Diabetes and Low Blood Sugar
Diabetes is a tricky disease to handle. The symptoms of low and high blood sugar are similar, and each causes irreversible damage to the body. Doctors believe that low blood sugar is more dangerous to the body than high blood sugar levels. This is because the brain, like the rest of the body, depends upon glucose to meet its energy requirements. In the absence of a sufficient quantity of glucose, it can suffer a stroke, seizures or even permanent brain damage.
So how does one suffer from low blood sugar when diabetes is a complication which causes blood sugar spikes? Skipping a meal, over medicating, exercising too much or heavy insulin medication can initiate dips in blood glucose levels.
Signs of Low Blood Sugar
Typical symptoms of low sugar are dizziness, anxiety, confusion, trembling, heart palpitations, hunger, excessive sweating, blurred vision, and weakness. Timely intervention is critical when someone is facing low blood sugar levels. The potentially life-threatening condition can be handled by taking in easily digestible forms of carbohydrates. These can be broken down immediately, and they provide an instant surge in the blood glucose.
Foods to Eat When Blood Sugar Dips
- Granola Bars
Granola bars give an immediate boost in the blood sugar levels. They improve energy levels and increase blood sugar. Since many healthy varieties have oats, rice crispies, and nuts; choose them over the less healthy versions.
- Fresh or Dried Fruit
Another great option to have when facing dipping blood sugar levels is fruit. Apples, pears, bananas, apricots, and oranges are good to eat. These provide a healthy dose of glucose to the system with the added benefits of fiber. Strawberries and grapes are also dependable glucose enhancing fruits. One could also munch on some raisins and other nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios and dried apricots as a sugar-enhancing snack.
- Fruit Juice
Fruit juices do not have fiber, and that is precisely the thing you need when facing life-threatening low glucose levels. Those with low glucose levels might not even be able to chew some food, so a liquid carb helps to provide a concentrated punch of energy. Fruit juice, especially pineapple and grape juice, are the best choices as they increase sugar levels and still provide some amount of vitamins and minerals.
On a regular day, doctors will tell you to avoid cookies, but when you are facing low sugar levels, cookies can be eaten. They provide a boost of energy and help you to reach normal sugar levels. Choose the ones that are rich in oats, nuts and have fewer amounts of fats.
Doctors advise to always keep sweets handy, in case you suffer from sudden low sugar levels. These spike up the blood glucose and bring down the trembling and the blurred vision. They can be readily broken down in the body for energy.
Try to choose a non-diet variety of soda, if you are facing sudden dips in blood sugar levels. The diet variety has more chemicals and will not provide you with the instant surge in sugar that you so desperately need. Just having half a glass of soda will improve your blood sugar levels.
Milk is another good alternative when facing sugar dips. It is rich in protein and calcium and has other minerals which make it a healthy choice of drink to provide you with sugar pronto. You could add some sugar if you feel your energy levels are low.
If your blood sugar has dipped low or if you find no healthy snack nearby, chomp down a tablespoon of sugar or lick a spoonful of honey. Very low glucose levels need immediate action and sugar or liquid carbs like honey or applesauce help to improve the sugar levels rapidly.
Eat a bowl of yogurt with berries and nuts and watch your blood sugar levels improve. Apart from the energy boost, yogurt will help you get a percentage of your daily dose of calcium, protein and immunity-boosting properties.
- Whole Grain Toast
Another excellent food choice to make when facing low sugar levels is having a whole grain toast. Since bread is an easily-breakable carbohydrate, it is readily assimilated in the body. The whole-grain toast ensures that the glucose levels stay stable and the subsequent dips in the blood sugar levels are avoided.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great snack option when the blood sugar levels fall. They are rich in fiber and antioxidants and have a low glycemic index which helps to stabilize blood sugar levels for a long time.
- Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese provides you with instant glucose, protein and high amounts of calcium. When you feel that your blood glucose levels are dipping, you could have a slice of cheddar cheese to improve them.
Smoothies work as a healthy sugar-increasing option. They are full of protein, vitamins and essential minerals and fiber as well. Blitz, some yogurt with milk or some juice, oats, nuts, and berries and, have a jarful of healthy goodness that will bring your glucose levels to normal.
- Sugar-free Peanut Butter
Peanut butter has reasonable amounts of protein and fats. If you have the sugar-free kind, you will get a healthy dose of nutrition without a steep sugar spike. This is best for those people who are beginning to feel the symptoms of low blood sugar and aren’t yet in the dangerous territories.
How to Avoid Low Blood Sugar
- Eat your meals frequently. When the gap between the meals isn’t too stretched out, the body doesn’t undergo the dips in blood sugar levels. Instead of three hearty meals, shift to six small meals a day. The energy levels will stay on an even keel and help you manage your diabetes better.
- Avoid foods with high sugar content. This includes processed and junk food like sweets, baked goodies, sodas, and fruit juices.
- Choose foods that have a low glycemic index. Whole grain foods like oats, quinoa, brown rice are good options. Eat enough protein in every meal as it helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Lentils, yogurt, tofu, and soy products are good alternatives to non-vegetarian options.
- Avoid alcohol consumption. If you cannot do that, limit it to avoid blood sugar dips. Talk to your doctor how much is enough for you and stick to that much only.
Try to avoid blood sugar dips as much as possible. When you feel that your sugar levels are plummeting, try to have an easily digestible carbohydrate immediately to avoid losing consciousness. As a healthy food habit, incorporate whole grains, fiber-rich food items in meals and snacks as they prevent sudden dips in blood sugar due to the high amount of fiber and a low glycemic index. They ensure that the food passes slowly through the gut and the energy is released deliberately. Avoid junk food and limit the intake of alcohol and caffeine as they can worsen the low blood sugar levels.