Imagine this situation: You’ve decided that you’re going to start being healthy. You’ve started your day with a nutritious breakfast, already drank a litre of water and now off to the gym. Rather than sitting there on your phone, you actually work out this time and you're feeling FAB. Then you start to notice that little tremble in your hands. The tremble spreads to your whole body and you get slightly dizzy and you know what’s happening- it’s hypo time!! In other words, time to scoff your face with sweets and completely counteract your morning’s work to get your sugar levels up.
Does this situation sound familiar? It’s all too familiar to me. However, I soon realised that a low blood sugar doesn’t necessarily have to result in sweets. Usually, I need around 15g of carbs to get me back into the safe zone. These are some of my healthier hypo treatments that do exactly that without ruining my healthy streak!
I would not opt for these if I am dangerously low or am in a situation where I want my sugars to rise ASAP. I find these treatments best for when I feel a low coming on, yet I am not in a drastic situation. Also, please bear in mind that everyone is different- these are treatments that work for me and you may need more/less sugar depending on your state!
Bananas are my go-to low blood sugar treatment. An average banana has about 20g of carbs, 3g of which is fiber. Fiber doesn't raise blood glucose levels as it is not broken down by the body, so can be subtracted from the over all carb-count. This means that the banana only has around 17g of carbs- just the amount I usually need to recover! So, I’m not left guessing if I need any more sweets or if I’ve eaten too much. Even the slightest of tasks can be a struggle if you're having a low and that's another reason I go for bananas over an apple or an orange. They’re quick & easy to eat! I also find them to be the fastest acting fruit with regards to raising my blood sugar. Within 15 minutes I’m back on my way up to a normal range. Not to mention you’re getting in one of your five a day! If you discover that bananas also work for you, this banana cover is a must-buy. It stops it getting bruised in your bag throughout the day and I genuinely can't remember the last time I've left the house without it!!
Have you ever treated yourself to a very large meal, but overestimated the amount of carbs in said meal? So now you’re absolutely stuffed with food and feel yourself going low. The thought of any more food, never mind sweets, is making your stomach hurt but you need to get those sugars up! This is when I like to have a little OJ carton at hand. I love these Tropicana ones. They have 14g of carbs which again, is usually perfect for getting me back into that safe range if my low isn't too drastic. Plus, Tropicana isn’t from concentrate, is packed with nutrients and contains about two of your five a day.
I mentioned in this previous post, that if you’re trying to reduce sugar in your diet it’s best to avoid the average yoghurt (organic or not). However, if you are trying to get a sugar fix without resorting to sweets- what better option! I’m a big fan of the Activia Vanilla Probiotic Yoghurt which contains 16g of carbs. Probiotics are good, friendly bacteria that have been shown to provide specific health benefits like supporting gut health, the digestive system and the entire body. So why not multitask- treat your low and help your gut out all in one!
If you’re not a fan of bananas or if you find that they're a little too high in carbs, another one of my go-to fruit treatments is a cup of grapes. Like bananas, grapes are easy to consume and get me back into a safe range fairly promptly. I know "a cup" sounds a bit vague, so if you're getting down into the nitty gritty of it, this nutritionix calculator calculates the exact amount of carbs per grape. It says that 17 grapes contain 15g of carbs, so you can add more or less depending on your needs. The reason I specify red grapes it that they’re rich in antioxidants (and a lot nicer in my opinion.)
Suprisingly enough, a glass of milk does wonders for my low blood sugars. One cup actually has 14g of carbs, all of which sugars! It is all lactose though, a natural sugar, so nothing to worry about health-wise. In fact, according to healthline.com, milk contains “almost every single nutrient needed by humans, making it one of the most nutritious foods on the planet.” What better hypo solution then that?
Lastly, If I feel slight symptoms of a low and can predict from my situation (exercise earlier or too much insulin with my meal) that I’m going to go lower, I’ll nip it in the bud with some rice cakes. The Quaker ones are roughly 7-8g of carbs per rice cake, so two of these do the job! However, as these are definitely not the fastest option, I would only ever resort to them in this situation. With 0g of fat and only 35-40 calories per cake, they’re definitely a healthier option than a slice of white bread.
So those are my healthier hypo treatments. Again, these are just some options that work for me- you may differ in your sugar needs! However, I hope this post has helped in giving you ideas for hypo treatments other than a pack full of additives. Please let me know if you have any other additions you think should make the list! x