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Hypoglycaemia - eating to balance your blood sugar levels

Posted on 22/06/2016 by Healthwise Clinic

Reactive Hypoglycaemia

Hypoglycaemia occurs when there is an exaggerated insulin response to a rise in blood glucose.  As a result there is a dramatic drop in blood glucose, causing physical and mental symptoms, including irritability & sugar cravings.  Blood glucose travels a volatile roller-coaster throughout the day.

Common times of the day for Hypoglycaemia are 10-11am and 2-3pm. 

Symptoms of Hypoglycaemia are:

  • Cravings for sugar or stimulants – chocolate, cigarettes, coffee, sweets.
  • Tiredness – lack of concentration and mental fatigue.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness, visual changes or headaches.
  • Mood Changes – irritability, emotional, depression, anxiety, feel fragile, trembling.

Correcting hypoglycaemia is relatively easily achieved by eating 6-8 small meals/day or Three main meals and 2-4 snacks throughout the day particularly at the most common times for hypoglycaemia.

The types of snacks chosen should be complex carbohydrates, which take a longer time to break down in the stomach, and therefore the sugar release is slowed and the blood glucose level rise at a regular and manageable rate for insulin to uptake the glucose.  If the snacks chosen are simple (sugary) carbohydrates then hypoglycaemia continues and the roller-coaster effect will still be present.

Types of Snacks (complex carbohydrates)

  • Raw Nuts – Almonds, Brazilnuts, Cashews, Walnuts, Sunflower seeds, Pipitas, Macadamias etc.  (All nuts should be unsalted and raw as the roasting process changes the oil content to a fat (oxidised oil) rendering them less beneficial. 
  • Dried Fruit – Bananas, Figs, Dates, Prunes, Raisins, Apricots (beware of sulphur dried with respiratory problems), Not sultanas as they are too high in sugar. 
  • Wholewheat crackers, rice or corn cakes, ryvita, kavli crispbread with avocado, vegemite, cheese, nut spread, Tahini, hommos, salmon, tomato, boiled egg etc. 
  • Homemade Anzac cookies, wholemeal cookies and cakes (reduce sugar content and no icing). 
  • Complex fruit – apples, oranges, pears, kiwi fruit, bananas, peaches, strawberries. Not watermelon, grapes or pineapple. 
  • Herbal or Green tea, Miso soup, Vegetable juice – carrot, apple, spinach, silverbeet, ginger, parsley, garlic, orange etc. 
  • Sprouted seeds & legumes – mung beans, mustard seeds etc.

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