As the festive season begins in many parts of the country with Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and coming months all set to add to the festive cheer, people all across the nation are looking forward to indulge in savoury treats and delicious sweets. For people with diabetes, overindulging in festival food could mean a spike in their sugar levels.
It is challenging for diabetes patients to stick to their healthy meal plan when everyone around them is bingeing on delicacies.
Dr. Prem Narayanan Consultant Endocrinologist & Medical Director, Ahalia Diabetes Hospital, Palakkad, says that people with diabetes can plan in advance what they are going to eat in the festive season and choose low calorie food options for themselves. They can also go for low GI (glycemic index) food and make an estimate of their carbohydrate intake. Apart from this staying hydrated and getting good sleep are also some of the tips that could help control their sugar levels.
Here are a couple of diet tips that could help Diabetes patients enjoy their festive season like everyone else, by Dr Narayanan:
1. Plan ahead: If you are planning to go to a get-together choose what you are going to eat carefully. For example, if you know that only snacks will be served, then go for the ones with low calories. Choose snacks that have vegetables and lean proteins. Avoid eating too much sauce or dips as they may be high on calories.
2. Do not skip your meals: Many people with diabetes tend to skip their meals before attending a party, assuming that by skipping meals, they can manage their blood sugar levels, but this is not true. Skipping meals can negatively impact blood glucose levels and sometimes cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels, which may have severe outcomes.
3. Count your carbs: Although foods rich in carbohydrates can provide us with many good nutrients, they can also spike blood glucose levels. People with diabetes must choose their carbs carefully and opt for food that has a low glycemic index. Also, people having diabetes must avoid eating refined and processed carbohydrates, instead, they should choose fiber-rich food like whole grains, oats, and cucumber.
4. Get enough sleep: Going out more and staying up late is common during festivities, and this may sometimes deprive you of sleep. Lack of sleep may make it difficult to control blood sugar levels. People with diabetes need to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep at night.
5. Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is essential for good health. Water helps to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes as it helps the excess blood glucose to flush out from the body.
It is important to keep checking your blood sugar levels to understand how your body is reacting to a certain kind of food. Eating in moderation is the key.