8 Best Foods for When You Feel Your Blood Sugar Dropping

8 Best Foods for When You Feel Your Blood Sugar Dropping

If you are a person with diabetes, managing your blood sugar is of the utmost importance. If your blood sugar gets too low, also called hypoglycemia, it can be dangerous. Below is an explanation of what happens when your blood sugar drops and what foods you can turn to to get your blood sugar back up. But first, what is hypoglycemia?

For someone without diabetes, your body can automatically adapt if your blood sugar drops too low. However, if you are someone with diabetes, a drop in blood sugar can potentially be very dangerous.

Although each individual’s reaction to low blood sugar is different, common signs and symptoms of low blood sugar include shaking, sweating or chills, irritability, confusion, rapid heartbeat, hunger, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, tingling or numbness in the tongue, lips or cheeks and seizures.

The only way to know if your blood sugar is low is to check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar drops too low and the brain does not get enough glucose (AKA sugar), it can stop working properly, leading to symptoms such as blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, confusion and slurred speech. If blood sugar stays too low for too long and starves the brain of glucose, it can lead to seizures and even coma.

According to the American Diabetes Association, “hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar is low enough that you need to take action to bring it back to your target.” This is usually when your blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL. It is recommended that you always talk to your healthcare professional to find out exactly what to do for you.

The 15-15 rule

senior man exercise concept that can lower blood sugar and burn fat

The American Diabetes Association has the “15-15 rule,” which says to have 15 grams of carbs to raise your blood sugar and check it after 15 minutes. If your blood sugar is still below 70 mg/dL, take another 15 gram serving. Repeat until your blood sugar reaches at least 70 mg/dL. Once your blood sugar has returned to normal, have a meal or snack to make sure it doesn’t fall back.

If you have a low blood sugar episode, write it down and write down your symptoms. Talk to your health care provider and they can suggest ways to prevent this from happening again in the future.

RELATED: The #1 Food Rule To Follow If You Have Low Blood Sugar

The Best Foods for When You Feel Your Blood Sugar Dropping

Woman eating candy from a glass jar at work

If you are a person with diabetes and your blood sugar is below 70 mg/DL, the American Diabetes Association recommends using the following foods when applying the “15-15 rule”. If you have an episode of low blood sugar and need to enforce this rule, talk to your health care provider.


Drink 1/2 cup of orange juice, apple juice, or any other juice of your choice for a quick sugar boost.

A soda

Drink 1/2 cup of regular soda – it shouldn’t be diet soda as you need the sugars and calories at this time.


1 tablespoon of honey contains about 17 grams of sugar, which is about the recommended amount for following the “15-15 rule”.

Corn syrup

Keep a bottle of corn syrup in your cupboard and take 1 tbsp when your blood sugar is below 70 mg/dL. This will provide about 16 grams of sugar.

Granulated sugar

One tablespoon of white sugar contains 12.5 grams of fast-absorbing carbs, which is what you want when your blood sugar has dropped.

Jelly Beans

Jelly beans are another quick source of sugar, but the serving size can vary depending on the size of these beans. Check the label and take as much as the equivalent of 15 grams of sugar.

hard candy

Jolly Ranchers or other hard candies can also help raise blood sugar when it’s too low. They should be filled with regular sugar, not sugar-free sugar. Happy Three Breeders have about 17 grams of carbs and 11 grams of sugar, which you would need to follow the “15-15 rule.”


These gummy candies are usually brightly colored, made from gelatin or pectin, and sprinkled with a light coating of sugar. You usually see them on store shelves during the holiday season. Eight standard gummies contain about 15 grams of sugar, but read the label, as it can vary from brand to brand.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for foods to grab fast when you feel your blood sugar levels plummeting. You can keep a few on hand at home so you always have access to a quick sugar fix, and you can even strategically take some with you in your car or purse. Just be sure to choose the items that cannot melt!

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN

Toby Amidor is an award-winning dietitian and the wall street journal best-selling cookbook author who believes healthy and healthy can also be appetizing and delicious. Learn more about Toby

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