A1C is a blood test to determine diabetes, risk for diabetes, and how you are handling the disease if you have diabetes. This is different from a blood sugar test, which only evaluates blood sugar levels at the moment, while A1C looks at blood sugar over a longer period, usually the last 3 month or so.

  • A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent

  • Prediabetes is between 5.7 to 6.4 percent. Having prediabetes is a risk factor for getting type 2 diabetes. People with prediabetes may need retests every year.

  • Type 2 diabetes is above 6.5 percent

As with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, the steps you can take to lower your A1C include increased activity, ideally exercise, eating a healthy diet or nutrient dense foods, staying on a schedule with eating so you avoid the instability in wider swings in your blood sugar.

Avoid processed foods

Avoid sodas

Pay attention to portion sizes, especially with complex carbs

Get your body fat levels down to desired levels (usually 18-20% for men, 20-22% for women)

Check with your doctor about any and all lifestyle changes