Healthier option to glucose tablets?


(ginny) #1

Anyone use something other than glucose tablets let’s consistently to treat lows? I’m looking for small compact and with predictable carbs. I have used all natural fruit snacks before, but would really like to use something like dates or other dried fruit. The convenience of glucose tablets has been why I have used them for so long as my number one. I often am in the woods for work and pack my supplies in for the day.


(mikefarley) #2

IMO, treating a low fast is the most important consideration. This article says glucose tab, Smarties, etc., are the fastest.https://diabetesstrong.com/how-to-treat-lows-as-quickly-as-possible/ Do you use an insulin pump? If so, then temporary low basal rates can help you avoid lows. Good luck!


(Flora) #3

We use maple sugar candy or maple syrup quite often, we recently started using the little juice boxes but the maple candies work much faster. It’s what I pack for my preschooler and when she’s been low at school they have lifted her from 43 to 160 in 15 minutes. Caveat- we live in Vermont so I’m not sure how easily obtainable they are in other areas.


(Steven) #4

Raisins work. It takes a little bit longer. 3-4 minutes maybe. Be patient.
Also, honey. That little plastic bear container is a good conversation starter.


(Dennis J. Dacey, pwD) #5

Hi @ginny, one thing to keep in mind about “natural” fruits is that being natural the carb count can vary - it is not manufactured and can vary from “apple to apple”.

For years I’ve carried with me granola bars - total carbs 14 gm. with 7 grams fast acting and the balance longer duration nuts and dark chocolate. That said, just recently I opened my first bottle, in about 25 years, of glucose tabs.


(Marlene) #6

Yes, I use dates almost all the time and they work well. I know some people say they don’t work fast enough, but I think they work just as fast as glucose tabs and they don’t taste like chalk. I know some people use those little boxes of raisins. Also, one Medjool date is 15 grams of carb.


(PamK) #7

I prefer a small, snack size candy bar. I know it’s not the recommended method, but it works for me. I also know someone who uses tubes of icing. The small tubes might work for you, if you like that idea.

Pam K.


(Sherri) #8

For years I used lifesavers supplemented by granola bar or PB crackers.


(ginny) #9

Yeah, I love the convenience and pack ability of glucose tablets (they’ve been my go to for probably 10+years)… but not the ingredients. I have a pretty clean diet and feel like the glucose tablets are just a container of chemicals. I’d like to cut that out too, for other health reasons. Dates seem appealing since they are generally 15 g, and I could probably stuff them into an old glucose tablet container, plus they would keep awhile.

I’ve used a lot of different things to help with low blood sugars, candy, fruit snacks, juice boxes (many exploding ones in my backpack as a kid), dried fruit, prepackaged crackers and peanut butter, glucose gels, glucose powders, and of course glucose tablets. The simplicity and packability of glucose tablets is why I’ve used them for so long versus the other methods. I just don’t like the ingredients.

I do get a fair number of lows because of my work schedule, office and field days intermixed.


(Patricia) #10

I keep 5 sugar cubes in an old glucose tab container. They work faster than anything else! I also keep a baggie of them in my car at all times.


(Sara Hash) #11

We usually use skittles (1 g each) but not the healthy solution you’re looking for. We also use fruit leathers (about 11 g) for the times she needs a little bit more carbs to stop a fast drop. Gives her a break from juice too.


(David) #12

When I go into woods for hunting, the absolute best thing I carry is a couple miniatures of maple syrup and a ziplock with Biscoff cookies. Nothing brings my sugar up faster than maple syrup. The cookies obviously keep my sugar up. If you are tired of glucose tablets Smarties come in the same exact size ( diameter) as glucose tablets… better tasting . Since you are in Vermont … maple syrup will be no problem.


(P.) #13

The healthy options are dates and orange juice. OJ works quickest for me. To carry with me for fast action, I use a glucose tube. They act quickly and have the advantage of going straight down and not getting much sugar on your teeth.

For unhealthy but quick, I’ve used Canada mints which can be bought in 5 lb. bags to save lots of money or in small bags which are way cheaper than glucose tabs. Canada mints have 4-5 grams cho per mint. If BS is going down fast, I eat 3 Canada mints; if it’s just beginning to go down, I eat 1 or 2 to stop or slow the drift. Drawback: people around me always ask for a couple of these mints for themselves. By the bedside, I have OJ and glucose tubes and water to rinse sugar off teeth in middle of night.

Also have used honey, maple sugar, coke or pepsi (very fast acting). I’ve found raisins to be too slow and dates faster. A really, really quick thing if you are at home is a heaping tablespoon of powdered sugar.


(Mike) #14

I use insta-Glucose 24g of glucose, it’s a jell that I carry in my pocket and glove box it works for me and very convenient


(Jill) #15

I can’t STAND the glucose tabs! Taste HORRIBLE! I think BD made a REALLY good one 15 years ago - even my kids liked them (they’re not diabetics but wanted to try). No clue why they stopped. They were really good.

However over the past few years I’ve been eating jelly bellies (most grocery/CVS/etc). My diabetic nurse told me they have 1 carb per jelly so it’s super easy to count out how much you need. So I buy a bag and keep them in my purse/car at all times. They work VERY well. And taste great!

Hope this helps you out!


(Joel) #16

Starbursts keep well for traveling and are tasty, and they have (I think) 17 g of sugar per serving of 4 pieces.


(Alexandra) #17

Juice or sugar are the way to go for lows. I always carry juicepacks with me. In my 24 years of having diabetes, my nutritionists have always said that liquids work the fastest, and juicepacks are easy to carry. I like Juicy Juice. Always carry snacks(something with a little fat in it like crackers to stabalize the bloodsugar) once your bloodsugar is back to normal.