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Hypoglycemia Diet, Nutrition
Hypoglycemia refers to a state of unstable blood sugar in an individual. On consuming sugars and simple carbohydrates, the blood sugar levels rise up. To counter this, the pancreas releases too much insulin into the bloodstream. This causes a sudden dip in blood sugar to alarmingly low levels. Hypoglycemia, if not attended to immediately, can have drastic effects on the health of the person.
Hypoglycemia diet should aim at including those foods that do not cause a sudden release of glucose into the blood.
A hypoglycemia diet plan should be carefully chosen and consumed over the day. Breakfast should be the important and healthy meal of the day. Choose a breakfast menu with whole grains and protein rich turkey or lean meat like chicken slices. Fresh fruits should be included, preferably eaten raw and not as juice. Complex carbohydrates and nuts will meet your energy requirement over simple sugars. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and avoids tea and coffee. In a span of 3 hours or so, you can have a snack consisting of fresh fruits or nuts. The snacks between the main meals help to stabilize the blood sugar levels and prevent them from decreasing beyond normal limits. Lunch may consist of brown rice, beans, spinach or broccoli, lean meat or fish, and a fruit for dessert. This may be followed by a snack in the evening of brown bread and cheese or baked potatoes with skin. Supper should preferably be light and include whole wheat tortillas or bread with meat or fish and fresh green vegetables or salads. A snack before retiring for the night is optional, in case there is a long time gap between supper and bedtime.
Foods for hypoglycemia include the fibrous and starchy carbohydrates, protein rich foods, and foods rich in essential fatty acids. The list of foods to eat for hypoglycemia include whole grains like brown rice and wheat, green, leafy vegetables, carrots, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, spinach, beans and legumes, cucumbers and zucchini, natural, unsweetened yoghurt, and fresh fruits, mainly apples, pears and bananas. Include plenty of fluids and water in your diet, but not sweetened drinks and juices. Foods to prevent hypoglycemia should aid in the slow release of glucose into the blood stream. Protein rich foods ensure that the complex carbohydrates are broken down very slowly so that the blood sugar levels do not rise rapidly. This, in turn, controls the secretion of insulin by the pancreas so that not too much is produced to lower the blood sugars.
Foods To Avoid:
While planning a hypoglycemic diet plan, certain foods need to be totally avoided as they can be detrimental to the health of a hypoglycemic person. Foods to avoid hypoglycemia include all processed foods that are high in added sodium and sugars. Fruit juices and sweetened carbonated drinks should also be avoided. Eat plenty of fresh fruits to cut down on added sugars in juices. Red meat and fatty, fried foods accelerate the sugar levels in the blood, resulting in an insulin spike, thereby plunging the blood sugar level to below normal limits. White rice and pasta, white flour, ice cream, fast foods, tea, coffee and other strong beverages, and any food made with sugar added to it should be preferably avoided. Foods that cause hypoglycemia are simple carbohydrates and sugars that release high levels of sugar into the blood. It is best to stay away from sugary foods as the initial boost in sugar levels can later lead to a drastic drop as well.
The foods chosen rightly and eaten at regular intervals provide the required nutrition for hypoglycemia. The person should not be without food for long breaks between his meals. This causes a drop in the blood sugar levels and results in discomfort of the person. A hypoglycemia nutrition plan should comprise small meals, taken every 3 hours or so. High fiber and protein rich foods should be consumed as snacks, so as to regularize the blood sugars by slowing down the release and absorption of glucose. Hypoglycemia nutritional therapy tries to limit or avoid simple sugars present in candies and juices, so that too much glucose is not rapidly released into the blood stream. A wholesome diet menu is adhered to and a small snack is essential a couple of hours before any exercise or strenuous activity.
Vitamins, Herbs & Supplements For Hypoglycemia
Instead of reaching out for a sweet to correct your blood sugars, you can have a vitamin supplement for hypoglycemia. Vitamins for hypoglycemia patients include vitamins B, A, C, and E. These work against hypoglycemia by rightly metabolizing the carbohydrates present in your body. They act against stress in muscles and add strength to the body. In addition to vitamins, mineral supplements are also effective against hypoglycemia by warding off symptoms of fatigue and disorientation.
Vitamin B12 or cobalamine is essential for the metabolic processes in the body and production of red blood cells. Vitamin B12 aids in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, thus providing ample sugar levels in the blood. B12 is present in red meat, fish, eggs, and diary produce. B12 supplements are also used to counter the severe fatigue brought on by hypoglycemia. Zinc deficiency and hypoglycemia are directly proportional as zinc helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates, thus releasing adequate amounts of glucose into the blood. Zinc can be naturally obtained from eggs, meat, beans, and nuts, and artificially through fortified cereals or milk powder. Thiamine deficiency and hypoglycemia is also a well researched aspect of hypoglycemic nutrition plan. The presence of thiamine prevents the buildup of excess carbohydrate metabolites. Hence, thiamine supplements are given along with glucose for hypoglycemic persons.
Nutritional supplements complement a hypoglycemic diet menu. Include multivitamins in the hypoglycemic diet. Minerals like chromium and selenium are effective supplements for hypoglycemia sufferers. Omega 3 fatty oils, found in fish, should also be a constituent of the hypoglycemic diet. Magnesium is effective in regularizing carbohydrate breakdown and storage, but should be used with caution to avoid diarrhea. Natural supplements for hypoglycemia are found in fresh vegetables and fruits. Licorice can also be used instead of sugar as a sweetener in food.
Herbs for hypoglycemia are considered effective to strengthen the body’s systems. Green tea is considered a rich source of antioxidants. Basil leaves are also believed to reduce stress levels in persons who experience symptoms of hypoglycemia. Ginseng and royal jelly are also believed to be effective Chinese herbs for hypoglycemia that relieve the fatigue and nausea associated with hypoglycemia.
Symptoms, Causes & Treatment For Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia diagnosis is done from the blood drawn from the person’s body. The glucometer test reveals the blood sugar level. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are also considered while a physician examines the person.
|Submitted on January 16, 2014|