Meal plan for reactive hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia (postprandial hypoglycemia) refers to low blood sugar that occurs after a meal, most people with reactive hypoglycemia need no medical treatment but to pay attention to the timing and composition of the meals.

The basic rules are:

Limit foods high in sugar.

Eating these foods can cause a rapid increase in blood glucose. This may lead to excessive increase of insulin, resulting in a rapid fall in blood glucose.

Foods high in sugar include:

  • Cakes
  • Jelly and Jams
  • Cookies
  • Candy and Candy bars
  • Pies
  • Gelatin, Jello™
  • Puddings and Custards
  • Nectars (Agave)
  • Regular Soda
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Ice cream, Sherbet, Frozen Yogurt
  • Syrups (Corn, Pancake, Maple)
  • Fruit juice greater than 4 ounces
  • Sweet Tea and Flavored Coffee
  • If you do want to eat sweet, try to eat with other foods

Reduce intake of caffeine.

Caffeine stimulates the production of adrenaline and can cause the same symptoms as hypoglycemia.

Limit or avoid alcohol.

Drinking alcohol can cause hypoglycemia all by itself, especially on an empty stomach. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in small amounts and always consume it with food. One serving of alcohol is 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. wine and 1.5 oz liquor.

Try to eat small meals every 3 to 4 hours.

Eating large amounts of rice, bread, cereal, pasta at one time can cause your body to produce large amounts of insulin. This is much like simple sugars or sweets and can cause glucose levels to drop sharply.

Emany small meals and snacks each day rather than 3 larger meals can help to regulate the amount of glucose in your bloodstream.

Manage carbohydrate intake.

Aim for 2 to 4 servings of carbohydrate at each meal (30 to 60 grams) and 1 to 2 servings (15 to 30 grams) at snack times. One carbohydrate serving has 15 grams of total carbohydrate.

Each of these foods contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate:

  • 1 regular slice of bread
  • 6 saltines
  • ½ English muffin, hot dog or hamburger bun
  • 3 cups popcorn
  • ½ cup rice, pasta, cooked cereal
  • ½ 3-inch bagel
  • 1 medium potato (about ½ cup)
  • 1 (6”) flour tortilla
  • 1 small apple (tennis ball size)
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 cup fruit canned in its own juice
  • ¾ cup grapes
  • ¾ cup high fiber cold cereal
  • 1 cup plain, light or Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup cantaloupe

1 cup skim or 1% milk

Choose whole grains and high fiber foods.

Whole grains take longer to break down. This helps to keep blood glucose levels more consistent. Whole grain breads and cereals, legumes/beans, vegetables and whole fruits are high in fiber. These foods will help you eat at least 25 grams of fiber daily.

Include lean protein at each meal and snack.

Our body breaks down protein more slowly than carbohydrate. This mixture of carbohydrate and protein can give a long-lasting source of energy. Good sources of lean protein foods include skinless poultry, fish, low-fat cheese, eggs, peanut butter, and soy-based foods.

Enjoy foods high in healthy fats in small amounts throughout the day.

Fats are also digested slowly and can help to balance the blood sugar. Choose healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and olive oil. Try to enjoy fats in small amounts because they are also high in calories and can lead to weight gain.

Keep some foods on hand to prevent or treat low blood sugar symptoms.

Granola bars with protein, or nuts and dried fruit mix are examples of quick, healthy snacks. Keeping these foods on hand is a good choice instead of getting a high calorie candy bar from the vending machine or store.


A sample meal plan is presented here.

Sample 1-Day Menu


  • 2 slices 100% whole wheat toast (2 carbohydrate servings)
  • 1 egg or 2 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 cup skim milk (1 carbohydrate serving)

AM Snack

  • 6 Triscuit crackers (1 carbohydrate serving)
  • 2 tablespoons hummus


  • 2 slices 100% whole wheat bread (2 carbohydrate servings)
  • 2 oz lean Turkey
  • ¼ Avocado, sliced
  • 17 Grapes (1 carbohydrate serving)
  • Raw carrot and celery sticks
  • 1-2 T low fat salad dressing as dip

PM Snack

  • 1 cup of Greek yogurt (1 carbohydrate serving)

Evening Meal

  • 3 oz skinless chicken breast
  • ½ large baked potato (2 carbohydrate servings)
  • 2 tablespoons light sour cream
  • ½ cup cooked broccoli
  • Small dinner salad with 1 tablespoon salad dressing
  • 1 cup skim milk (1 carbohydrate serving)
  • 1 cup strawberries (1 carbohydrate serving)

Evening Snack

  • 3 cups light popcorn (1 carbohydrate serving)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds


* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.