon what your health care provider thinks makes the most sense for you.

FPG stands for “fasting blood glucose”. This is your blood sugar level when you have not eaten for 8 hours. You may measure and record your FPG in the morning or when you wake up.

Recommended targets
ADA: 80 to 130 mg/dL
AACE: <110 mg/dL

PPG stands for “postprandial plasma glucose”. “Postprandial” means “after a meal”—so PPG is the measure of your blood sugar level an hour or 2 after you’ve eaten. Measuring PPG is important for keeping track of blood sugar spikes, which can tell you how well your mealtime insulin is working.

Recommended targets
ADA: <180 mg/dL
AACE: <140 mg/dL

A1C is a test your health care provider performs in their office. It measures your plasma glucose concentration, which is your blood sugar level, over the last 2-3 months. A1C is made up of your FPG and PPG measurements. Your A1C number will give you an idea of how well your blood sugar has been controlled over time, and how well your diabetes care plan is working overall.

Recommended targets for non-pregnant adults
ADA: <7%
AACE: <6.5%
ADA = American Diabetes Association; AACE = American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists

Tracking your blood sugar—an important step

It is important for you to track your blood sugar between office visits, so that your health care provider can see if your treatment is working. There are many tools available for tracking your blood sugar, like this downloadable spreadsheet.

Download tracker

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