Healthy Snacks for Hypoglycemics (and everyone else!)

Since I have hypoglycemia (which means that my blood sugar gets dangerously low unless I keep an eye on it), I have to find nice snacks that will maintain my blood sugar levels and keep me going.

Although it might not seem like I try to keep healthy, due to this blog being almost completely dedicated to desserts, I try not to eat much sugar – most of the things my mom and I make are for our family or friends (of course we taste them ourselves). I try to eat as organically as possible, and avoid processed foods – I like to know what’s in my food! We grow our own blueberries and grapes, make our own juices and jams, and buy only fresh produce. I eat whole grain, whole wheat as much as possible too. Sugar is a big no-no – not because I’m on some sort of weight loss diet, but because I care for my health. Sugar slows me down and makes me feel sluggish. When I eat healthy foods, I feel so much better!!

Here are some healthy snacks that I’ve come across. They’re great for those with hypoglycemia, or anyone wanting to be a little bit healthier. So put down that Snickers bar and try out some of these yummy snacks for more energy!

Almonds

Almonds are an excellent snack. They have good amounts of protein, and are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. In a recent study, it was shown that women who ate a snack-sized portion of almonds actually kept off belly fat more effectively than those who didn’t. They lower cholesterol, maintain blood pressure and keep blood sugar from spiking through the roof.

Whole Wheat/Whole Grain Bread

I particularly like Aunt Millie’s Fiber for Life Light Whole Wheat Bread. 2 slices only has 80 calories and .5 grams of fat. That’s less than half the calories and fat found in 2 slices of normal white bread. Plus, it has tons of fiber, and is whole wheat!

Whole wheat, like almonds, is low on the glycemic index – which means that it doesn’t cause our blood sugar and energy levels to spike, then plummet and crash. Whole wheat fits perfectly into the Mediterranean diet, for those of you who try to follow that. People from that area eat mostly whole wheat carbs, lots of fruit and vegetables, and olive oil. They eat dairy in relatively small servings, and meat only sparingly. Women who eat whole wheat weigh less and are less likely to gain weight.

Studies also believe whole wheat fights against type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, childhood asthma, heart disease and more!

For more information on the benefits of whole wheat, check out this site.

I understand if you’re reluctant to let go of that white bread you’ve been eating your whole life. But think of the benefits of switching over!  When I did, I felt so much better and healthier. And really, if you get the right kind of whole wheat bread (get 100% whole wheat if possible), you will hardly taste a difference. I find I like whole wheat bread better than white!

Clif Bars

Clif Bars are great for those on low glycemic diets. The perfect snack for between meals, they come in a bunch of yummy flavors (my favorite is chocolate brownie). I suggest the mini sizes  – the normal sized bars may be too filling for just a snack.

At just 100 calories and only 2 grams of fat, the minis are also packed with vitamins (40% your daily value of Vitamin C, 40% Vitamin E, 10% iron, calcium, thiamin, etc.). They also have nice amounts of fiber and protein. And they are good!!!!!!!!

I used to eat Luna bars, but I recently switched over to Clif bars instead. Luna bars are almost exactly like Clif bars, except they contain more saturated fats than healthy fats. 1 Clif bar mini’s saturated fat makes up only 1/4 of the total fat content, meaning there are more heart healthy fats in there than bad for you fats like saturated and trans. Saturated fats are nearly half the fat content of Luna minis.

There really isn’t much of a difference, as the fat content is so small it shouldn’t matter much, but just something to consider.

Definitely try these out. I like eating them before big tests. They calm your nerves and instantly wake you up and keep you focused. Also, you’re never hungry half an hour after you eat them.

Natural Peanut Butter

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Better n’ Peanut Butter!!!!

All my life, I’ve been a huge fan of peanut butter. I stopped eating it a while ago, though, because of its high saturated fat content. Sure, it has a whole lot of iron and protein, but is it worth it, with all that saturated fat?

I recently came across Better n’ Peanut Butter. It is a natural, preservative-free peanut butter with less calories and saturated fats than normal peanut butter. I really love the taste of this peanut butter – it actually tastes like peanuts, not just a peanuty/chemically concoction. It is also gluten and dairy free, and doesn’t have refined sugars.

Another good (less natural) option is Jif reduced fat. Still high in fat, but most of the fat is heart-healthy.

This is a wonderful snack for those who need to give their blood sugar or energy a boost. My favorite ways to have natural peanut butter are to spread it on whole wheat toast or on apple slices. I ate quite a bit of this stuff while studying for my midterms last week, and it kept me focused, awake, and motivated. My blood sugar didn’t crash after I ate it, and it kept me satisfied until my next meal.

Whole Grain Cereals/Kashi Products

I am a big fan of Kashi products.My favorites are Strawberry Fields cereal (no fat, 110 calories per cup, contains organic, dried strawberries and raspberries – 1 serving is almost half your recommended intake of whole grains!! It’s like Special K but yummier!) and their frozen waffles (packed with protein, healthy grains, and fiber).

Other whole grain cereals (not coated in sugar and preservatives, of course) would make a great snack as well, as they should be low on the glycemic index.

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is the miracle curer of fruits. It is packed with vitamin C, and cancer-fighting antioxidants (even their juice! It has been found that drinking lots of the juice – without sugar!! – can decrease risk of Alzheimer’s disease). It has also been found to reduce cholesterol, and prevent kidney stones. Check out this website for even more health benefits of grapefruit.

I always have half of a grapefruit as part of my breakfast. It wakes me up and gives me a little kick to get moving. Since I’ve started eating grapefruit every day, I really have noticed improvements. I’ve found that (knock on wood!!!!!) I get colds less often, and I’m fuller longer between breakfast and lunch (meals which, during school days, are often 7 hours apart!)

I can’t stress enough how great for you grapefruits are. They do SO much!!!!!!

If you can’t bring yourself to eat a grapefruit plain, try something my friends do: scoop out the fruit of the grapefruit, sprinkle it with brown sugar (or, preferably, cinnamon) and bake it briefly in the oven so the sugar gets a little melty.

Apples

I am an apple queen. I eat apples constantly, and have become quite the connoisseur. My favorites are pink ladies, honey crisp and granny smith.

Apples are great sources of fiber, and their sugar content always boosts my blood sugar. They are low glycemic, so they maintain your energy levels and blood sugar levels, keeping them steady. I also recently read on glamour.com that they have been found to reduce congestion in your chest. They also reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome, which can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They also help lower blood pressure and keep your weight healthy.

I hope these ideas help you stay healthy!!!!

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2 Responses to Healthy Snacks for Hypoglycemics (and everyone else!)

  1. Alexis says:

    My husband has been feeling terrible for months and we had no clue why. Just this week we learned that he is officially hypoglycemic. Our whole pantry is full of the stuff on his new “foods to avoid” list. I’m hoping that this new information will help our whole family begin to eat healthier. I had no clue where to start and happened upon your blog with a simple google search. Thanks so much for this post – you’ve taken me to completely clueless to armed with a decent shopping list of what look like tasty healthy snack alternatives. Wish us luck!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment!

    It means so much to me that I am able to help other people with hypoglycemia or special diets. Good luck to you and your husband!!

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