Low Carb, Low Sugar Dilema


Ok so for the low carbers or healthy eaters out there ( please don’t take that wrong, I’ve been eating terribly today, lol) what foods do you use to correct a low blood sugar? I’ve always used that as my candy party treat time because hey, if I’m going to have to feel a low blood sugar why not sock it to it by having a piece of cake? HA In all seriousness though I’m trying to do better. Suggestions? :slight_smile:


I use glucose tablets. One tablet will increase BG by 20 points so I usually break them in half, and they are the fastest acting so you feel better faster.


Glucose tabs, or something similar that is premeasured and fast acting. Every time I try to sneak some cake or frosting to treat a low, I end up shooting way too high and regret the decision (no matter how good it tasted!)


What’s wild is glucose tablets just DO NOT work for me. They seem to leave my system within 5 minutes and they just don’t help. I mean sometimes that have have a short lasting effect but my body just quickly burns those little suckers.


I eat stuff I enjoy. If you like candy, you can use it to treat a low.


I use juicy juice at home and glucotabs away from home.


That’s actually not unusual. You may be one that just needs a mix of simple and complex carbs… and maybe even protein… to keep you in range. Peanut butter and Graham crackers have always been a staple. Simple sugars in the sweetners, complex carbs in the whole grain, and protein in the peanut butter.

We’re a permaculture family. Try to grow our own food or trade for it locally. Don’t buy anything processed anymore, and make nearly everything from scratch, so I understand the desire. Yet, we make a lot of exceptions for my lows. For some reason potatoes work great for me, so we keep a supply of prepackaged potato chips for the stubborn lows that don’t want to come up, and some Annie’s (less crap that other brands) fruit snacks as the normal go to.


It’s typical of the punishment oriented approach of the medical profession to diabetics that all sorts of bad-tasting glucose-delivery foods have been developed to treat lows. I say just eat the right amount of something that tastes good if you need quick calories.


I’ve compared the calorie/carb content of glucose tabs to other nutrient-dense foods with fast-release carbs and ruled out glucose tabs. It bugs me to HAVE to eat when I’m not hungry, especially when my waist line is getting lost. I’m not going to waste the opportunity to add much needed nutrients to my diet if I MUST eat. I love fruit so usually have a fruit of the season on hand to treat lows. Right now a peeled orange is on my night stand and pomegranate seeds in the kitchen. I take an apple or banana when I drive and have gotten pretty good at judging how much to eat to get back to range without overdoing it. I hate wasting part of the fruit, but it is what it is.

Fresh fruit doesn’t keep well in a pocket though and whenever I grab a jacket and put my hand in the pocket I find a stash of fruit snacks or the 11 gm carb box of raisins. I’ve learned to stay away from candy I love because I will eat it even when I’m not low. My friends and I joke that I should keep candy on hand that is disgusting… like circus peanuts. If I get too low my tongue is numb and I can’t taste what I eat anyway.

But OMG I LOVE white chocolate. And true confessions here… I was on a long drive today and starving. The food choices were limited and I had McDonalds french fries and chicken strips. Even with Afrezza and Novolog my sugars hit 200. Damn those fries were good.

I don’t know how people have the discipline to follow a strict diet with no wavering. I’m not a robot. I’ve had D for only two years and prior to dx appreciated craft beer. I still drink a good beer or two a day or so of the week and most nights have a glass or two of wine to relax sometimes with a bowl of hot buttered popcorn. The butter keeps the popcorn carbs more dense and the alcohol keeps my sugar low. I don’t admit this strategy to my endo…


This made me smile, I feel you on keeping the fruit fresh it gets challenging. Great tips!


I do exactly what they say not to do: I use a couple squares of a lower-carb dark chocolate bar. I know, the fat in the chocolate slows down carb absorption - but it also helps buoy the correction.
Sorta like you, glucose tabs don’t fix my corrections very well – I get a temporary fix that lasts only a few minutes and goes back down. In the past, I’ve tried clementine’s, which seem to have just the right amount of sugar for me, or blackberries, which are just like popping sugar cubes, but the improvement from those started to be also temporary, so I ended up eating additional foods to support the fix.
When I don’t have chocolate available, I’ve used saltine crackers – just have to be careful with those, as 3 (or 4?) are a good fix, but 6 is a big spike (for me)!


What works for me depends on the nature of the low. Most of the time, a couple of glucose tabs does the job. I can’t imagine them NOT working for everyone. However, if your low occurs at a time when you’ve got a major dose of insulin on board, they won’t be enough.

Particularly now that I’m using the Libre, I can see the low coming and can use the tabs to bend the curve back up. And usually, I can stay within my target zone of 70 to 140.

For the past couple of weeks though, I’ve had a bad cold. And that required me to take considerably more insulin. And when my normal insulin profile finally kicked back in, my sugar was going low like a freight train! I tried the glucose tabs twice, 15 minutes apart. Finally, I gave in and inhaled some chocolate and carbs. That fixed the problem but drove me way high later on. That took quite a while to recover from.

The cold is over now and I’m back to occasionally using a glucose tab or two to correct things. I only use other foods for correction when I’ve really missed the mark — something that is happening less and less frequently.


I just went out with a young man recently who keeps snickers bars with him at all times. I thought about this and it makes sense because you get the chocolate and the peanuts which would seem to stay in your system. He teaches fly fishing and is extremely active so that might be another great chocolate option!


I am a glucose tab person. After many many years of sitting in the kitchen eating everything I could and having blood sugar roller coaster, I have learned tablets are something I won’t over eat and if I only need a mini dose, one tablet will do.
One thing that caught my attention was something that was happening to me often. The glucose tablet would bring the blood sugar up but not hold it. Come to learn, it was because I was taking too much insulin. Once I reset my basals and recalculated my carb ratios, one tablet could work magic. And I also lost some weight Beck was no longer feeding the insulin. Just a thought.


I think that might also depend on how active you are. When I haven’t worked out for a week or so I’ve found glucose tablets stay with me better but on the other hand I know some competitive athletes that carry nothing but glucose and just keep popping them.


Starbursts for me… individually wrapped so makes it a little more difficult to binge… relatively easy to figure out how much each raises blood sugar… easy to fit in pocket… only problem is they don’t hold up well over time, but cheap enough to toss if they get too hard… And tastes good too!!


I’m super new to being a LADA diabetic, 2 weeks is all, but I am having bedtime lows and I have been eating a piece of thin sliced Dave’s killer seeded bread (9g carbs) toasted with peanut butter on it, which my doc says is great; ideally she said a complex carb with protein is best. I’m a pretty healthy eater anyway, but do have a sweet tooth and like a few white carbs on occasion. We don’t eat fast food, we grow our own veggies and buy very little processed foods. I buy organic meat and dairy products, eat local eggs and I cook all the time. I don’t want to give up my coffee creamer (it doesn’t seem to be spiking my BG) and I am using my lows as an excuse to eat a few almond M&Ms or a piece of almond bark thins. I also enjoy a sugar free mocha, but I am calculating all my carbs. I’m sure this isn’t the best but I’m still coming to terms with it all and I don’t want to give up these things all together but I feel guilty too. How do you guys balance?


If what you are doing is working for you then don’t feel guilty about anything. I think that most of us who are eating low carb are doing so because of dissatisfaction with our BG’s or weight issues. For me eating low carb eliminates one more complicated aspect of diabetes (spikes from carbs and insulin calculations for those carbs).
Since you were just diagnosed you may still have quite a bit of natural insulin being produced by your own body so a few treats or a higher carb diet might be easier to manage for now. If that changes then reevaluate your diet and/or treatment plan. If you have any questions or concerns start a thread and let us know.


As long I have to eat, just as well be something I like. So pudding, trail mix, fruit or mini candy bar (4g carbs). I do keep glucose tablets for unusually severe lows or if I’m out of good stuff. Other times if I’m just a little low, I might turn down my basal rate for a while.


I use dates or half of a banana. For those horribly low numbers, I use 1 teaspoon dextrose (Now Foods non gmo Dextrose) in water. The dextrose is for really low numbers like <40 or so if I’m very busy.