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Everything You Need to Know About the Hypoglycemia Diet

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Hypoglycemia is common in people with diabetes who take insulin, sulfonylureas, or glinides. The study shows hypoglycemia refers to blood glucose levels below the usual range. The primary energy source for your body is glucose. Diabetes treatment frequently involves managing hypoglycemia. 

In the absence of diabetes, it is usually induced by drugs, including alcohol, among others. Recording of low plasma glucose confirms the condition. 

Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that causes insulin levels to fluctuate, causing blood sugar levels to drop too low or rise high. Reactive hypoglycemia, on the other hand, is a condition in which your blood sugar drops after eating. Often these fluctuations can be caused by hormonal changes, while other times, the cause may be unknown. 

Hypoglycemia Diet: An Introduction

The hypoglycemic diet is an eating plan tailored to help you manage your blood sugar levels. Medical practitioners often endorse this diet since it is both safe and nutritious.

There are no dangers, and no essential vitamins or nutrients are left out. The hypoglycemic diet assists you in retaining your blood sugar at a stable level so that you don’t have to deal with these sudden fluctuations. 

The major objective of a hypoglycemic diet is to assist you in maintaining normal blood sugar levels as you transition to a more balanced diet. Hypoglycemia Support Foundation (HSF) recommends consuming foods high in soluble fibre, non-meat proteins, and lean meat.

The hypoglycemic diet advises limiting processed sweet foods while banning tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, white flour, simple carbs, and diet soda.

Health Benefits of Hypoglycemia Diet

The study shows hypoglycemia diet promotes optimal health for everyone in a customised manner. Overall, this diet is about being conscious of your body’s metabolic demands and providing your body with enough food at regular intervals to keep your blood sugar levels steady. The hypoglycemic diet may assist your health in the following ways.

Promotes General Wellbeing 

The followers of this diet must avoid sugar, coffee, tobacco, and alcohol. It encourages healthier eating by moving your focus to include whole foods, fruits, vegetables, dairy, and healthy amounts of nuts and proteins. These eating habits are flexible and easy to sustain for a long-term plan. 

Aids Your Digestion

This diet has a lot of whole-food dietary fibre, which improves digestion and keeps you full longer. It also guides you to take meals between intervals, giving your digestive system enough time to digest the consumed food, absorb nutrients, and nourish your body. 

Numerous in-vivo studies suggest that dietary fibre may play a factor in liver function correction, either by lowering blood glucose levels or through other methods by lowering total cholesterol levels in diabetic people. 

Prevents Insulin Spikes

This diet plan aims at reducing sudden insulin fluctuations. Avoiding certain foods and eating optimal quantities of nutritious food at intervals help maintain safe and constant blood sugar levels.

According to research, even modest amounts of alcohol, about two to four drinks daily, interfere with blood sugar regulation and should be avoided. 

Maintains Energy Levels

Some common symptoms of hypoglycemia include tiredness, weakness, confusion, and dizziness. This diet nourishes your body with foods regularly that fuel your body to produce energy to function properly throughout the day. 

Weight Management

Avoiding certain foods and emphasising healthy, whole, nutritious foods will help you manage your weight. Since the meal quantities are suitable, people tend to give up consuming empty calories. These dietary habits may assist in preventing gaining weight. 

Hypoglycemia Diet – Foods to Include and Exclude 

Foods to Eat

  • Whole foods include a variety of grains, cereals, pulses, legumes, etc.
  • Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, fenugreek, celery, lettuce, and broccoli.
  • Fruits that are not too sweet, such as citrus fruits.
  • Nuts and seeds. 
  • Dairy products and plant-based dairy proteins. 
  • White meat, including seafood and fish.
  • Eggs. 
  • Lean cuts of red meat.

Foods to Avoid

If you have hypoglycemia, you should avoid foods that rapidly increase blood glucose, signalling an increase in insulin and a reduction in blood glucose. Your goal is to keep your blood glucose levels stable.

  • Sweet fruits like mango, chikoo, custard apple, papaya, etc.
  • Confectionaries like pastries, pies, cream rolls, etc.
  • Baked foods like sweetened bread, muffins, and cakes.
  • Pre-packaged and sweetened desserts like ice creams, frozen yoghurt, and syrup-based dishes. 
  • Canned foods are preserved in sweeteners like jams, syrups, fruit crushes, canned fruits, and fruit juices.
  • Milk powders and condensed milk. 
  • Products include caffeine like soft drinks, energy drinks, cocoa drinks, hot chocolate, milkshakes, ice tea, etc.
  • Beverage with alcohol content. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Hypoglycemia is when the body’s blood glucose level is below the normal range. It results from the overproduction of insulin after meals. A person may get hypoglycemia if their blood sugar levels fall within four hours of eating a meal.

Common symptoms include excessive sweating, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, irritability, instability, anxiety, headaches, mental confusion, or extreme hunger. However, it is treatable with medication, dietary changes, and nutritional counselling.

Here is a sample grocery list you could choose from.

  • Whole grains and cereals include foxtail millet, oats, wheat flour, maise, quinoa, and brown rice.
  • Pulses and legumes include Bengal gram, peas, edamame, black-eyed beans, pigeon eye peas and bean sprouts.
  • Seeds and Nuts include pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and pine nuts.
  • Fruits and berries include watermelon, orange, grapefruit, pomegranate, strawberries, blueberries, starfruit, and kiwi.
  • Vegetables and tubers include green papaya, brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, kale, amaranth, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc.
  • Oils and fats include coconut oil, sesame oil, flaxseed oil, olive oil, and mustard oil.
  • Non-veg include lean chicken, tuna, salmon, shrimp, and eggs.
  • Plant protein and dairy include soy tofu, plant-based milk, oat milk, cottage cheese, and yoghurt.

Recipes 

Spiced Apple Overnight Soaked Oats

  • Serving: 1
  • Preparation time: 7-10 minutes 

Ingredients

  • Rolled/flattened oats- 1 ½ cup
  • Milk of choice- 200 ml
  • Greek yoghurt- 2 tsp
  • Apple diced/grated- 1 whole 
  • Chia seeds- 2 tsp
  • Hemp seeds- 1 tsp
  • Desiccated coconut- 2 tsp
  • Roasted pecan nuts- 4-5 pieces
  • Cinnamon- to taste

Method of Preparation

  • In a container (with a lid), combine oats, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and cinnamon. Stir in your apple and Greek yoghurt.
  • Stir in the milk of your choice until everything is combined properly.
  • Cool the oats overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Leave it in the fridge overnight. It will be ready to serve in the morning.
  • Before eating, add some pecans. 

Lemon Chilli Salmon

  • Serving: 1
  • Preparation time: 20-25 minutes 

Ingredients

  • Salmon fillet- 1 medium
  • Broccoli florets- 2 cups 
  • Yellow/ red bell pepper- 1 sliced
  • Garlic powder- 2 tsp
  • chilli powder- 2 tsp
  • Lime juice of 1 tbsp
  • Lime zest of 1 tbsp
  • Extra-virgin olive oil- 2 tbsp
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Salt as per taste

Method of Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Apply a bit of olive oil to the baking sheet pan. 
  • Mix the broccoli florets, bell peppers, olive oil, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Keep it aside. 
  • Add chilli powder, garlic powder, lime zest, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl—Oat the fish fillet with this mixture. Add the remaining mixture to the veggies. 
  • Carefully, take out the pan and lay your fish in the middle of the pan. Place the veggies around the fish. Roast for 10-15 minutes.
  • Your fish should have a well-roasted top, and the meat should look white. Serve and eat.

Limitations and Health Risks of the Hypoglycemia Diet

Requires Scheduled Eating

People prone to hypoglycemia are advised to eat three to four meals daily. You usually have to schedule your food intake depending on when you ate the day’s first meal.

You have to plan your snacks and main meals. It is essential to pay special attention to managing your time according to your meal timings. 

Health Risks

The health dangers associated with the hypoglycemic diet are rare. However, it is always wise to heed your body’s requirements. Personalise your diets to meet your specific needs and suit your palate.

It’s also crucial to note that you shouldn’t eliminate carbohydrates as they are your primary energy source. Consult a health expert or a dietician for proper guidance. 

Other Dietary Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Try to include whole fruits and vegetables in your diet. Rather than juicing your fruits and vegetables, consume them whole. 
  • If you are consuming alcohol in an unavoidable situation, remember to eat something with your drink. Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach, and try to keep your consumption as low as possible.
  • Replacing simple carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates is a healthier choice.
  • You could have 3 proper meals and 2 snack meals a day to ensure that you give your body enough time for digestion and nutrient absorption and not impoverish the required blood glucose production. 

The HealthifyMe Note

The key to preventing hypoglycemia is tracking the blood sugar level regularly, taking medications if chronic, and following instructions provided by a health expert. However, severely low blood sugar can be treatable by injecting glucagon. Make sure to speak to your health adviser before using. 

Conclusion

The hypoglycemic diet emphasises balanced nutrition and blood sugar stabilisation. It benefits people with diabetes, reactive hypoglycemia, and everyone in general. With wise and cautious planning of meals, hypoglycemia can be manageable.

It is always good to take advice from a health professional before making any dietary modifications. The nutritionist’s from the HealthifyMe team will provide you with a well-designed diet plan suitable to your condition. 

Frequently Asked Question(FAQs)

Q. What diet is best for hypoglycemia?

A. A diet that has an abundance of whole grains, pulses, legumes, cereals, fruits and vegetables, animal-based dairy, plant-based dairy, nuts and seeds, meats, and seafood is optimal. A balanced diet with necessary modifications is the right choice one can make to prevent hypoglycemia. 

Q.What foods to avoid if you have hypoglycemia?

A. Foods that quickly raise blood sugar levels should be avoided since they indicate an increase in insulin followed by a drop in blood sugar. The objective is to maintain steady blood glucose levels. These foods include sugar, caffeine, alcohol, confectionaries, desserts, etc. 

Q. What foods cause hypoglycemia?

A. There are no specific foods that cause hypoglycemia. However, it can result from an overdose of insulin or specific medications or a deficiency of certain hormones involved in glucose production. 

Q. Can hypoglycemia be caused by diet?

A. A diet does not cause hyperglycemia however, it can be triggered by certain habits, including staying hungry for numerous hours, skipping meals, not consuming enough carbohydrates and healthy fats, over-exercising, and regular alcohol consumption. 

Q. Are bananas good for hypoglycemia?

A. Yes, bananas are a great snack and breakfast add-on. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, fibre, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C. Additionally, these bananas may be consumed in various forms like shakes, smoothies, fruit salads, bread topping, or as it is. 

Q. Does hypoglycemia go away?

A. Hypoglycemia can be curable through suitable foods and regular medication. Continuous monitoring of the blood glucose levels, following instructions provided by a health professional, with physical activity will assist in combating hypoglycemia. 

Q. What is the best breakfast for hypoglycemia?

A. A breakfast rich in carbohydrates, fibre, and protein will keep you satisfied for a long time. Some breakfast options could include overnight soaked oats, vegetable poha, avocado on toast with poached egg, dosa with sambar and coconut chutney, thick spinach berry smoothies, etc. 

Q. What does hypoglycemia feel like?

A. Some symptoms of hypoglycemia are feelings of weakness, dizziness, confusion and extreme tiredness. Some cases include the inability to walk, frequent hunger, irritability, blurred vision, and unconsciousness.

Q. Is oatmeal good for hypoglycemia?

A. Yes, oatmeal is good for hypoglycemia. It helps regulate blood sugar levels as it is rich in fibre and low in glycemic index. The soluble fibre helps slow down carbohydrate absorption, keeping the blood sugar levels stable. 

Q. How do you fast with hypoglycemia?

A. Fasting is a choice; however, you should consume nutrient-dense foods before a fast, like fruits, dry fruits, dairy, and dishes made of tapioca pearls or Sabudana. Make sure you also drink enough water. Fasting or staying hungry should be avoided as it may worsen the condition.

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