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How to Calculate Your A1C Levels [+Try our A1C Calculator]

October 15, 2021
Written by
Team NutriSense
Reviewed by

Do you feel overwhelmed by the jargon and measurements involved in controlling your blood sugar? It can be challenging to keep track of everything, especially if you’re already preoccupied with a diabetes diagnosis. Still, it’s worth carving out a little more space in your memory for something as important as A1C. 

If you’ve recently taken a blood test or if you’ve been discussing or treating diabetes with your doctor, you’ve likely heard about A1C. Only a lab test can accurately measure A1C, and it’s best if a medical professional analyzes it. The results help provide an approximate value for how much glucose has been in your bloodstream on average for the past 2-3 months. Managing A1C effectively will keep you out of your doctor’s office longer, prevent the onset of diabetes and help bring you back from the brink of a diagnosis. In this article, we’ll fill you in on what exactly A1C is and how you can keep an eye on it yourself between blood tests.

What Does A1C Actually Measure?

A1C is not blood glucose (blood sugar). It’s closely related, but not quite the same thing. If you want to explore this more, check out our support page. For now, what you need to know is that blood glucose is the amount of sugar in the blood by weight at the moment you measure it. 

So, what are A1C measurements? They're a representation of the amount of glucose stuck to the hemoglobin in the blood over the months-long lifetime of your blood cells. When bound to sugar, you'd call this hemoglobin A1C, giving us the moniker A1C. The lower it is, the lower your risk of diabetes.

The Difference Between Estimated Average Glucose (EAG) and A1C

Remember, the A1C measurement stems from the two or three months that your red blood cells are alive. So, the test provides your doctor with much-needed visibility into how sugary your blood has been recently. They're able to see this for a more extended period than with CGM and glucometer measurements. But because A1C represents sugar levels over such a long period, your doctor reads the results as an average percentage. This differs from the volumetric measurement of your other glucose readings.

Still, A1C is not a count of your blood sugar: it's the measurement of how much hemoglobin has sugar stuck to it. The blood sugar measurements you’re used to are from the glucose floating around your blood plasma when your meter or CGM takes the reading. So, while A1C can be a helpful tool to estimate how your blood sugar has been on average, it’s not literally your blood sugar count.

You may have had your doctor explain your A1C levels in terms of Estimated Average Glucose, or EAG. Studies have linked EAG and A1C through formulaic conversion. Like A1C, it is an expression of your blood sugar over a few months. It’s convenient for those monitoring their blood sugar since EAG is a more relatable measurement of mg/dL, the same units used on any glucometer or CGM. 

EAG is, as the name implies, an estimated average, and any average is only as good as the data you supply it with. So, keep this in mind when discussing what your measurements may mean for your overall blood sugar outlook. If you're not measuring measure your EAG consistently, it may not give you an accurate representation of your blood sugar. You will get a much more accurate reading if you read your glucose routinely. 

NutriSense recommends regular testing after meals to help provide you and your doctor with consistent information, so that you can get the most benefit from your efforts. Using a CGM can make it easy to keep up the routine, especially when paired with an app and dietitians.

Simple Conversion Formula for A1C From Average Blood Glucose

Now that you know what A1C is and what it measures let's see how to calculate it. You can estimate it using a formula no more complicated than converting Celsius to Fahrenheit (which we admit can be a little hard to remember). All you need to do is apply your average blood glucose measurement to one of the following formulas:

If your blood glucose is in mg/dL (for those living in the US), use this formula:

(46.7 + your glucose) / 28.7 = your A1C

If your blood glucose is in mmol/L (for those living outside the US), use this formula:

(2.59 + your glucose) / 1.59 = your A1C

If you’d like to read more about where these numbers come from, you can check out our source here.

Try Our A1C Calculator

Not everyone loves crunching numbers, so if that formula is too much of a hassle, try our handy estimator:


Remember, you only see a rough estimate when calculating your A1C without using a proper lab test. Any calculator will use your blood glucose to estimate your A1C. As you now know, this is only a derivation and not an actual measurement.

Understanding the Range of A1C

Now that you have an estimate of your A1C, check if you’re at risk for diabetes by comparing your result to the tolerances used by both the ADA and CDC:


If your estimated range falls anywhere above 5.7%, get ahead of the risk early. Take control of your health and start monitoring your glucose more closely with a CGM.

Ways to Calculate Your A1C

Using a 30, 60, or 90-day Average Glucose Value From a CGM

Most CGMs have a feature to provide you with an average of your glucose readings over a chosen period. Using a calculator or formula conversion can help translate those averages into an A1C estimation. Like with EAG, you have to take the data points making up these averages routinely. If they're sporadic or have significant gaps, you could see an unreliable A1C measurement.

Calculating Your A1C From Your EAG

If you already know your EAG from a doctor's visit or another test, you can derive your A1C from the same calculator or formulas above. Just keep our previous advice in mind: taking this measurement is an estimation at best.

A1C Home Tests

Options for telehealth and remote doctor visits have never been more popular. To meet the demand, many lab tests now have comparable analogs available to consumers. This includes at-home A1C tests, which can be just as accurate as lab tests prescribed by your doctor. 

While many are available at your pharmacy, some are only available to purchase online. Most are affordable, but costs can stack up with frequent testing because some insurance plans don’t cover home tests. The bells and whistles can vary as much as cost, so we recommend shopping around to pick what’s best for you and your current circumstances.

A1C Lab Tests

Lab tests are some of the most common ways to get A1C results. There’s the traditional route, with tests prescribed by a doctor, and there’s also on-demand lab tests. Wherever you choose to get them, it’s a good idea to go over the results with a dietitian or doctor who knows your medical history. This way they can discuss potential complications with your unique physiology in mind. Also, remember, since A1C is dependent on the life span of your red blood cells, any related blood disorders affecting you may skew your results. 

Start Optimizing Your Health by Monitoring Your Blood Glucose

However you’re choosing to measure your blood sugar, you can fill in the gaps between tests with on-demand updates with a NutriSense CGM.  Armed with glucose data throughout the day, you can make better-informed decisions and get on track for a healthier life, faster.

Click here to listen to the podcast.
Listen to the full podcast:
How to Calculate Your A1C Levels [+Try our A1C Calculator]
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I Think, I Can—Using Technology as a Window Into Your Physiology
I Think, I Can—Using Technology as a Window Into Your Physiology

Molly explains how using a continuous glucose monitor is what personalized health care means. If you want to fine-tune your health, tune in to this special episode of I Think, I Can.

Podcast
10
min
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My Day | My Life: Nutritionist Carlee Hayes' Canine Cuddles
My Day | My Life: Nutritionist Carlee Hayes' Canine Cuddles

My Day | My Life explores the lives of people who have, in one way or another, mastered the art of aging. In this episode, meet Carlee Hayes, dietitian and Nutrition Manager at NutriSense.

Story
9
min
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Common Workout Injuries and How to Prevent Them
Common Workout Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Worried about getting injured during your next workout? Learn about the most common workout injuries, how they can affect blood glucose levels, and some tips to help you prevent them.

Story
6
min
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Eat with NutriSense This St. Patrick's Day
Eat with NutriSense This St. Patrick's Day

Would eating the same meal, at the same time, have the same blood glucose response for three different people? See what our team found out after sampling a delicious corned beef and cabbage dish in preparation for St. Patrick's Day!

Story
7
min
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Build Healthy Habits During Lent
Build Healthy Habits During Lent

Do you know what you're giving up for Lent this year? For those who observe it, this can be a good time to give up bad habits, and add healthy ones into your routine! Read on to find out more about how to build healthy habits this season.

Story
11
min
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Do You Know How Healthy Your Breakfast Cereal Is?
Do You Know How Healthy Your Breakfast Cereal Is?

Cereal is one of the most popular breakfast foods out there—but how healthy is it, really? Review the nutritional content of some popular breakfast cereals, and learn how to choose a healthy option for your individual needs.

Story
9
min
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Obesity: What You Should Know and Some New Research on the Condition
Obesity: What You Should Know and Some New Research on the Condition

Did you know that more than two in five adults have obesity? Find out more about the pressing public health issue, review some new research that is shedding light on the condition, and learn how to diagnose and treat it.

Story
7
min
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Tips for a Healthy, Happy Purim
Tips for a Healthy, Happy Purim

Purim, a joyous occasion celebrated around March or April every year, is just around the corner! Read on to learn more about the holiday and the delicious foods that accompany it.

Story
9
min
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Vinegar and Blood Sugar: Does It Lower It?
Vinegar and Blood Sugar: Does It Lower It?

Read on to find out what impact, if any, vinegar really has on our body’s ability to balance blood sugar.

Story
8
min
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Meal Frequency and Insulin Sensitivity: How Many Times Should You be Eating in a Day?
Meal Frequency and Insulin Sensitivity: How Many Times Should You be Eating in a Day?

If you have insulin sensitivity, is eating two large meals a day or three to five smaller meals better? Find out more about the relationship between meal frequency and insulin sensitivity, and how many times you should be eating in a day.

Story
9
min
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Understanding the Causes and Symptoms of Endometriosis
Understanding the Causes and Symptoms of Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a common yet often ignored condition. Learn more about the symptoms to watch out for, how you can seek treatment, and read first-hand accounts from two women who have dealt with endometriosis.

Story
8
min
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The Benefits and Risks of Popular Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices
The Benefits and Risks of Popular Ayurvedic Herbs and Spices

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian holistic healing system that dates back over 5,000 years. In the second installment of our series on the practice, review the benefits and risks associated with popular Ayurvedic herbs and spices.

Story
7
min
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Can Eating Pizza Raise Your Blood Glucose Levels?
Can Eating Pizza Raise Your Blood Glucose Levels?

Pizza can be challenging to enjoy eating without worrying about how it affects your health. But while it may be indulgent, it is possible to prepare or order it in a way that won’t wreak havoc on your health or blood sugar levels. Read on to find out more!

Story
8
min
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Do Artificial Sweeteners Raise Insulin Levels?
Do Artificial Sweeteners Raise Insulin Levels?

Review our post on the impacts artificial sweeteners have on blood glucose, insulin, and other areas of your personal health.

Story
8
min
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What Research Says About Sleep and Blood Sugar Levels
What Research Says About Sleep and Blood Sugar Levels

Recent research has shown that sleep and blood glucose are intricately connected. Read on to learn more about what this means for your blood sugar levels and overall health.

Story
8
min
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Understanding the Relationship Between Menopause and Metabolic Health
Understanding the Relationship Between Menopause and Metabolic Health

Did you know that menopause can affect your metabolic health, and vice versa? Read on to understand the relationship between metabolic health and menopause, and how to manage metabolic health during your menopausal journey. 

Podcast
57
min
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How a Continuous Blood Sugar Monitor Can Help You Find Your Perfect Diet
How a Continuous Blood Sugar Monitor Can Help You Find Your Perfect Diet

In this episode learn the truth about how we react to certain foods in regards to our blood sugar response and how you can tailor your diet according to your CGM results.

Podcast
66
min
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All About Blood Sugar With Molly Downey, RDN
All About Blood Sugar With Molly Downey, RDN

This week, dive into how to eat your carbs and manage your blood sugar, too with Molly Downey, RDN, LDN.

Story
8
min
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A NutriSense Dietitian's Favorite Kitchen Staples
A NutriSense Dietitian's Favorite Kitchen Staples

Food can be fun, pleasurable, and nutritious all at the same time. Read on to learn more about the two nutrient-dense kitchen staples one of our dietitians swears by to help optimize her health!

Story
10
min
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10 Tastiest Nutrient-Dense Foods From Around the World
10 Tastiest Nutrient-Dense Foods From Around the World

Instead of the type or amount of food you eat, you should focus on the amount of nutrients you're adding to every meal. Here are some of our favorite nutrient-dense foods from around the world to help you get started.

Story
7
min
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Do Pineapples Raise Blood Sugar Levels?
Do Pineapples Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

Learn everything you need to know about pineapples, your health, and your blood glucose levels, and see how our dietitians like to eat the sweet, tropical fruit. 

Story
14
min
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Setting Up The Right Diet Plan For Prediabetes [+Sample Diet Plan Included]
Setting Up The Right Diet Plan For Prediabetes [+Sample Diet Plan Included]

Learn more about the relationship between prediabetes and your diet, and see how to build a diet plan that works for you with some great tips, tricks and recipes from our nutrition team!

Story
9
min
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What You Should Know About Acupuncture
What You Should Know About Acupuncture

Learn more about the research on, as well as the benefits and risks of acupuncture, a form of alternative medicine that involves inserting needles into your body for pain and stress relief.

Story
6
min
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Triglycerides and Blood Glucose [+Tips to Lower Triglyceride Levels]
Triglycerides and Blood Glucose [+Tips to Lower Triglyceride Levels]

Learn everything you need to know about the relationship between triglycerides levels and blood glucose.


Story
5
min
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A Guide to Ayurveda
A Guide to Ayurveda

From acupuncture to chiropractic treatments and homeopathy to holistic healing, complementary and alternative medicine is increasing in popularity. Read on to learn more about Ayurveda, a healing system that originated in India thousands of years ago.  

Story
7
min
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Sugar and Cholesterol: Does Sugar Raise Your Cholesterol Levels?
Sugar and Cholesterol: Does Sugar Raise Your Cholesterol Levels?

Learn about the impact sugar has on your cholesterol levels and ways to manage your sugar intake.