Hypoglycemia (the opposite of hyperglycemia) is a condition in which people suffer from habitually and abnormally low levels of blood glucose – sugar. Literally meaning “under-sweet blood,” hypoglycemia is a very serious ailment.
It can lead to:
- Brain damage
- Low energy levels
- Weight issues (gaining or losing)
- And potentially even death
Hypoglycemia is a Serious Condition
On the lower and more common end of the spectrum, insufficient blood glucose levels will leave you feeling in a proverbial funk – down, tired, depressed, and wholly unmotivated.
The best way to combat hypoglycemia is through a proper diet. The idea is to keep the blood sugar constant and from fluctuating in the system, thus leaving the afflicted individual with “normal” amounts of energy throughout the day.
To accomplish this, the hypoglycemia sufferer must eat around five smaller meals throughout the day, focused at maintaining proper glucose levels.
Proper planning and execution is imperative on this type of diet.
Here’s what you may find on a hypoglycemic diet in terms of food choices.
Food Options for Hypoglycemia
Meats and Proteins
On a diet such as this, it’s important that people eat natural whole foods and avoid any of that processed garbage. That’s why lean meats are preferred on a hypoglycemic plan. Anything like lean beef, lamb, turkey, chicken, and even proteins such as egg whites and tofu – they’re all good choices on this type of diet.
Fruits, Vegetables and Grains
We won’t run the entire gamut here on what you can have, as the list would go on forever. However, you will get the gist of it once you realize that not every fruit, veggie and grain is ideal. You will want to avoid anything that’s absolutely loaded down with sugar. (Quick spikes in blood sugar can make crashes worse.)
As far as most fruits and vegetables go, it’s literally a trial-and-error process. There are certain “safe” items to try, but every individual will react different to some produce, such as tomatoes, carrots, sugary fruits, etc.
You can have whole grains like rice, pasta and breads; vegetables like beans, celery, leafy greens, onions, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber; fruits like citrus, apples, bananas, etc; and nuts and seeds.
What to Avoid
With most diets, we’re seeking ultimate balance in order to best suit your needs. So adding a little of this and taking out a little of that is touch-and-go and usually of no immediate importance to find the right formula. With hypoglycemia, however, failure to strike balance can be potentially dangerous.
You should always avoid fatty meats and processed meats like hotdogs, salted pork, cold cuts (the processed kind), bacon, sausage, any fried meats, and also sweetened marinated meats.
As far as grains go, while there are many you can enjoy, there are also many you need to avoid. Stay away from those sugary cereals, sweet yeast rolls, pastries of any sort, donuts, snack cakes, cookies, etc.
Dairy products exceeding 1% fat per serving are no-nos, so stay away from 2% milk on up, chocolate milk, ice cream, yogurt, malted milk, and any type of dairy exceeding the fat mark.
Canned fruits or any fruit in heavy syrup is bad news. To that end, you also want to avoid soda, sweetened fruit drinks, alcohol, and basically any type of food or drink in general with processed sugars in it.
It’s also good to avoid saturated fat and fat from poultry skin, cooking oils, butter, etc.
Proper management is essential with hypoglycemia, and the more you know the better you can regulate your body’s blood sugar levels.