Eating For Low Blood Sugar

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Can you answer yes to one or more of the following questions?

  • I crave sweets during the day.
  • I am irritable if meals are missed. (I get “hangry”!)
  • I depend on coffee to get myself started or to keep going.
  • I get lightheaded if meals are missed.
  • Eating relieves fatigue.
  • I feel shaky, jittery, or have tremors. 
  • I am experiencing blurred vision. 
  • My fasting blood glucose is less than 80 mg/dL. 

If so, there is a chance you could be have hypoglycemia or, in other words, blood sugar that is not well regulated and dips too low between meals.

Why is this an issue? Consistently low or dysregulated blood sugar reduces your resiliency to stress and can be a strong precursor to insulin resistance and diabetes if not treated. In conventional medicine, your doctor may tell you it’s not a big deal, but if you want to avoid walking the path to diabetes, it’s important that you take some simple steps to improve your health. The side effects of diet and lifestyle change include more energy throughout the day, clearer thinking and less cravings for sweets and sugar. If you are struggling with your weight, you may also shed those excess pounds without much extra work by following some simple tips.

So what am I do to?

First, you must change your diet to include REAL FOOD like we were born to eat and is compatible with our genetic profile. Here are a few ideas.

  1. Meat & Fish: You may have any meat or fish, but avoid heavy saturated fatty meats like bacon (because there are lots of toxins stored in the fat) and eat fish that are smaller in size. Larger fish accumulate methylmercury and PCBs which will go against your goals so limit your consumption of these larger species to no more than 1x per week. Wild caught fish (not farmed or Atlantic) and free-range poultry are the best. Beef, lamb and bison are also okay but should be grass-fed.
  2. Stone Fruits: Consider eating more fruits with a “stone” or pit in the center. Plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots and avocados are included among stone fruits. Always pair fruit with a protein source so the sugar from the fruit does not enter the bloodstream too quickly. Stone fruits are high in fiber and water content. Berries are also a good choice.
  3. Nuts: All nuts are okay but minimize your peanut intake as they are sprayed heavily with pesticides. Raw nuts are the best but roasted can also be consumed in moderation. You can pair nuts with stone fruit for a well-balanced snack.
  4. Veggies: The more the merrier! All vegetables are allowed and you are encouraged to eat a variety of both raw and cooked. Make a salad every day and commit to getting five or more servings of vegetables a day, at least half of which should be green.
  5. Spice: Use spices to add flavor and dimension to your meals.
  6. Oils: Use healthy fats like olive and coconut oil liberally. Forget about the low-fat health trend. It’s part of the reason you might be hypoglycemic in the first place!
  7. If the above does not work, you may consider removing all grains from your diet for a period of 30-days to see if that improves symptoms. Some people are reactive to grains and removing them clears up many issues.

With the help of a functional medicine doctor or nutritionist, you may also consider some simple supplementation for 6 weeks to see if it helps with symptoms.

  1. Chromium Picolinate: Start with 1 pill per meal and increase dose until there are no symptoms of fatigue after meals. The standard american diet is deficient in chromium so many people need extra to keep them stabilized until their diet is fine tuned.
  2. Vitamin D: This is especially important if you are deficient. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about a proper dose.
  3. Omega 3 Fish Oil: 1-4 grams per day depending on body weight and health. Take 1 gram/day if you are unsure and then talk to your doc/nutritionist about taking more as needed.

Lastly, exercise is very important for helping to control blood sugar. Regular exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity and stabilize moods. The key to exercise is to MOVE in a way that you enjoy. And move often. You should get up every 20-30 minutes if you sit at a desk all day and incorporate walking and stretching into your routine as tolerated.

So tell me, what are your symptoms of unregulated blood sugar or hypoglycemia? Do you believe eating healthier food and getting regular exercise will help you feel better? There is never a better time to find out! Connect with me today!

References:
1. McCall, M. Dysglycemia The Epidemic. Class Lecture, University of Western States. 2014.
2. Herto, Stephen. Hypoglycemia – Strategies and Tactics for Winning. Nutritional Perspectives: Journal of the Council on Nutrition of the American Chiropractic Association. Vol. 24, No. 4. October 2011.