Reactive Hypoglycemia: Fix It With Fat!

Reactive hypoglycemia can be a total nightmare! I know it was for me when I was first diagnosed. At first, I literally had no idea what I could do to fix the problem or even fix it. I thought: “What can I eat?”

I knew that diet was key, but I didn’t exactly have the formula to solve my problem; and my doctors weren’t helping me much. They simply wanted to put me on a medicine that made me sick to my stomach and send me on my way. I mean, we all know the importance of doctors, and I appreciate what they do, but how many times do they just go through the motions? Do the tests, prescribe the medication!

Well, the doctors had nothing to help me! So, I had to help myself, which was nothing new, as I am a four-time cancer survivor and used to using diet and supplements as a way to optimize my health. So I started doing research, talking to dietitians, personal trainers, and bodybuilders. I learned about the low-carb diet and the ketogenic diet, and from those diets I learned about the importance of fats in treating all sorts of conditions, including reactive hypoglycemia.

Now, don’t go yet because I mentioned fat. Fat has gotten a bad rap over the years, but it can really benefit you when consumed with the right diet. You see, your body burns carbohydrates first, then fat, then protein… and we know that Reactive Hypoglycemia is basically a reaction to carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates. Simply put, with reactive hypoglycemia, you eat carbohydrates, and 1 to 4 hours later, your body secretes excess insulin, causing your blood sugar to drop. This, of course, comes with all kinds of fun symptoms like dizziness, anxiety, tremors, cold extremities, palpitations, etc.

So after learning this, I decided to drastically cut my carbs and add more fat! I started eating more bacon, red meat, peanut butter, cheese, coconut oil, butter, and heavy cream. Remember, if your body doesn’t have carbohydrates to use for energy, it will use fat.

Not only did I lower my carb intake, but when I did eat carbs, I only ate complex carbs and I ate them with fat…and on top of that I cut all refined foods from my diet, all simple and starchy carbs, sugars, caffeine, and alcohol. Not eating these things is crucial to controlling reactive hypoglycemia.

For example, in the morning for breakfast, along with my serving of cottage cheese and egg whites, I would eat about a quarter bowl of raw oatmeal with butter, heavy cream, coconut oil, and a few blueberries. This combination of fat with carbohydrates would slow down the body’s absorption rate and keep my blood sugar levels from spiking. This, in turn, would prevent my insulin levels from rising and causing a hypoglycemic episode.

In the end, I learned that eating small, frequent meals was very important. I also learned that eating a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat, fiber and protein was the key to being able to live a “normal” and active life again. It took my body a while to adjust. At first my energy levels were low and I tired easily, but within a few weeks I had adjusted and my new diet system had become a science.

As a disclaimer, I am not a doctor, but I am someone who has managed to control his reactive hypoglycemia naturally with diet alone. If you are starting a new diet, I always recommend checking with your doctor first. Also, when starting out, keep a food diary and remember that if you are physically active and exercise or lift weights, your diet should take this into account. Stay focused, determined and hopeful!

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