A Little About Reactive Hypoglycemia
Reactive hypoglycemia, also known as postprandial hypoglycemia, is a condition characterized by low blood sugars that occur within four hours after eating a meal. It affects people with and without diabetes, people who are overweight and those whove had gastric bypass surgery. Doctors arent certain what causes the sudden drop in blood sugar, but its thought to be an excessive secretion of insulin, the hormone that carries glucose from the blood to the cells.
Symptoms of reactive hypoglycemia vary and may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, increased hunger and headaches. While reactive hypoglycemia can cause low blood sugar, some people experience the symptoms of the condition without their blood sugar dropping below normal.
A Small Handful Of Crunchy Pistachios For Protein And Healthy Fat
Pistachios contain a powerful punch of protein as well as a mixture of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help reduce your cholesterol levels, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol can also cut your risk of developing heart disease, a common complication of diabetes, according to the CDC.
A 1-oz portion equals about 160 calories, per the USDA. Theyre also a good source of fiber, with 3 g.
Treating Low Blood Glucose If You Take Medicines That Slow Down Digestion
Some diabetes medicines slow down the digestion of carbohydrates to keep blood glucose levels from rising too high after you eat. If you develop low blood glucose while taking these medicines, you will need to take glucose tablets or glucose gel right away. Eating or drinking other sources of carbohydrates wont raise your blood glucose level quickly enough.
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Sliced Apple And Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is rich in protein, fiber, and healthful fats, an attractive nutritional profile for anyone looking to help control blood sugar levels.
Try cutting an apple and adding a light spread of peanut butter to each slice. Or, try a different type of nut butter, such as almond or cashew butter.
The Best Foods To Eat For Low Blood Sugar According To Doctors And Nutritionists
As a Type 1 diabetic whose blood sugar falls below the normal threshold on a fairly frequent basis, I can speak firsthand to the dizziness, physical weakness and confusion prompted by hypoglycemia, and I can also speak to the importance of having food and drink items on hand to quickly boost my blood glucose levels.
A little background: Hypoglycemia, a medical condition in which the level of sugar in ones blood falls below a normal point , can be caused by a wide range of factors, including heavy exercise, pregnancy, infections, certain medications and most commonly by diabetes thats treated with insulin injections.
While I have my own favorite low-blood-sugar treatments, I found myself wondering which snacks and beverages are the most effective from a medical and scientific standpoint. So I consulted a group of physicians and nutritionists with strong knowledge of hypoglycemia, who came up with this list of four go-to choices for anyone who needs to raise their blood glucose levels quickly and safely.
Before we get to actual foods, wed be remiss not to start with glucose tablets, a staple tool for treating hypoglycemia, which diabetics get to know very early on in their experience with the disease.
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The 21 Best Snack Ideas If You Have Diabetes
Choosing healthy snacks can be difficult when you have diabetes.
The key is to choose snacks that are high in fiber, protein and healthy fats. These nutrients will help keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Its also important to snack on nutrient-dense foods that promote overall health.
This article discusses 21 excellent snacks to eat if you have diabetes.
A Few Cups Of Microwave Or Air
Popcorn is the king of comfort foods! But did you know that, according to the Oldways Whole Grains Council, it’s a whole grain, too? Whole grains contain satiating fiber, which can help support a healthy weight, according to the Mayo Clinic. This high-fiber, crunchy snack tantalizes the taste buds as the kernels begin to pop. But be mindful of what you put on top. Select a low-fat variety of popcorn that can be microwaved or air-popped for just 6 g of carbs and 31 calories per cup, per the USDA.
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Things That Can Help To Balance Your Blood Sugar
- Daily Exercise: Regular exercise can help increase insulin sensitivity and help your muscles use glucose effectively. This is great for those trying to lose weight, as this way you can guide the carbs and sugar toward providing energy for your workouts instead of letting that sugar float around your bloodstream.
- Low carb/High fat diet: Im not suggesting everyone hop on the Keto train. Keto is definitely not for everyone! I tried it in the past and found I was still eating too many calories. I have found a healthy medium by simply minimizing my carbs and eating a bit more satiating fat. Those are things like avocado or extra virgin olive oil. Carbs break down into sugars . If your body cant store this sugar for energy, your blood sugar levels tend to rise. Studies* show that a low carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes. That is why it is commonly prescribed to those who are already diabetic.
Lastly, if you can, monitor your blood sugar levels. I know this is not possible for everyone. Unless you have health coverage like I do, this can be extremely pricey.
Glucose Tablets: A Quick Fix
If your blood sugar has dropped too low, a quick-acting carbohydrate is needed to bring blood sugar levels back up, says OConnor. Glucose tablets are tailor-made to help. This inexpensive fix for low blood sugar is widely available at pharmacies and large chain stores like Walmart and Target.
Usually, three to four glucose tablets are needed to bring levels back up. We recommend that patients who are prone to hypoglycemia carry glucose tablets with them and put them in several locations in their home and car, says OConnor. Glucose is also sold in gel form in small packets, and as a beverage.
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Easy Vanilla Chiaseed Pudding With Blueberries
The mighty chia seed steals the show in this simple recipe that only requires three ingredients: chia seeds, almond milk and blueberries.
“Chia seeds provide ALA omega-3 fatty acids, along with fiber, making them a great ingredient for a satisfying snack,” Largeman-Roth says, adding that “antioxidant-packed blueberries offer another fiber boost for a whopping 9 grams per serving!”
Get the Easy Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding with Blueberries recipe and nutritional info here.
What Are The Benefits Of Blood Glucose Monitoring
Regular glucose monitoring is one way people with diabetes can learn more about their condition. When its time to make important decisions about medication dosage, exercise, and diet, knowing your blood glucose levels will help you, your doctor, and the rest of your healthcare team.
Your doctor will calculate the target range for your blood glucose based on your age, your type of diabetes, your overall health, and other factors. Its important to keep your glucose levels within your target range as best as you can.
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Best Snacks For Low Blood Sugar
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Peanut Butter And Jelly On A Whole
The good news about PB: Including it in your breakfast can help improve satiety, reduce hunger, and decrease after-meal glucose levels, according to a small, past study.
Spread 1 tbsp on ½ of a high-fiber, whole-grain English muffin for a wholesome, nourishing snack. One option, Natural Creamy Jif Peanut Butter Spread, roughly contains 85 calories, 8 g fat , 4 g carbs, and 3.5 g protein. Meanwhile, one whole-grain English muffin from Thomas has an estimated 120 calories, 1 g fat , 23 g carbs, and 5 g protein.
Top it off with 1 tbsp of sugar-free jelly for a PB& J that is not only satisfying but also good for you. Smuckers Sugar-Free Strawberry Preserves, for example, contains no fat or protein, and only 5 g carbs.
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Apple Slices + Peanut Butter
“Apple is a good source of carbohydrates in the form of natural sugar ,” Hembree says. “Dip it in peanut butter to add protein for helping to manage blood sugar.”
A medium-sized apple has 4.8 grams of fiber. This nutrient helps slow down digestion, which prevents your blood sugar from rapidly rising. In addition to being packed with vitamins, apples are also chock-full of polyphenols. These antioxidants have been found to stimulate the pancreas’ release of insulin. This helps the body’s cells absorb sugar, ultimately decreasing blood sugar levels.
Plus, the peanut butter is jam-packed with healthy fats, making this classic snack combination ultra-satisfying.
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Sliced Apples With Peanut Butter
Sliced apples paired with nut butter make for a delicious and healthy snack thats great for people with diabetes.
Apples are rich in several nutrients,
help keep blood sugar levels stable.
It is important to note that beef sticks can be high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure in some people if consumed in excess. Thus, if you eat beef sticks, make sure to consume them in moderation.
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A Small Apple With Peanut Butter
Yes, this childhood favorite is more than okay to have as a snack. Apples are high in fiber , low in calories, and rich in flavonoids that may be protective against diabetes. Peanut butter offers some protein and healthy fat, but cap your serving to one tablespoon if youre aiming for a lower-calorie snack.
Additional reporting by Alisa Hrustic.
Glucose Tablets Gel & Shots
For severe hypoglycemia , the American Diabetes Association recommends you follow the 15-15 rule. Have 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate to raise your blood sugar and check it after 15 minutes. If its still below 70 mg/dL, have another serving, and repeat until your blood sugar is above 70. The most common fast-acting carbs are glucose tablets, glucose gel, or glucose shots packaged to deliver exactly 15 g per serving. There are many brands, but my favorites are TRUEplus Glucose Shots and Glucose Gel, and Glukos Gummies.
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What Are Clinical Trials For Low Blood Glucose
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of low blood glucose levels in diabetes, such as
- how to diagnose and treat low blood glucose among people with diabetes
- medicines that can treat symptoms of low blood glucose in people with hypoglycemia unawareness
- educational approaches to reduce fear of low blood glucose, which can make it harder for you to control your diabetes
How Common Is Low Blood Glucose
Low blood glucose is common among people with type 1 diabetes and among people with type 2 diabetes who take insulin or some other diabetes medicines. In a large global study of people with diabetes who take insulin, 4 in 5 people with type 1 diabetes and nearly half of those with type 2 diabetes reported a low blood sugar event at least once over a 4-week period.2
Severely low blood glucose, defined as when your blood glucose level drops so low you cant treat it yourself, is less common. Among U.S. adults with diabetes who take insulin or some diabetes medicines that help the pancreas release insulin into the blood, 2 in 100 may develop severely low blood glucose each year.3
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What You Can Do
Most of the sugar or glucose in your blood comes from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the sugars and starches in grains, beans, vegetables, fruit, milk and milk products, honey, and sugar. If you dont have diabetes and youre feeling the unpleasant effects of a drop in blood sugar, eat or drink something with carbohydrates. Good choices are a piece of fruit, a few whole wheat crackers, a glass of milk, or a carton of yogurt.
In people with diabetes, hypoglycemia can come on suddenly and needs to be treated right away so it doesnt get worse. Eat or drink a quickly digested carbohydrate food, such as:
½ cup fruit juice
3 to 4 teaspoons of sugar or honey
3 or 4 glucose tablets or a serving of glucose gel
Each of these choices provides about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Wait for 15 or 20 minutes, then check your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. If your blood sugar is still low, have another portion of carbohydrates.
Everyone Enjoys A Snack In Between Meals Occasionally
But, if you have diabetes, choosing healthier options will help manage your condition. Watching your portion size will also help you keep an eye on your weight.
In this article, well talk about the easy swaps you can make and the kinds of snacks that are best if you have diabetes. Weve also listed healthy suggestions for snacks under 10g carbs, as well as those containing 50, 100 and 150 calories.
This will make it easier to find healthy options that suit you, if you have a goal around weight management.
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What And When You Eat Can Impact Your Glucose Levels
Three key lessons that support healthy blood sugar levels are:
- Eating snacks can worsen blood sugar drops
- Meals should include foods that support normal blood sugar levels
- Eating three meals per day with no snacks, can help stabilize your sugar
One of the most important things to help Fat Storing Hormone to stabilize would be potassium, which works very well with Fat Storing Hormone. While you can take a high-quality supplement, I would rather you get it from foods. The best source of potassium is vegetables and 7-10 cups will help you achieve your daily-recommended value. This can be very hard to do since we are addressing three meals a day with no snacks.
To help with this challenge, I recommend eating vegetables first. I often make a kale shake and a huge salad for a meal, with about 3-6 oz of protein. It is important to eat just enough protein to avoid Fat Storing Hormone spikes.
Even if you eat lean protein with vegetables, you may still feel starving. The trick to a smooth transition and preventing hunger after 1-2 hours is to add healthy fats to your meal, such as nuts, avocado, almond butter, olive oil, brie cheese, or butter, to the point where you feel so satisfied that you can make it to the next meal comfortably. Be aware of how much fat you do consume, so that you do not aggravate the gallbladder and cause right shoulder pain and headaches.
If You Dont Have Diabetes
Your blood sugar can fall if you wait too long to eat, such as if youâre fasting. It can also happen about 4 hours after a meal. This is reactive hypoglycemia. Or you might have symptoms similar to hypoglycemia if you have postprandial syndrome. This syndrome happens if you eat a lot of simple carbs and your body releases too much insulin to deal with it.
Use these tips to avoid having your blood sugar drop too low from either cause:
Eat small meals and snacks spread throughout the day. Aim for every 3-4 hours.
Stick with healthy eating habits. This should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and sources of lean protein. The fiber in plant foods, along with lean protein, will give you lasting energy and wonât crash your blood sugar. If you plan to eat or drink something sweet, do so as part of a balanced meal.
Limit caffeine. Its effects can mimic hypoglycemia symptoms.
Limit or avoid alcohol. Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia, especially if you have a drink without eating something. If you drink, keep it moderate: no more than one serving a day for women or two for men. A serving is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor. And donât drink on an empty stomach.
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