If you’ve been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, you know how important diet is to preventing the symptoms. Here are some guidelines on how to eat when you have this condition.
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Have you been diagnosed with hypoglycemia? If so, you probably already understand the importance diet plays in preventing the symptoms of low blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar levels stable is critical for preventing the sweating, shakiness, lightheadedness, palpitations, and weakness often associated with this sometimes frightening condition. If you’re still a little confused about what and how to eat if you have hypoglycemia, here are some guidelines to help you keep your blood sugars normal.
Is it really hypoglycemia?
First, it’s important to make sure your symptoms are actually due to hypoglycemia and not some other medical condition. Hypoglycemia can mimic a variety of other medical disorders including anxiety, panic attacks, some types of heart conditions, low blood pressure, pregnancy, and diabetes. For this reason, it’s important to rule out other causes of your symptoms before assuming you have hypoglycemia.
How to eat for hypoglycemia
Once your doctor diagnoses you, it’s important to understand how and when to eat for hypoglycemia to keep the symptoms under control. What you eat and the timing of your meals are the two most important factors that will determine whether you have hypoglycemic symptoms.
If you’re accustomed to eating one or two large meals per day, it’s time to rethink that strategy if you have hypoglycemia. Eating smaller, more frequent meals will help to stabilize your glucose and insulin levels and keep low blood sugar symptoms from occurring. Most nutritionists and doctors recommend six small meals spaced evenly throughout the day. Because you’ll be eating six meals, it’s important to reduce portion size to prevent weight gain. Instead of eating six man sized meals, your portions should be the size of a large snack. It’s important to eat these six meals consistently even when you’re not hungry to stabilizes your blood sugars.
What to eat for hypoglycemia
As far as what to eat for hypoglycemia, you want to eat foods that will normalize insulin levels as much as possible. Hypoglycemia usually results from production of too much insulin which is made worse by eating and drinking processed carbohydrates and sugar-rich foods. The key is to increase your protein intake while cutting back on simple carbohydrates like those found in many sweet treats and processed foods. These foods cause rapid fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels which can bring on the symptoms of shakiness, hunger, and fatigue you want to avoid.
Protein should make up about twenty-percent of your daily caloric intake and should be evenly divided between the six small meals you eat each day so that you’re getting protein with every meal. Carbohydrates should make up around half of your daily calories and should be in the form of complex carbs such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These types of carbs won’t cause your body to pump out excessive quantities of insulin which could make your symptoms worse. It’s important to always carry a high protein snack with you to eat if you should start to develop symptoms of hunger, fatigue, lightheadedness, or shakiness.
If you have any questions about what to eat for hypoglycemia, it may be worth your time to schedule a few sessions with a nutritionist or dietician to help design a custom hypoglycemic diet for you. Diet can be your most important ally when it comes to preventing the symptoms of hypoglycemia.