Frontier Movement, Health and Healing in Action

Low Blood Sugar

In 1981 the Food Pyramid became front page news. Finally someone is telling us how we should eat. Quickly, and based totally on trust, Americans ran with this information. Doctors and nutritionists preached it as gospel and coaches and trainers passed it along as well.

This pyramid called for 7 to 11 servings of carbohydrates per day, specifically mentioning bread, pasta, rice and potatoes as healthy choices. It also spawned the previously unheard of phenomenon known as “low fat foods.” Suddenly the food giants had a whole new food category. Sell food loaded up with sugar and white flour and put “lowfat” on the label and ‘viola’—dieters and those watching their weight will eat it with a guilt free conscience! Many products, such as white bread, that never had fat in them anyway, put the magic words “low fat” on their label.

Aside from an epidemic of obesity, we got a nation of sick people with a disease so new, that the medical profession did not have a name for it until the year 2000. The name they chose is “metabolic syndrome.” I prefer the name coined by researcher Jennie Brand-Miller who refers to the condition as “reactive hypoglycemia” because the condition is a reaction to “bad” carbohydrates.

This is a pre-diabetic condition brought on mainly by an exhausted pancreas that cannot produce enough insulin to keep the blood sugar in check. It is associated with an increase in bad cholesterol and a rise in triglyceride levels, which alerts doctors of potential arterial and heart problems. The vast majority of those with reactive hypoglycemia experience big dips in their blood glucose levels one to three hours after eating "bad" carbs. As I have said, this is an epidemic in America today, with some estimates having 60 % of the population affected.

The physical symptoms we are concerned with here are the big dips in energy, brain fog, and lethargy associated with low blood sugar. These usually occur between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and can vary according to meal times. Notice that these are common break times for most jobs due to the epidemic level of the population who are affected. Productivity falls off sharply during these hours without medicating the blood sugar. This is why your break rooms have sweets and salty and sugary carbohydrates available. Along with caffeine, one is now able to go a few more hours before crashing again.

If you, like me, have this problem, you will need to focus not only on what you eat, but when. If you have been around this website, you know that I believe that everyone should get processed white flour, soft drinks, candy, and most other sugar out of their life.

Those of you with blood sugar problems have a very high risk of diabetes if you don’t remove these products form your diet. You will exacerbate your blood sugar issues by eating them. You should have complex protein and fat at every meal to slow the gastric emptying of your stomach and thereby eliminate the spikes in blood sugar that come before the fall in blood sugar.

Protein and fat take up to four times as long in the stomach as simple carbohydrates and at least double that of low-glycemic carbohydrates. This gives us longer satiety (full feeling) and a more gradual rise in blood sugar. Bottom line: Eat three meals and have low-glycemic carbs, protein, and fat at all three. This is also called a “balanced” meal.

In addition to this you may need to snack twice a day to keep blood glucose levels steady. You must pay close attention to your low blood sugar times of day. If you “crash” at 10:00 a.m. you should have a protein and/or fat snack by 9:00 a.m. This could also include a low glycemic carbohydrate, but these should not be eaten alone at this time. You could have a low glycemic carbohydrate snack as late as 9:30.

The problem with eating carbs alone for those who have reactive hypoglycemia, is that you may need to have yet another snack an hour later to get you through to lunch.

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