While the majority of people who have blood sugar problems today are coping with the issue of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, a substantial number of individuals are living with the exact opposite problem--hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is just as serious a condition as high blood sugar, although it receives far less attention. As with hyperglycemia, the best treatment for hypoglycemia is adherence to a regulated diet.
When blood sugar is kept chronically low, individuals may experience a number of adverse reactions, such as general confusion, sweating, short temper and headache. The main underlying reasons for the development of hypoglycemia include inefficient glucose metabolism, overabundance of insulin production and a general lack of blood sugar supply. Fortunately, all of these conditions can be regulated by following a tailor-made diet.
Diet for Hypoglycemia
One of the keys to a hypoglycemia diet is to ensure that your body is fed a constant supply of nutrients. So while skipping a meal is generally considered bad for a "normal" person, it is even worse for an individual with hypoglycemia. While dieting with hypoglycemia, no matter what macro-nutrient approach you use, be sure to consume at least five or six small meals daily, eating every two to three hours. A high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet can be used to mitigate the symptoms of hypoglycemia because it can keep blood sugar stable while keeping metabolism high, alleviating many of the common complaints with other diet types, such as lack of satiety and general mood swings. When on a low-carb, high-protein diet, you should strive to consume 30 to 40 percent of your total calories from protein, 20 percent or so from carbs and the remainder from healthy fats.
Keep in mind that a low-carb diet does not mean a no-carb diet; you still need to provide your body with some glucose for day-to-day functioning. In other words, there is no reason to adhere to an ultra low-carb, ketogenic approach such as the Atkins diet plan. Select a more reasonable daily carb limit, between 40 to 75 grams, spaced out evenly among your daily meals. Just be sure to limit your total carb intake per meal to 15 grams or fewer to keep your blood sugar levels constant throughout the day. When making carb choices, your primary target should be vegetables and fruits, with leafy green vegetables taking precedence over everything else because they are your least "carby" source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Other vegetables and fruits run a close second, with whole grains coming in at a distant third because they can cause greater fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Although you will consume ample amounts of protein, choose lean protein sources to minimize consumption of saturated fats; white meats and seafood are best for this purpose. Finally, keep your fat intake largely limited to unsaturated fats, such as certain oils (from olives, fish, coconuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts and sesame) and natural fats (from almonds, walnuts and peanuts, for example). Balancing your diet in this way will ensure optimal results when attempting a low-carb, high-protein diet with hypoglycemia.