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Low Blood Sugar Diet


Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is a condition wherein the person has a blood sugar level which is lower than the required blood sugar level. Hypoglycemia rarely is an illness in itself. Most often it points towards another underlying health condition. Lack of glucose can affect the brain and therefore it is important to treat this condition. Treatment may involve administering medication, certain lifestyle and dietary changes.
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A low blood sugar diet plan can be carefully planned to reduce the symptoms of hypoglycemia. The first thing to do would be to increase the intake of carbohydrates as they boost the level of blood glucose. Complex carbohydrates are better than simple carbohydrates since the blood glucose obtained from complex carbs is more consistent and consequently there are no sudden changes in the blood sugar level.

A low sugar diet meal plan will also mean that one consume a lot of fiber rich foods. These foods help cleanse the system and at the same time help in the carbohydrates being absorbed gradually and for longer time periods. Small and frequent meals are advised to hypoglycemic patients. Vegetables, fruits and plenty of water are added to this diet.  A typical low blood sugar diet menu could consist of cereals, whole wheat toast, skimmed milk and an orange for breakfast. For lunch, steamed carrots and beans, an avocado, nuts, a small chunk of lean meat and a raw salad can be eaten. Boiled potatoes, a whole grain bread slice and a bacon chicken breast can be had for dinner. Fruits can be had as mid-meal snacks. These menus can be modified based on a diet chart that will list all the foods beneficial for treating this condition. A low blood sugar diet for children should be rich in proteins, fiber and vegetables and fruits. Proteins are a must for the child’s growth, vegetables and fruits offer several nutrients to the body and fiber helps regulate the blood glucose absorption. Sugar and food items must sugar must not be given to a hypoglycemic child. Hypoglycemia during pregnancy is quite common. However, the blood sugar level gains normalcy after the second trimester. A low blood sugar diet during pregnancy needs to ensure that the woman does not suffer from anemia; more so, the diet should be planned in such a way that the woman does not remain on an empty stomach for long periods.

To treat this problem, dietary changes are a must. Low blood sugar foods to eat should reverse the conditions that occur during hypoglycemia. To be more precise, during a bout of hypoglycemia, the blood sugar level drops drastically because of which insulin production increases. This in turn impairs the functioning of the pancreas, that is, metabolism of carbohydrates is not adequate. More so, this fall in blood glucose boosts cortisol and adrenalin production. This is a natural protective response of the body. The right foods reverse these reactions and bring back the system to a state of normalcy. Foods for low blood sugar must be high in complex carbohydrates, protein and fiber. Bananas, lentils, oats, whole grains, spinach, apples, grapefruits, lemon, fish, raw cheese, chicken, turkey and low fat yogurts fall in the low blood sugar foods list. Low blood sugar foods to avoid are foods rich in simple carbohydrates, fats, sugar, caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, white rice, white flour and sugar are simple carbohydrate foods. Meat and dairy products with a high fat content are also a no-no. Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol should not be consumed at all. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants; they increase adrenalin secretions which deregulate blood sugar levels. As for alcohol, it interferes with liver functions.

Low blood sugar and food allergies are closely related; when people prone to hypoglycemic start following the relevant diet, food allergies have been known to come up. And often these allergies lead to a deficiency of nutrients in the body. Low blood sugar and food cravings are also linked. This is because the rapid and sudden variations in the blood glucose levels can make one feel as though he or she has been starved. These cravings diminish with the appropriate well-balanced diet. Exercise is also beneficial to avoid these problems.

Adopting a diet, sticking to it, maintaining a food journal, regular exercise and avoiding stress and anxiety are simple ways to reducing the incidence of a hypoglycemic episode. How do you prevent it? There is no sure shot method of prevention. Diabetic patients must keep a close watch for the development of this condition and must adhere to the diabetic treatment rigorously. Low blood sugar should be attended to immediately as it can lead to seizure, loss of consciousness and even death if it is left untreated.  However, if it is diagnosed and treated immediately, it is possible to keep this condition under check.

Submitted on May 5, 2011
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