Quick-Sugar Foods - Adventist HealthCare

Quick-Sugar Foods

Topic Overview

If you are at risk for low blood sugar levels because of diabetes or some other health condition, you need to keep with you at all times some type of food that can quickly raise your blood sugar level. Eating quick-sugar food puts glucose into your bloodstream in about 5 minutes. Glucose or sucrose is the best choice.

Choose foods that contain about 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate. This table is just a guide. So check the nutrition label of the quick-sugar food you use to be sure it equals about 15 grams of carbohydrate.

Foods to help raise blood sugarfootnote 1, footnote 2, footnote 3

Food

Amount

Glucose tablets

3–4 tablets

Glucose gel

1 tube

Table sugar

1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons)

Fruit juice or regular soda pop

½–¾ cup (4–6 ounces)

Fat-free milk

1 cup (8 ounces)

Honey

1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons)

Jellybeans

10–15

Raisins

2 tablespoons

Gum drops

10

Candy like Life Savers

5–7 pieces

Hard candy (like Jolly Rancher)

3 pieces

These quick-sugar foods will help raise your blood sugar in an emergency, because they are made from almost all carbohydrate. If you use a food not on this list to treat your low blood sugar, be sure it does not contain fat or protein. These can slow how quickly your body absorbs the carbohydrate. For example, regular cake frosting is made with both sugar and fat. It is not a good choice as a quick-sugar food. Some clear cake frosting and clear cake gels are made without fat. But you should check the ingredients and the nutrition label to be sure. When in doubt, ask your doctor or registered dietitian.

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.

References

Citations

  1. Warshaw H, Kulkarni K (2011). The Complete Guide to Carb Counting, 3rd ed. Alexandria, VA: American Diabetes Association.
  2. American Diabetes Association (2013). Carbs: Fast! Diabetes Forecast. http://www.diabetesforecast.org/diabetes-101/carbs-fast.html. Accessed April 21, 2016.
  3. American Diabetes Association (2015). Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/hypoglycemia-low-blood.html. Accessed April 21, 2016.

Credits

Current as ofJuly 25, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Colleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.

Find a Doctor

Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.

View Doctors

Set Your Location

Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.