From sugar-laden sweets, to snacks and feasts heavy on oil and salt, especially with the delicacies in India, festive eating tends to tip towards unhealthy indulgence. For people with diabetes, the time around Diwali can be hard -- but important -- to manage.
According to a BeatO study, festivals adversely impact people's blood-glucose levels, especially during Diwali. People with levels above 250 mg/dL (milligrams per decilitre) saw an almost 15 per cent rise while those having blood-glucose levels above 300 mg/dL had an 18 per cent increase. Typically, this trend continued until three days after Diwali as per insights based on its data of the last three years' festive season, beginning on Durga Puja and ending with Diwali. Interestingly, this year Diwali is being celebrated on November 14 which coincides with World Diabetes Day.
Many people fast during this festive season. For those who are fasting or not fasting and prefer to feast on the variety of foods that are served during festivals, there are certain important measures to be taken to ensure the blood sugar control does not go haywire.
One can follow these simple measures:
- Break your meals into smaller portions of about 4 to 5 times every day, instead of 3 large meals through out the day. This can keep your blood sugar levels more stable, while you are nourished adequately.
- You can opt for healthy snacking options such as nuts, olives or a piece of fruit.You could replace traditional sweets with such healthy options to ensure healthy is not compromised in celebrations. Ensure keeping your body hydrated and nourished. However, you can have a small piece of sweets.
- Consider consuming good-quality dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate as they consist of less sugar. One should try and avoid sugary drinks and replace them with either water, sugar free lime juice or even a small tumbler of tender coconut water would be a good choice.
- White rice is a favorite of many however, ones with diabetes should try and avoid it as it has a high glycaemic index and glycaemic load and can increase your blood sugars drastically. Instead, consume brown rice or whole grains as these keep the sugar levels a lot better controlled.
- Bakery foods such as biscuits and cakes must be avoided completely. Avoid deep-fried foods such as samosas and pakodas.
- One should try and avoid excessive indulgence in alcohol during festival seasons. Alcohol also contains a large quantity of sugar in it and can increase blood sugar levels.
- Indian festivals are joyous occasions that are marked by the serving of sweets and savoury items. Those with diabetes can still enjoy these festivals, provided certain simple measures are followed to keep the blood sugar levels under check.
Note: While these measures are generally useful, you should always consult your doctor before making diverse changes in your diet and lifestyle if you are suffering from blood and sugar problems.
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