Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a health threat for those with diabetes. The key to treating symptoms without sabotaging your diet is to prevent hypoglycemia before it happens.

The first step in staving off hypoglycemia is to work closely with your physician. It’s especially important to consult with your doctor since cutting out high-glycemic carbohydrates could alter your diabetic medication needs.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include feelings of hunger, dizziness, increased sweating, and irregular heartbeat. If you experience one of these symptoms, it’s already too late. Your first instinct will be to reach for the quickest sugar fix. In fact, diabetics suffering from hypoglycemia are generally told to do just pop a few candies or drink a sweet fruit juice and blood sugar will stabilize. While this is good advice in emergencies, waiting until hypoglycemia hits can encourage cravings and compromise your diet. An even better way to deal with hypoglycemia is to prevent symptoms before they occur.

The best way to prevent the symptoms of hypoglycemia is through regular snacking. Eating a low-glycemic carbohydrate and lean protein between meals will stave off feelings of intense hunger and allow your blood sugar levels to normalize. Aim for snacks that combine both protein and vegetables.

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