With Diwali just round the corner, it is time to soak in the festivities and have a gala time with our near and dear ones. While the festive vibe fills our hearts with joy, it could also make us indulge mindlessly in festive treats that we may regret later. People with diabetes, especially should exercise caution when it comes to picking the right festive food, portion size and timing of their meals. Staying away from high-calorie food and sugary treats is only a part of the diabetes challenge, the other factors like irregular meal timing, not exercising, not drinking enough water or not resting could also affect your healthy blood sugar levels. (Also read: Diabetes: Signs of poor blood sugar control in everyday life)
However, people with diabetes need not let their fears rule the festive season and must plan their schedule in such a manner that they are not only able to manage their blood sugar levels well but also enjoy the festival to the fullest.
Dr Vikrant Shah, Consulting Physician, Intensivist and Infection Disease Specialist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital Chembur shares tips for diabetics to control their blood sugar levels during Diwali.
EAT SEVERAL SMALL MEALS
• During Diwali, you will not be able to maintain proper meal timings. Remember that eating after a long gap can lead to fluctuation in blood sugar levels. Hence, make sure to eat at least 5 meals per day instead of only opting for 3 big meals. It is not a good idea to skip meals at all as that can also lead to abnormal blood sugar levels.
• Those with diabetes should avoid alcohol or smoking during Diwali. Try to stick to healthy beverages such as coconut water or even lime juice. Say ‘no’ to colas, sodas, and other sweetened beverages.
EAT HIGH-FIBRE FOODS
• Try to opt for foods that are more fibrous and more complex. Eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid junk, oily, spicy, canned, and sweets. Try to eat food in smaller quantities. Don’t forget to check your sugar levels from time to time.
USE A HEALTHY COOKING METHOD
• Make sure to grill, roast, or bake your snacks instead of frying them. It is best to stick to healthy eating practices.
• Drink enough water to stay hydrated as it will help in cleansing the gut and induce the feeling of fullness, so you will eat less junk food.
MAKE YOUR SWEETS AT HOME
• Try making your sweets at home by watching the carbohydrates, oil, and sugar content that goes into preparing them. Avoid eating namkeens, samosas, vadas, desserts, cakes, pastries, and other bakery items. It is best to avoid maida and sugar at any cost. Try to make besan ladoo with the help of khajur or honey for sweetness instead of adding a lot of sugar. See to it that you tend to add almonds, walnuts, dates, or black currants in the sweets instead of sugar to make it healthy.
DO NOT EAT TOO MUCH SNACKS
• If you are eating faral (chiwda, shev, chakali, shankarpale) one serving is enough. Do not overindulge in them.