As you’re probably aware, there are numerous books on hypoglycemia diet. If you’ve had the opportunity to read some of them – or some of the articles on that topic – you’re probably aware that many disagree on what type of diet to follow.
First of all, know that each author has enough confirmation and evidence that his or her diet is successful. Most likely, they all are. Probably, this is due to the fact that the most serious offenders (sugar, white flour, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco) are eliminated and six small meals are consumed instead. That’s common to all hypoglycemia diets.
But the key to a successful hypoglycemia diet lies in how you personalize it. Every person is unique. Therefore, every diet must be made to measure to meet our individual nutritional requirements.
The list of allowable foods that your physician gives you, or the list you’ve read in your favorite book on hypoglycemia, are only guidelines. A more appropriate list for you will come with time and patience, trial and error. Pay attention to what your body is telling you. It will let you know when it cannot tolerate a food.
So basically, follow the suggestions in the following 12 do’s and don’ts, and, if all goes well, with just a few adjustments during your course of treatment, a new, healthier, happier and more energetic you will gradually appear.
1-DO… keep track, on a daily basis, of everything you eat for one to two weeks. In the left column, list every bit of food, drink and medication that you take and at what time of the day. Directly opposite each entry, list in the right column your symptoms and the time at which you experience them. Very often you will see a connection between what you’ve consumed and the symptoms you’re experiencing. When that happens, eliminate those foods or drinks that you notice are apparently contributing to how you feel and note the difference. DO NOT STOP MEDICATION. If you believe that your medication may be contributing to your symptoms, contact your physician. A diet journal is your personal roadmap: a clear view of what you’re eating, digesting and assimilating. It can be the first indicator that something is wrong and, perhaps, a very inexpensive way of correcting a very “simple” problem.
2-DO… eliminate the “baddies” … those foods, drinks and chemicals that cause you the most problems: the “worst baddies” are sugar, white flour, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. However, you DO have to be very careful as to when and how you eliminate those offending substances. Only YOU, with the guidance of a health-care professional, can decide how much, and how fast. Some people choose to go at a steady pace. For example, if you drink six cups of coffee a day, gradually reduce consumption over a period of days or weeks. If, like me, you drink only two coffees a day, but you put three teaspoons of sugar in each cup, reduce the sugar gradually until you can drink it without. It took me six weeks to get there, but I did it. The same is true for food or tobacco. If you’re heavily addicted to the “baddies”, especially alcohol, then withdrawal should not be undertaken unless you’re under the care of a physician.
3-DO… replace those “bad-for-you” foods immediately with good, wholesome, nutritious food and snacks as close to their natural state as possible. The recommended list includes lean meats, chicken (no skin), whole grains, vegetables and allowable fruits. You want to prevent deprivation from setting in, especially the “poor ole me, I’ve got nothing good to eat” attitude. Hey, there’s plenty to eat.
4-DO… eat six small meals a day. Or you can have three meals with a snack in between. One of the keys to successfully manage your low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is to NOT over eat, and to eat at fairly regular intervals.
5-DO… what you need to do to be prepared to keep your blood sugar stabilized at all times, whether you’re at home, at the office, at school or on holidays. When you’re home, you should always have allowable foods ready in the refrigerator or in the cupboards. Also, it’s a great idea to always keep appropriate snacks in your car or where you work. And in your backpack when travelling.
6-DO… pay attention to the amount of ‘natural’ foods or drinks you consume. Even though juices are labeled ‘natural’, you’ll find that they contain high amounts of sugar. And for your body, sugar is sugar is sugar…and your body will react to an excess of it. That’s because whether or not the sugar you consume is ‘natural’, your body, unfortunately for you, doesn’t know the difference.
7-DO… your research and put together your own library of cookbooks. They don’t absolutely have to be for hypoglycemics. There are many good cookbooks available that contain recipes with no or little sugar, and few or no carbohydrates.
8-DON’T… freak out when you first hear about all the foods you like that you must now eliminate from your diet. Read the list – and check out the glycemic index list – and keep repeating all the foods that you CAN eat. There are many of them.
9-DON’T… go anywhere without being fully prepared with proper and allowable meals and snacks. If you want a healthier you – and a happier you – this is one of the keys to success.
10-DON’T… skip breakfast. Ever. If you suffer from low blood sugar or hypoglycemia, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. It really sets the tone for how your day is going to unfold, energy wise.
11-DON’T… even think of comparing your results or your progress (or lack of) with others’. Each person’s metabolism is different. If you’re feeling better and better week after week, you’re doing the right things. Keep it up.
12-DON’T… obsess about your diet. If you constantly think about what you can and can’t eat, youll increase your levels of fear, stress and frustration.
Eat well, be well, live well!