While a hypoglycemia diet is often about what you can’t eat, let’s focus on all the foods you CAN eat! Thinking about all the nutritious and whole foods you can eat during the day instead focusing on the foods you should avoid can help you find balance in your diet.
Whole Grains: Whole grains provide carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates in food turn into sugar and raise blood sugars. But the fibre in whole grain helps slow the release of the sugar into the bloodstream. A slower release of sugar helps keep the blood sugar level consistent. Whole grain foods to include in your diet to prevent reactive hypoglycemia include whole wheat bread, oatmeal, whole grain ready-to-eat cereals, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, barley, whole grain crackers and popcorn.
Fruits: Fruits also provide carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. People with reactive hypoglycemia should choose whole fruit over its juice for its fiber content. Drinking juice leads to a rapid rise and then fall in blood sugar. Fruits high in soluble fiber delay stomach emptying and also slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. High soluble fiber fruits include oranges, apples, strawberries and pears. Other healthy fruit choices for reactive hypoglycemia include melons, berries, grapes, plums and peaches.
Vegetables: Vegetables contain only small amounts of carbohydrate, but act as a good source of fiber to help delay digestion. Healthy vegetable choices for reactive hypoglycemia include Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, green beans, lettuce, cucumbers, asparagus, corn, peas, legumes, mushrooms and eggplant. Legumes also act as a source of protein. Protein also takes the body longer to digest, which helps prevent low blood sugar.
Lean Meats and Meat Substitutes: Lean meats and meat substitutes act as a significant source of protein. Including a lean meat or meat substitute with each meal can help you prevent low blood sugar. Lean meat choices for reactive hypoglycemia include poultry, fish, pork chops, beef eye of round, lamb chops and veal. Meat substitutes include eggs, peanut butter, nuts and tofu.
Note: an effective hypoglycemia diet is all about figuring out what works for you. Customise your diet, listen to your body and make note of any food intolerance you might have.