Healthier option to glucose tablets?

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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

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!

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

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.

Yes! Jelly Bellys are great. Small and easy to chew. Since each has 1 carb you can count your way to a precise correction.

Hi again Ginny, Just wondering, have you checked out Glucolift glucose tablets? They are all natural, taste great and work fast to bring up BG. They are only sold via the company’s website:

I started using them @ a year ago. The company is working with a new manufacturer now, as there were some problems with the previous one. So, their product is “out of stock” at the moment. I still see them at some of the diabetes events in small sample packets as giveaways. So, you may be able to find them if you ask. - - I’m on their mailing list, waiting for word that they are once again available.

Meanwhile, I am rationing what I have left for use when driving or in other immediate need. Otherwise, I still use my favorite snack sized candies. They take a little longer to get into my system, but they taste a lot better than store bought glucose!

Pam K.

Smartie come in 2# bags. Basically same as glucose tabs. Way cheap keep forever and can eat in extremely small dosages. I get a bag at Wal-Mart every 5 years at Halloween :jack_o_lantern:

just checked, their website (ecolift) is up & selling. dave

Hi! I can’t stand glucose tabs myself. For me the taste is OK but they’re so large and there’s something about the texture I don’t like. I stumbled across Clif Bloks energy chews at a sporting goods store, and they work very well.Also available on Amazon (of course).


I always prefer a high carb drink i can’t usually have. Something like minute maid lemonade. Its full of carbs and a few sips does the trick

I loved those. Tasted good and in convenient, individual single serve packets. I would love for those to come back.

Hi, with you all on this one as to options. However, a healther approach is the honey option and dried fruit. I’m very active individual, so that is a draw down on my BG, so I have to be alert but at the same time I want quality upper’s for my body maintenance. So I would encourage the healthy approach. At night when I can really get a rapid downer I have Apple Juice in the refrig and a large glass is easy to get down and in 15 minutes I’m reversing. However not a good option for the trail or on a bike. I hope this helps


I use Smarties that I buy from Amazon. Much cheaper and Is the same thing as the tabs. Get the mega Smarties since they are close to the same size as the tabs.

Smarties - I used to love those!

Hi Ginny:

I second the vote for Raisins. Packaged in small individual boxes (6 to a package) they’re easy to carry and provide just enough carbs at 20-22 grams.

Good Luck