What to eat for lunch to keep you blood sugar stable

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post in which I outlined some suggestions for breakfast.

For lunch, you should have a moderate portion of meat, fish or chicken… or if you are vegetarian a good serving of protein such as cheese or eggs (if you didn’t have eggs for breakfast). You should also have a good serving of salad – any kind of salad vegetables that are in season, or coleslaw, or even cooked vegetables, or soup if you are in a cold climate.

You should also have some carbohydrate – a couple of slices of wholegrain bread with butter is a good option for a quick lunch. Just make sure you get a balance of protein, fats/oils and carbohydrate.

I work away from home in an office so I usually make sandwiches, with tuna or salmon and some salad, between two think slices of wholegrain bread with butter. I like to have a cup of coffee at lunchtime (I don’t drink coffee at breakfast, so it’s my one cup per day and I like it milky e.g. a latte from a nearby cafe.)

If I don’t have eggs for breakfast, I might have a piece of quiche and a salad for lunch, with a cup of milky coffee – or a chicken pie, which I can buy from the cafe. That will keep me feeling satisfied and full of energy all afternoon.

Don’t make the mistake of eating a low-fat meal, or you will feel hungry during the afternoon and be thinking about food all the time, then need to snack… and if it’s another low-fat snack you’ll just continue the cycle of low blood sugar.

Sometimes I feel hungry around 4pm if I haven’t had enough for lunch. In that case, I have a very simple snack of a piece of buttered toast and cup of tea. But most days I eat lunch around 12.30pm and don’t need to eat again until dinner at around 6pm. You can do the same if you eat a properly balanced meal at lunch time.

Regarding fruit and fruit juice, many people with hypoglycemia are sensitive to the sugars in fruit, even though they are natural sugars. You will have to experiment to see how fruit affects you. If you can eat a piece of fruit at lunch time (only one piece) and feel great all afternoon, then you are among the lucky ones who can enjoy fruit.

I am quite sensitive to fruit, although sometimes I feel fine after it and other times I’ll get low blood sugar… so it depends on how much under control your hypoglycemia is at nay particular time.

If you are slipping up and eating too much sugar, then your overall tolerance for sugars, including fruit, is going to be less.

The best thing, if you have the discipline, is to avoid sugar completely, and anything containing sugar, in any form. In reality, you might occasionally eat something with a little sugar in it, and you might feel the adverse effects. Everyone is different, so you need to find this out for yourself.

Tomorrow I will finish this series with suggestions for dinner.

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2 Responses to What to eat for lunch to keep you blood sugar stable

  1. Irmina says:

    Hi Chris Thank you for doing all the research for us I have just started having hypoglycemic attacks and tried different approaches and its hard and confusing Can you s tell me if your hypoglacymia went away complatelly by now? Also i noticed that there is a lot of success around with HiCarb approach such as MCDOUGALL(grain /starch based) Have you tried this one And if you did what are yout thoughts Why didnt it work? I would so appreciate the answer as i am very frustrated Just like you i used to exercise a lot and i find low blood sugar episodes totally debiliating Thank you for all the material Planning to read your book this weekend Cheers Irmina

    • Chris says:

      Hi Irmina,
      Yes, it’s possible to keep hypoglycemia completely under control, if you stick carefully to the right diet. And I have been able to do that for most of the last 30 years or so. However, if I deviate from the diet too much, I get the symptoms back again, which in my case is mainly migraine headaches – but everyone is different.

      So I can’t say it’s possible to totally cure hypoglycemia to the point that you can go back to eating sugar and junk food, without suffering for it. But you CAN keep it under control if you are disciplined with your diet.

      Regarding the McDougall diet, which is high in carbohydrates and low in fat, I have found personally it doesn’t work too well for me. It’s certainly better than the standard western diet, as Dr McDougall recommends avoiding refined sugar and junk food. However, I personally have found I need to eat a bit more fat and less carbohydrate to keep my blood sugar balanced.

      I haven’t gone to the other extreme of a Paleo diet, as that also doesn’t work for me. I need SOME carbohydrate and some fat too. So generally I find a balanced meal with protein, fat and a moderate amount of complex carbohydrate works best for me.

      For example, my typical breakfast these days is 2 eggs (usually scrambled) and two thick slices of wholegrain sourdough toast with butter. And a cup of green tea.
      For lunch I often have sardines, or cheese, a large salad and two slices of rye sourdough bread and butter. Sometimes a glass of coconut milk.
      For dinner I have a moderate serving of fish, chicken or meat (usually I have grassfed meat and only free range chicken), a good serving of vegetables (cooked or salad, depending on the season) and some carbohydrate, either potatoes (with butter) or pasta or rice etc. I don’t usually have dessert, or sometimes I finish with a couple of oatmeal biscuits with a little bit of cheese. Then a cup of tea (I don’t drink much coffee, except once or twice a week if I go out as a special treat).

      I hope this helps.

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