Managing diabetes during festive season: 10 tips to maintain healthy blood sugar levels& |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- One can only imagine the massive intake of sweets and fried foods by everyone throughout the festivities
- A diabetic person is supposed to have a disciplined lifestyle to have better control over his or her condition
- If you have diabetes, the following guidelines can help you manage your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of complications
New Delhi: This year has been full of fear and stress for everyone, yet, that doesn’t stop us from having fun. In fact, a recent study in the UK has shown that the majority (75 per cent of 18-34-year-olds) of Brits aren’t letting the coronavirus pandemic spoil their festive fun. But, if you are living with a chronic health condition like diabetes, you still need to look after your health properly. The festive period can be challenging for diabetics, however, there is no reason not to enjoy the festivities. It’s all about exercising care and monitoring blood sugar levels regularly.
Every Indian festival has its unique significance and is deeply engraved in our culture, and no celebrations are complete without a plethora of sweets and delicacies. Unhealthy diets during the festive period often cause uncontrolled blood-glucose levels, increasing the risk of complications. Yet, avoiding or limiting foods that can spike blood sugar can help you enjoy the festivities and stay on track.
How to manage diabetes during the festive season
The fact is, it can be difficult to stick to a healthy meal plan when a large part of festivals revolve around a variety of foods, especially sweets and fried items. This brings us to the eternal confusion of how to enjoy the festive season to the fullest while effectively managing diabetes. Here are a few tips suggestd by Sujata Sharma, nutritionist and diabetes educator, BeatO that people with diabetes can follow during this festive season to manage blood sugar levels:
- Avoid fried snacks: Of course, they are delicious and highly tempting, but you should keep this in mind that overindulging in any unhealthy snacking options like samosas and pakodas can affect blood sugar and lead to weight gain.
- Choose your carbs wisely: Carbohydrates is one of the biggest problem foods for diabetic patients, as it has a significant impact on blood sugar levels. Always try to limit your refined and processed carbohydrate intakes, and opt for fibre-rich whole foods like apples, carrots, beans, cashews, and other low glycemic index foods.
- Skipping meals due to preparation: Preparing for festivals can get painstakingly tedious at times, and it often leads to skipping of meals in order to get things done on time. However, if you are diabetic, try to plan ahead and get things sorted beforehand to allow yourself enough time amidst the preparations to have your meals at regular intervals. As a diabetic, you should not ignore the importance of taking an adequate amount of healthy meals regularly. Doing so may lead to hyperglycemia, hence while fasting, it is advised to keep sweet candies or glucose tablets handy.
- Heavy feast without control: Celebration of an Indian festival means an abundance of food. But that does not mean you should eat as much as you can without control. It is important to be mindful of the kind and the amount of food intake for a diabetic patient for better management.
- Avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol: The large quantity of sugar in alcohol or any carbonated beverages can dramatically increase your blood sugar levels. It is best to avoid overindulgence in alcohol and other sugary beverages for the same.
- Missing out routine which is very often: The primary charm of a festival lies in the fact that it is not like just another mundane day in a year. It is different, exciting, to the point that it makes us forget our daily routine. But, as you must already know, maintaining discipline is an indispensable part of effective diabetes management. So, make sure you do not miss out on your routine while enjoying the festivities.
- Hydration is very important: Not taking enough care of yourself amidst the festivities can cost you your health. For diabetic patients, things can especially go haywire in more ways than you can count. For instance, the absence of an adequate amount of fluid in your body during fasting can lead to dehydration. It is essential to keep yourself properly hydrated. Always pay attention to signs like dark urine, headache, nausea and vomiting. They are signs of extreme dehydration. If you spot anything of that sort, stop fasting. Do not forget to keep yourself hydrated by having natural beverages like coconut water, milk, or just plain water.
- Physical Exercise: After all the binging on festive foods, you cannot ignore the importance of balancing it out with adequate physical exercise. Staying active can help you boost your immunity as well as manage blood sugar levels.
- Check your blood sugar regularly: When you’re walking around, dancing, staying up late and trying different foods your blood sugar levels are going to be affected. Hence, it’s important to monitor your numbers at home more frequently during this period, which will help you keep an accurate idea of your blood glucose levels.
- Try not to skip medication or insulin: Whether you are feasting or fasting, do not ever skip your medication or insulin, and you know why.
Festivals can be a tricky time especially for those with diabetes given all the sweet and savory food around. However, making simple changes in your lifestyle will go a long way in keeping your blood glucose levels under control, while helping you enjoy the festive season to the fullest.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.