Some of you (especially baby boomers) might remember The Dirty Dozen, a blockbuster war movie from 1967 featuring an incredible cast that included Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Robert Ryan, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, George Kennedy, and Telly Savalas.
Well, this article is NOT about that Dirty Dozen. It’s about a dozen foods that are downright bad & dirty for you if you’re someone dealing with low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. The characters in the movie were bad dudes, the foods on this list are bad foods. All twelve of them. Avoid them as much as possible.
Bad food #12-White rice:
All foods sit on a continuum that relates their sugar content to how fast they are used in your body. This is called the glycemic index.
In order to keep your blood sugar level constant with as few peaks and valleys as possible, you need to slow the rate at which your body converts your food to the various kinds of sugar used and stored in your body. The best way to do this is to eat foods that, in addition to supplying all the right components of nutrition, burn very slowly.
Since the goal is to slow the rate at which your food is broken down, it is important for an hypoglycemic to avoid fast burning, high glycemic foods starting with sugar, but also including refined foods. This includes white flour, white rice, and other refined and polished grains.
Bad food #11-White bread:
Yes, this is a junk food for an hypoglycemic. Every time you look at a slice of white bread you are seeing a slice of sugar – it acts in the body the same way.
Bad food #10-Donuts:
Think of it as white bread dipped in sugar. What could be worse? No wonder there’s a big hole in the middle – it’s a nutritional zero. What was just said pretty much applies to cookies and cakes in general. Anything that’s made with white flour and lots of sugar, not to mention shortening, coloring and preservatives, is BAD for you!
Bad food #9-Alcohol:
Alcohol, like sugar, contains nothing but calories. It has no nutritive value at all and moves very quickly into your blood stream. This affects your blood sugar very suddenly, and there is a corresponding drop in blood sugar as the alcohol leaves your system.
In diabetes, you can control your sugar level with injected insulin. In hypoglycemia this is not possible, and if you eat and drink foods that play havoc with your blood sugar level, you just have to live with the symptoms. It’s much better then, to avoid the booze and the feeling rotten that comes with it.
An extra caution: Read the labels on all your medications; many include alcohol. You need to find alternatives if at all possible. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have prescription medication containing alcohol, and ask for help finding an alcohol-free alternative. Some allergy shots also contain alcohol, so check with your doctor.
Alcohol, particularly when consumed with carbohydrate, can cause an excessive release of insulin and lead to episodes of hypoglycemia. The most common scenario is when you consume alcohol and carbohydrate alone, as with a gin (alcohol) and tonic (pure carbohydrate) and a small cracker or cookie. This is a recipe for disaster, and can cause low blood sugar and its accompanying symptoms even if you never have symptoms otherwise. The occasional occurrence of alcohol-induced hypoglycemia is not necessarily an indication that you are, or will become, a chronic hypoglycemic, but whether chronic or not, hypoglycemia is hard on your body and should always be avoided if possible.
There are fairly strong links between hypoglycemia and alcohol related problems, and more than one study suggests that alcoholism can result from unchecked hypoglycemia.
Bad food #8-Fruit drinks:
Not to be confused with fruit juices, fruit drinks are 10 per cent or less real fruit with lots of sugar. They’re loaded with artificial coloring and sucrose. Definitely teeth rotters. A better choice? Fruit juice (in very small amounts). Even better? Whole fruit – since you’ll benefit from the fiber!
Bad food #7-Decaffeinated coffee:
This is bad for everybody, not just hypoglycemic. The reason is that to remove the caffeine, they add chemical solvent right into your favorite beverage.
Bad food #6-Soft drinks / pop:
Let’s see now, how do you spell increased bone breakage? P-O-P. Pop is nothing more than water, colorant, artificial flavor and SUGAR? It’s absolutely DREADFUL for anyone dealing with low blood sugar or hypoglycemia!
Bad food #5. Diet pop:
You get all the dandy benefits of pop (!?!?), plus artificial sweetener, which has been shown in studies to actually increase your sugar cravings and alter your brain chemistry.
Bad food #4-Sugary breakfast cereals:
Now here’s a guarantee: If you want to start your day in a low life-force mode, then this is the junk breakfast for you – even more so if you add to those cereals a couple toasted pieces of white bread.
Bad food #3-Deep-dish pizza:
This is an excellent way to stack, jack and pack your glycemic index tract with one big dollop of sodium, dough (white flour) and fat – an overnight weight-gain wonder.
Bad food #2-Ice cream:
Here’s a beauty, high in sugar and high in fat, for another whack attack on your pancreas and your arteries.
Alright, this is it! The number 1 in our top 12 list of really bad foods for hypoglycemics…
Bad food #1-French fries (and their cousin potato chips):
Here’s why: Both of these are unparalleled sodium-loading enzyme-dead food. And new information now shows that they’re high in acrylimide, a known cancer-causing agent. In fact, the amount of acrylimide in a serving of fast-food French fries is 300 times above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s limit set for one glass of water.
Eat well, be well, live well!