Managing Low Blood Sugars Living the Paleo Lifestyle

Posted by lindsay on Wed, 10/16/2013 - 19:38 in

I receive a lot of questions about how I manage my low blood sugars living the paleo lifestyle with diabetes. Like anything, the initial transition to healthier hypoglycemia treatment options was challenging, but I quickly adapted. Today, it has evolved from what it was even a year ago (I’ve been paleo for two years), because I’m always looking for healthier options and trying new things. I will say, by far, the biggest advantage I’ve seen since making this lifestyle change has been the stability in my blood sugar levels overall.

I have so few low blood sugars, that I rarely give them a thought (not to be confused with carelessness). Being able to think any less about anything related to diabetes is such a welcomed mental break!

Types of Low Blood Sugar Treatments

For starters, I always carry a container of glucose tablets with me. If I’m being forced by my body to eat, I prefer to try to get more nutrients from the food I’m using to treat low blood sugars (but glucose tablets are still with me at all times). In addition, in my purse I always have some sort of snack bar like a lightly sweetened mixed nut bar. Again, even though these bars may not raise my blood sugar very fast, because it’s typically dropping at a slower rate I can safely use these and get added nutrients. Because they have fat, they don’t really spike me that high where I end up with the dreaded rebound shenanigans.

I would say that 75% of the time, I am either at work or home where it is easier for me to have things on hand that might require refrigeration. I have a couple juices in the fridge at all times if I need something quicker to raise my blood sugar, and depending on my level and rate of change (from my CGM), I would say 80% of the time I treat my lows with fresh fruit. Red seedless grapes, apples and bananas raise my blood sugar fast, but then level off. Every morning when I head out for work, I grab extra fresh fruit and toss it in my lunch bag, so I have it on hand at work too. I have also been known to carry bananas around in my purse. Also, while I’m exercising or doing anything active, I will always have a glucose gel on me.

Impact on My Blood Sugars

Another bonus of low blood sugar management when living paleo is once I treat I rarely go low again shortly after. Whereas before, with quick sugar or candy, my blood sugar would rise and then fall back down. It’s definitely a steadier rise too, rather than a quick spike. So, while some are hesitant to eat a snack bar because of the calories, by the time it’s all said and done, it’s about the same if you have to keep eating candy.

The most important thing is safety first, and so while my experience treating low blood sugars has been night and day from being pre-paleo, it’s important to understand how your body reacts to different factors as well as foods! Always having healthier items on hand helps me stay healthy and not over treat.

Want to try out a paleo meal yourself? Check out Linday’s delicious recipe below for Brussels sprouts hash.Paleo-Recipe

  • 1 bag of shredded Brussels sprouts
  • Diced red onion
  • Diced red bell pepper
  • Diced yellow bell pepper
  • Diced garlic
  • Kosher salt/pepper
  • Reserved bacon fat

Start by melting about 1 ½ Tbsp. of reserved bacon fat in a sauté pan. Once melted, add the more firm diced veggies (the bell peppers, diced garlic and diced red onion). Continue stirring until the onions start to turn transparent. Add the bag of shredded sprouts and cook until they start to wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy as an entrée with eggs, as a side with meat or as a breakfast hash!

(If you prefer to not use bacon fat - although it gives it a great flavor! - substitute coconut oil, as it’s more heat stable.)

Note:  Information posted on Podder Talk is not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider for questions and guidance on managing any health-related issues.