What to Eat: Fast-Acting Carbs to Treat Low Blood Sugars


Low blood sugars are the worst. One of the worst things about ’em? That urge to eat everything in sight—which can lead to a stressful blood sugar rollercoaster.

Using fast-acting carbohydrates to treat lows is important because the faster those carbs can be digested, the faster they will raise your blood sugar level.

Here are a variety of fast-acting carbs to keep on hand. Remember, most lows call for about 15 grams of carbohydrate, then wait 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. If you’re still low, treat again with 15 more grams of carb.

Educational content related to severe hypoglycemia is made possible with support from Lilly Diabetes, and editorial control rests solely on Beyond Type 1.

WRITTEN BY Ginger Vieira, POSTED 04/26/22, UPDATED 10/11/22

Ginger Vieira is the senior content manager at Beyond Type 1. She is also an author and writer living with type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism. She’s authored a variety of books, including “When I Go Low” (for kids), “Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes,” and “Dealing with Diabetes Burnout.” Before joining Beyond Type 1, Ginger spent the last 15 years writing for Diabetes Mine, Healthline, T1D Exchange, Diabetes Strong and more! In her free time, she is jumping rope, scootering with her daughters, or walking with her handsome fella and their dog.