Healthy Substitutes for Glucose Tablets
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that most other people with diabetes dislike glucose tablets as much as I do. They’re chalky, messy, way too sweet, and generally not a tasty way to treat hypoglycemia. That being said, they’re very efficient at raising blood sugar and perfectly portion controlled so you’re unlikely to over-treat and end up with a high blood glucose level later.
As I’ve been eating a low carb diet for the past few months, I’ve increasingly found a need for small doses of glucose at different points during the day. Often my blood sugar will be in range while I’m not planning to eat again for several hours. Since I’m taking Lantus instead of wearing my pump, I cannot suspend my basal rate (as I would have in the past) to keep my blood sugar from dropping too low before the next meal. Glucose tabs worked well for awhile, but then I got sick of them Plus, they didn’t add any nutritional value to my diet.
Thus began my quest for small, healthy, snacks with a modest amount of fast acting carbohydrate.
My go-to snack has become dried fruit. Apricots are a favorite of mine and at about 4 grams of carbohydrate per piece they perfectly replace glucose tablets in terms of portion size.
As a mom, raisins are often available but I found them difficult to accurately portion control: “Was that handful 10 grams of carbohydrate? 15? 20?” The individual boxes of raisins typically have over 20 grams of carbs which was more than I’d need for a small glucose bump. Then, I discovered these mini-boxes of raisins at Target (I assume other retailers have them too) that only have 11 grams of carbohydrate per box. Perfect!
Another very convenient and tasty hypoglycemia remedy is individually packaged natural fruit strips or “fruit leathers”. They come in a variety of flavors and contain 11-12 grams of carbohydrate for only 45 calories. I like to buy them in bulk from our local warehouse store which makes them very affordable. Then, they can be stashed in my purse, gym bag, car, desk, etc. for easy access without having to worry about them getting stale or spoiled. I love them.
Anyone else have convenient snack ideas that provide just the right amount of carbohydrates when you need a little boost?
Kelsey wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Diabetes.