The Oxford English Dictionary, the quintessential guide to the evolution of the English language, just added a few trendy words as new entries including awesomesauce, mic drop, and hangry. This last one is of particular interest to me, since it’s related to hunger and nutrition. You’ve probably heard someone say hangry or perhaps you’ve felt hangry, bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger. Although it may be a popular descriptor, it is a fact of life. What causes one to become hangry? The likely cause is low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia.
The body, particularly the brain, primarily runs on glucose, a carbohydrate. So, when you skip a meal, eat less than usual, exercise, or have certain conditions or medications, you may run out of fuel. This drop in available energy causes a stress cascade that can trigger fatigue, depression, irritability, anger, or worse. Sadly, if you’re prone to low blood sugar, you may not even realize that your blood sugar is low and that you’ve become hangry. What is the solution? Unfortunately, high-sugar snacks cause blood sugar to spike and may lead to a dramatic drop. Therefore, regular, small snacks that include carbohydrate plus fiber, protein, or fat will help sustain normal blood sugar over time. Try pears sliced with cheese or a handful of nuts to stay even, focused, and hopefully, happy!