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Hypoglycemia: Best Foods to Eat for Low Blood Sugar

When people with diabetes experience hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, it's important to choose foods that can quickly raise it back to a safe level. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the best foods to eat when your blood sugar is low so you can feel better, quicker!

What is hypoglycemia?

Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels drop below a healthy range. While for many people with diabetes, a blood sugar level of 70 mg/dL or below is considered low, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider to determine your personalized range.

What causes hypoglycemia?

Several factors can contribute to hypoglycemia including:

  • Excessive insulin or other blood sugar-lowering medications
  • Skipping or delaying meals or snacks
  • Extra or unplanned exercise
  • Not eating enough carbohydrates

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Symptoms of hypoglycemia can differ from person to person or from episode to episode, but common symptoms include:

  • Paleness
  • Shakiness
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • Hunger
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Tingling sensations

More serious and potentially dangerous symptoms are rare but may occur if low blood sugar levels remain untreated. These can include loss of consciousness, inability to swallow, seizures, or unresponsiveness. However, by addressing low blood sugar with the right choices, blood sugar levels can be restored to a safe level.

Best Foods for Hypoglycemia

Opt for fast-acting carbohydrates following the "15-15 Rule": consume 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates, wait 15 minutes, then reassess and repeat as needed.

Below is a comprehensive list of foods that contain approximately 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates that can rapidly increase blood sugar levels.

Glucose Gel

Glucose gel packs are specifically created for raising low blood sugar. They come in a portable and compact tube, each containing 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates for easy use.

Glucose Shots

Similar to glucose gel, glucose shots deliver 15 grams of fast-acting glucose to deliver a quick rise in blood sugar levels whenever needed.

100% Fruit Juice

Juice contains little fiber, protein, and fat, making it a good option for raising blood sugar levels. Typically, a ½ cup serving provides 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates to quickly increase blood sugar levels.


Candy options that are made up of mostly sugar such as gummy bears, fruit chews, or jelly beans can be good options for raising blood sugar levels. While the carbohydrate content may vary, below are typical portion sizes of candy that provide 15 grams of carbohydrates:

  • 8 gummy bears
  • 4 fruit chews
  • 15 small jelly beans


Just a single tablespoon of honey can provide 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates to elevate blood sugar levels quickly.

Unsweetened Applesauce

Containing about 12 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates per ½ cup, unsweetened applesauce is a convenient and quick way to raise blood sugar levels, especially in portable pouches for on-the-go consumption.

Remember, serving sizes may vary among brands, so always refer to each product's nutritional facts!


If you are experiencing frequent or recurrent episodes of hypoglycemia, speak with your healthcare provider to learn ways to prevent low blood sugar through diet, lifestyle, or medication changes.


About Amanda Ciprich, MS, RD

Amanda Ciprich, a registered dietitian with a specialization in type 1 diabetes, was diagnosed with T1D herself at the age of 18. With her expertise and personal experience, she has authored two books, including "The Caregiver's Guide to Diabetes: Practical Advice for Caring for Your Loved One." As the founder of T1D Nutritionist, a virtual insurance-based private practice, Amanda provides counseling and guidance to individuals with T1D and their families, supporting them in effectively managing diabetes.

*Disclaimer: All content and information in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only.

This article was medically reviewed by Amanda Ciprich, MS, RD. Last updated on 6.12.2024

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