Diwali is incomplete without delicious sweets and savory items, these should be had in moderation and it stands especially true for diabetics. It is imperative for diabetics to be careful about their diet during the festive season, to avoid disastrous post-Diwali impact. The extent to which diabetics can indulge in sweets during Diwali, depends on the individual’s condition. Here are some diet tips for diabetics that will help them maintain their blood sugars this Diwali.
1. Keep mindful of the portion: Limit the portion size of sweets, savory, fried and fatty foods; eat your meals in smaller plates. You can replace sugars with natural sweeteners like Stevia or Splenda, which are safe substitutes.
2. Avoid excessive consumption of Alcohol: Those extra glasses have done no good to anyone
3. Do not let household chores stress you out: This is a very important step towards healthy living. Relax and enjoy(it’s our favourite festival after all). Yoga may help for relaxation too.
4. Avoid eating food at irregular timings: Fasting for longer durations can lead to Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and weakness which can be disastrous for Diabetics
5. Feasting is avoidable too: It may lead to high sugar levels which is also not good. If you have to attend a dinner, try to balance it out by healthy snacking in advance.
6. Focus on physical health: Don’t forget to concentrate, on physical health by doing some exercises like walking, swimming, cycling etc. which is often neglected during festivities
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Few Tips For Healthy Fasting For Diabetics:
1. Have slow absorbing foods (which have a low glycemic index, i.e. complex carbohydrates) before you begin the fast. Choose foods that will keep you full for longer, and will help in keeping your blood glucose levels stable, even during the fast. Fruits, vegetables, and salads can also be included; Insulin dosages and timings may be required to be adjusted.
2. Be aware of symptoms related to low blood sugar (Hypoglycemia), act accordingly.
3. It’s recommended that you check your blood sugar levels a few times during the day. Your fast should also be broken if blood sugar is less than 70mg per percentage in the first few hours after you begin fasting.
4. Don’t leave your stomach empty for more than 2hrs at a stretch. Do consume fast-friendly beverages and food in between.
5. Consume adequate water to maintain adequate hydration.
6. It is mandatory for diabetics to monitor and routinely check the blood sugar levels. This is especially true because you are eating food you normally wouldn’t. Regular monitoring will tell you how well you are responding to the changed meal patterns.
7. A good way to avoid binging is by opting for nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews, but refrain from peanuts for mid-meal snacking. Also, try to stay away from high-calorie foods like deep-fried samosas. Drink plenty of water during the festive time, not only to cleanse your gut but also to keep you full, and to keep you away from gorging on unhealthy food. You can go for lime water, coconut water, and buttermilk. Reduce consumption of tea, coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages as much as you can.
A diabetic always needs to be aware of the number of carbohydrates they are consuming. Restrict calorie-dense foods, and simple sugars like rice, sugar and fats. Consume high fiber vegetables and salads; you can have a good portion of protein like lentils, pulses and small portion of healthy fats.
Last but not the least, regular consumption of your prescribed medication and exercising will reduce stress levels and keep you safe. Have a happy and healthy Diwali!
About The Author: Dr Farah Ingale is the Director-Internal Medicine, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi-A Fortis Network Hospital
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)