Nutrition Articles

Understanding Hypoglycemia

Eating to Prevent Low Blood Sugar

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Eating with Hypoglycemia
The food you eat can play an important role in preventing the symptoms you experience when your blood sugars drop too low. While there are many causes of low blood sugar, the dietary recommendations are similar for all types of hypoglycemia. These general guidelines include:
  • Eating three balanced meals a day with two or three planned snacks. It is important that you don’t skip meals and snacks. Try not to go any longer than 3-4 hours between eating.
  • Eating the right amount of carbohydrates during each meal and snack. This helps to keep your blood glucose and insulin levels in balance. Ask your doctor for a referral to meet with a registered dietitian in your area. She can determine the correct amount of carbohydrates for you based on your health status, body size, lifestyle activities, work routine, and fitness program.
  • Avoiding concentrated sugars such as white sugar, brown sugar, honey, corn syrup, and molasses. These are found in cookies, candy, cakes, pies, soft drinks, jams, jellies, ice cream and other sweets. Click here to learn more about hidden sugars.
  • Eating foods high in complex carbohydrates and fiber such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. High-fiber foods digest more slowly and help keep glucose from "dumping" into your blood stream too quickly.
  • Eating a high protein food at each meal and snack. Protein-rich foods include fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef and pork, tofu, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt, milk, eggs, peanut butter, nuts and seeds. Protein can help to maintain your blood sugar levels between meals by delaying how quickly the carbohydrate is digested.
  • Achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption. Always include a snack when drinking an alcoholic beverage. If you drink alcohol, limit your daily intake—no more than two drinks for men and one drink for women.
  • Avoiding caffeine, found in regular coffee and soda.
  • Avoiding large meals.
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

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