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February 2, 2002

Hypoglycemia, Meal Planning, Food and Diet

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Question from Brookings, Oregon, USA:

A sandwich gives me a “spike” in my blood sugar, but the same amount of carbohydrate in pasta does not. I have many lists of the glycemic index for foods so I know why. I want to know the approximate difference in the time it will take to become hypoglycemic after eating high versus low glycemic foods as this information would help me avoid becoming hypoglycemic at night.

Please don’t tell me that it is impossible to answer this because I know it can’t be answered accurately — can you give me a rough guess?

Answer:

From: DTeam Staff

Protein combined with carbohydrate (such as a meat sandwich) should sustain your blood sugar longer than pure carbohydrate, namely fruit. Carbs typically raise your blood sugar within 15 minutes to an hour after you eat it, protein raise it in about two to three hours, and fat raises it four to six hours after you eat it. So, combining carbs with protein, as you already know, is the best solution to preventing hypoglycemia, especially nocturnal hypoglycemia.

JMS