What to eat when your blood sugar is low?

What to eat when your sugar is lowYou need to know the ins and outs of what to eat when your blood sugar is low especially when faced with the threat of hypoglycemia symptoms. Whether you end up with low blood sugar because your system is malfunctioning, you accidentally overdosed on insulin, over-binged on alcohol, or experienced a post-carb crash you will have to deal with the nasty symptoms of hypoglycemia one way or the other.

Best foods for hypoglycemia symptoms

What are the best foods to eat for hypoglycemia? Regardless of the cause when your blood glucose is low and you need to bring it back up fast, you want to have simple sugar in liquid form at hand. Below are three examples of popular fast acting, blood glucose-raising drinks:

  • Classic coke
  • Grape juice
  • Gatorade

They have high glycemic index and can rescue you from hypoglycemia symptoms. No wonder they have a reputation of good picker-uppers. Keep in mind NOT to reach for

  • milk,
  • tomato juice, or
  • apple juice.

These beverages do not flood your body with sugar fast enough, although you can use them to prevent low blood sugar symptoms before they happen. Keep them handy and use in between meals when you do not yet have hypoglycemia symptoms.

What comes up must go down

Coke, Gatorade and grape juice, although great for immediate hypoglycemia rescue are also the biggest contributor to hypoglycemia symptoms. Remember what comes up must go down or even more accurate in this case: what sores up must crash down.. at least as it is in a case of dysregulated sugar metabolism and high glycemic index foods (foods that have ability to cause a fast increase in blood sugar).

High glycemic index beverages as well as high glycemic index foods, such as:

  • cornflakes, grape nuts, puffed wheat,
  • boiled rice, rice cakes
  • mashed or baked potatoes
  • white baguette, bagel, wonder bread
  • pretzels

all have the ability to nearly instantaneously raise blood glucose, due to their high digestibility. This is great news if you are in a low zone, because these foods, although nutritionally useless (except for potatoes) can be your best friends when you get the sugar blues. But…

if you use these foods frequently, and if breakfast cereals, chips, pretzels, and baked goods are on your table daily they are likely contributing to your sugar swings, weight gain and hypoglycemia symptoms.

High glycemic index foods contribute to sugar ups and downs leading to a permanent state of sugar dysregulation. Unless you fix it you will have to choose between putting on weight and dealing with hunger pangs.

How to prevent low blood sugar?

If you already have hypoglycemia symptoms you want to use high glycemic index foods to raise your blood sugar fast, but if you are interested in improving your health instead of chasing the dips, you should stay away from foods that cause fast blood sugar increase. In fact, if you are after health you want to do the opposite: focus on low glycemic index foods, foods that make blood sugar go up slowly.

Low glycemic index foods such as:

  • apple
  • barley
  • hummus
  • grapefruit
  • beans
  • nuts
  • carrots

will not cause sharp sugar highs and deep lows won’t follow either. If you are facing frequent sugar dips, hunger pangs, and “skip-lunch” headaches focus on these foods and avoid the breads, cereals, pop, fruit juices, and potatoes.

Remember these two simple rules:

  1. What to eat to prevent blood sugar from getting low: eat LOW glycemic index foods (fruits, beans, vegetables, meats)
  2. What to eat when your blood sugar is already low: use HIGH glycemic index beverages and foods (pop, cereals, rice, potatoes, breads, baked goods)

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