Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can cause minor but annoying problems such as dizziness and weakness. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can cause fainting and seizures. While it most often affects diabetics, other people can suffer from it also. To keep a level blood sugar you should eat frequent small meals and avoid certain types of foods. The following four foods can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and should be avoided if you are hypoglycemic.
1. Processed Meats
Processed meats such as lunch meats have sugar added to them during processing. Many processed foods also have saturated fats, trans fats and sodium added. The following is a list of popular processed meats that hypoglycemics should avoid.
- Hot dogs
- Other packaged luncheon meats
2. Simple Carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates are best described as foods that have been broken down through processing and then reassembled in an unnatural form. A good example of a simple carbohydrate is sweet chocolate. The following is a list of the most popular simple carbohydrates that you should avoid if you have hypoglycemia.
- Carbonated beverages
- White bread
- White pasta
- White rice
When told to avoid sugar most people envision candy, cookies and cakes. While these are the easiest culprits to spot and eliminate, they are not the only ones. Sugar lurks in surprising places and the only way to ferret it out is to read the nutrition labels carefully.
When you are reading your ingredient labels watch for the words glucose, sucrose, dextrose, lactose, fructose and sorbos. These are all sugars. The following ingredients are sugar derivatives and should also be avoided:manitol, hexitol and sorbitol.
Here are some foods that contain sugar, which you might not suspect:
- Chili sauces
- Some canned and frozen meats
- Salad dressings
4. Fast Foods
Fast foods are laden with fat, sugar and preservatives. They are made almost exclusively with white bread, white rice and/or white pasta. When you add in the amount of sugar that lurks in many surprising places, fast food is one of the most dangerous types of food to hypoglycemics. A typical burger run can overload your sugar level and give you a devastating crash.
There are decaffeinated products, sugar substitutes and complex carbohydrates that you can use in place of the things on the above list. It is less easy to substitute healthy options in the fast food category. Begin by cutting back on how often you eat fast foods and getting the smaller versions of your favorites.
At first it may seem daunting to see all of the things that you should avoid to control your hypoglycemia. However, getting rid of the dizzy spells and weakness will make those dietary changes much easier to accept. As with any major life changes, it may be easier to make the switches a little bit at a time. Try eliminating the above items group by group. When cravings hit, and they will, ask yourself whether it's really worth feeling awful for days afterward. Good luck and feel better soon.