Eat Right, Feel Right
Hypoglycemia is a condition where the blood glucose levels drop too low in an individual, causing a variety of symptoms and risks to personal health. Hypoglycemia (HG) is most often triggered by dietary patterns and food choices, and can be greatly improved when following an HG-specific diet. It is important for those suffering from hypoglycemia to eat small meals at a constant, steady rate throughout the day--almost as important as avoiding certain foods. Foods to avoid if suffering from HG are best defined in four parts: simple carbohydrates, concentrated sugars, high fats and certain liquids.
Simpler Is Not Always Better
Foods most often defined as "simple carbohydrates" are the bane of most HG eaters, and should be avoided at all costs. Simple carbohydrates are typically processed or "white carbs," such as white breads, rice, pastas, and baked goods like cakes and cookies. Instead of choosing simple carbohydrates, try to pick complex carbohydrates that are made with whole grains and natural fiber to keep glucose levels stable.
If buying bread, pasta, or baking mixes from the store, look at the ingredients listed on the package to see if the word "whole grain" begins the list. If not, it is best to avoid the product altogether. To avoid foods high in simple carbohydrates, try circling only the perimeter of the grocery store when shopping for food, in addition to skipping past the bakery section. Choose fresh vegetables, fruits, whole-grain items, and beans for carbohydrate sources, and ignore the prepackaged items.
Concentrate On Un-Concentrated
Sugar is a crucial food ingredient to avoid when eating with hypoglycemia, although it is everywhere in foods. Sugars that are naturally found in fresh fruits and proteins are helpful to the body, but concentrated sugars that have been added to products and ingredients are dangerous. Check labels for corn sweeteners, corn syrups, simple syrups, and honey, and avoid them at all costs. Additional foods such as canned fruits, soups, energy bars, sodas, juices, cookies, and the majority of sweets we think of on store shelves are full of concentrated sugars. Instead of eating these products, try turning to healthy sources of natural sugar like apples, pears, and plums, or specially made sugar-free products created to stabilize blood sugar.
Eat Low-Fat, Be Low-Fat
Maintaining a low-fat diet has been touted as contributing to weight loss and healthy lifestyles for decades, but it is just as important for HG blood sugar levels. Avoid foods that are naturally high in fat such as thick cuts of red meat, bacon, or pork, and keep other sources of protein skinless. Steer clear of fatty cheeses, full-fat yogurts, and whole milks as well. Instead, try switching all sources of dairy to low-fat or non-fat, such as low-fat cottage cheese, non-fat yogurt that is free of sugar, and skim milk. It is equally as important to avoid high-fat and processed fatty foods by checking ingredient labels for trans and saturated fat levels.