Hypoglycemia and a Low-Glycemic Diet - dummies

By Meri Reffetto

Eating a low-glycemic diet counteracts hypoglycemia by maintaining an even level of blood sugar in your body throughout the day because you’re not overindulging in high-glycemic foods.

In short, hypoglycemia is a condition that results when your blood sugar gets too low. Many people feel they have hypoglycemia, but an actual clinical diagnosis is rare and is most commonly seen in diabetics as a result of medications.

Even without a clinical diagnosis, you may be one of many individuals who’s sensitive to the highs and lows of your daily blood sugar. The symptoms of low blood sugar include

  • Hunger

  • Trembling

  • Light-headedness

  • Sweating

  • Irritability or anxious feelings

Following a low-glycemic diet also helps control a situation called rebound hypoglycemia, which occurs when you eat a high-glycemic food that causes you to first experience a high blood sugar spike and then come crashing down quickly. (This description holds true even if you don’t have a clinical diagnosis of hypoglycemia but do feel some similar symptoms of low blood sugar.)

Avoiding the highs and lows of blood sugar can certainly make a big difference for people with hypoglycemia (or anyone who’s just plain sensitive to her blood sugar levels). Following are some tips for incorporating low-glycemic eating habits to help reduce blood sugar sensitivity:

  • Eat frequent meals and snacks every three to four hours.

  • Incorporate low-glycemic carbohydrates with protein and/or fat.

  • If you’re diabetic, monitor your blood sugar regularly to catch times when it’s dropping. (Your physician can help you determine whether you need a change in your medication.)