Reactive hypoglycemia is low blood sugar that occurs 3 to 4 hours after eating a meal. Reactive hypoglycemia symptoms include hunger, weakness, shakiness, lightheadedness, anxiety and confusion, according to MayoClinic.com. Reactive hypoglycemia can also indicate higher risk of developing diabetes. This condition requires a medical evaluation for accurate diagnosis.
According to Healthline, serious side effects can occur with severe reactive hypoglycemia, including seizures and loss of consciousness. If you experience these side effects, seek immediate medical attention.
Diet changes can help treat reactive hypoglycemia. For your reactive hypoglycemia diet, you need to eat small frequent meals — going no more than three hours without a meal — that include foods high in fiber.
Include Whole Grains
Whole grains provide carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Carbohydrates in food turn into sugar and raise blood sugars to provide a quick boost in energy. Fiber in whole grain helps slow the release of the sugar into the bloodstream. A slower release of sugar helps keep the blood sugar level consistent, notes the Jackson-Siegelbaum Gastroenterology Group. Whole grain foods to include in your diet to prevent reactive hypoglycemia include whole wheat bread, oatmeal, whole grain ready-to-eat cereals, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, barley, bulgur, whole grain crackers and popcorn.
Choose Whole Fruits
Fruits also provide carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. People with reactive hypoglycemia should choose whole fruit over its juice for its fiber content. Drinking juice leads to a rapid rise and then fall in blood sugar, according to the Jackson-Siegelbaum Gastroenterology Group. Fruits high in soluble fiber slow down stomach emptying and also slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. High soluble fiber fruits include oranges, apples, strawberries and pears. Other healthy fruit choices for reactive hypoglycemia include melons, berries, grapes, plums and peaches.
Eat Your Veggies
Vegetables contain only small amounts of carbohydrate, but act as a good source of fiber to help slow down digestion. Healthy vegetable choices for reactive hypoglycemia include brussel sprouts, white and sweet potatoes with the skin, carrots, spinach, broccoli, green beans, lettuce, cucumbers, asparagus, corn, peas, legumes, mushrooms and eggplant. Legumes also act as a source of protein. Protein also takes the body longer to digest, which helps prevent low blood sugar experienced with reactive hypoglycemia.
Add Some Dairy
Dairy provides protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals and also helps control blood sugar for reactive hypoglycemia. Healthy choices include nonfat milk, 1 percent milk, nonfat and low-fat yogurt and low-fat cheeses.
Lean Meats and Substitutes
Lean meats and meat substitutes act as a significant source of protein. Including a lean meat or meat substitute with each meal can help you prevent low blood sugar, according to the Jackson-Siegelbaum Gastroenterology Group. Lean meat choices for reactive hypoglycemia include poultry, fish, pork chops, beef eye of round, lamb chops and veal. Meat substitutes on a hypoglycemia food list can include eggs, peanut butter, nuts and tofu.