Advice / Tuesday Tips

Healthiest ways to handle low blood sugar

Food is power

Wouldn’t have written about this if I hadn’t hadn’t sampled Amazing Grass’s Super Food Energy Bars a couple of weeks ago. I’d rather drink some ginger tea or grab piece of fruit (okay, fresh chocolate chip cookie), but appreciate convenience, efficiency, and sometimes necessity of an energy bar.

Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes share a high rate of comorbidity. Since his diagnosis with both in 1998 it’s been essential for Gus to have ready access to gluten free juices or snacks that will quickly raise his blood sugar if he’s “low”, or hypoglycemic. Blood sugar “lows” can be uncomfortable for anyone and dangerous for those with Diabetes.

Tuesday Tip: as we’ve paid more attention to the nutritional value, sources, and quality of our food, I’ve become interested in natural snacks that will effectively treat low blood sugar. Gus is an independent, active senior in college 3ooo miles from home, so it helps if those sweet snacks are prepackaged, pre-measured, easily tucked in a glove compartment, backpack, or sports bag, and don’t need to be refrigerated. Acute hypoglycemia can affect one’s cognition and ability to swallow, so in extreme cases what’s being consumed needs to be liquid. Since one wants to be ready for any eventuality our list starts with delicious, nutritious, easy to swallow, honey.

Healthiest ways to treat hypoglycemia/low blood sugar

1. Honey sticks: one contains about 1 tablespoon of honey or 17 grams of carbohydrate. Look for “raw”, “unfiltered” varieties.

2. Maple Syrup: Untapped makes a .96 oz. packet: 26 grams of carbohydrate.

3. Organic juice box: I like Kiju’s packaging and flavors; Knudsen makes a product. Whatever the company, try to avoid straight apple or grape. 4 ounces of juice usually equal 15 grams of carbohydrate.

4. Organic peanut butter cups: Justin’s makes a packet of two – 21 grams of carbohydrate. Note: the fat in the PB slows the absorbability of the sugar so a nut butter cup or candy doesn’t pack as immediate a punch, but is longer lasting.

5. Organic dried fruit – raisins! A small box has 34 grams of carb, a tiny one, 11. Weigh dried fruit if pre-packing it yourself. Also consider fruit “leather”.

6. Munk Packs – Fruit and oats in a squeezable tube – room temp (breakfast). 21 carbs in a 4 oz. pouch

7. Organic energy bars: I used to buy Luna Bars for Gus (organic and gluten free before Clif tweaked their recipe to be GF – click on the link to read their spin on gluten.) Now I’m intrigued by Amazing Grass Super Food Bars. Promoted as being organic, gluten free, and dairy free, I have still yet to determine from whom they received the GF certification. Also at least the Chocolate Chip bar contains gluten. As always, read the fine print. If interested research the relative benefits of wheat grass. (Gluten is found in the seed kernel, so if grass is consistently mowed no seed, no gluten.)

8. Not as healthy, so last. If it’s gotta be candy: organic (M&Ms) – Sunspire’s Chocolate Drops have 18 carbs and 180 calories per individual package. As with peanut butter cups, the fat in the chocolate with inhibit the initial (sugar high) one might need, but eventually you’ll get all the sugar and fat….

Note: We have no commercial relationship with any of the companies who’s products or websites we suggest other than to be consistent or occasional customers. Suggestions about products you like are welcome!



5 thoughts on “Healthiest ways to handle low blood sugar

  1. Thanks for great tips!

    I struggle with low blood sugar from time to time, and it can get so bad that I spin right into dizziness and almost faint. I can also lose concentration, get hard to communicate with and even right out fall asleep. I depend on always having some sort of healthy snack around, to make sure I get “back on top”. If it gets really bad I go straight for the orange juice, but for the most part I’m looking for something that will last.

    My husband is always on my back about it, and he makes sure I’ve always got something in my bag, or on my desk.

    My favourite go-to is making up batches of my own peanut butter cup protein bars, which are gluten-free, raw, refined sugar-free and paleo. They give me a boost without giving me a spike. Besides, they taste like a chocolate bar, so I don’t need any convincing 🙂 My husband eats them when he trains too. I can give you the recipe, but I didn’t want to intrude by posting the link.

    Thanks again for a great post, and I’ll have to try to find some of these products in the UK!


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