According to research and health experts, India is rapidly becoming the world’s Diabetes Capital with over 60 million people living with diabetes at any given time in India alone. Diabetes makes a lot of people bid farewell to sweets, something one does not wish to do during festivals for sure. However, it is important to know that being diagnosed with diabetes does not mean that you have to give up sweets entirely. Taking the following measures can help you enjoy the foods you like during this Diwali. Here are tips to enjoying the sweetmeats from your neighbors and relatives without seeing your blood sugars soar.
1. Make your own Sweets
Making your own sweets and desserts will give you complete control over the amount of sugar that will go in your food. You can also opt for using natural sugars such as Jaggery, fig, dates, and honey instead of the refined white sugar. In addition, use fruits and nuts that are high in fiber and make pine nuts and watermelon yogurt parfait, pear granite, or even an Atta carrot cake. Pick milk-based sweets such as basundi, shrikhand, rasmalai, firni, or gajar halwa instead of fried and sugar drenched jalebi and gulab jamun.
2. Choose Your Portion Size Wisely
This festive season, choose wisely and limit your portions. After all, moderation is the key in diabetes. Cut back on some carbohydrates during your meal to leave room for dessert.However, don’t overdo it! Although it is true that sweets are not off the limits for diabetics, save them for special occasions. Take smaller portions such as half or quarter-sized portions of desserts to keep your sugar levels from suffering post Diwali. Be aware of what and how much you’re having as it can be all too easy to lose track, especially during festivals.
3. Keep Snacking and Stay Hydrated
Opt for nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews, but avoid peanuts for mid-meal snacking. Avoid high-calorie foods such as deep-fried samosas. Drink lots of water during the festive time, not only to cleanse your gut, but also to keep you full and keep you from gorging on unhealthy food. Furthermore, go for lime water, coconut water, and buttermilk if you are not a big fan of plain water and avoid tea, coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages as much as possible.
4. Don’t Skip your Exercise
Try not to celebrate the festival only around food. Since many of us have family and friends coming over, indulge in outdoor activities or have fun dancing. Exercises such as suryanamaskars, jogging, brisk walking, and weight training will help avoid erratic blood sugar levels.
5. Blood Glucose Testing
Don’t forget to routinely check your blood sugar levels. During the festive season when you are consuming food you wouldn’t normally have, it is key to test yourself and see how well you are responding. Be aware of the symptoms of high and low blood sugar and cut down on foods high in carbohydrates until your sugar levels equalize especially if you are on insulin.
In conclusion, diabetes is a serious condition, but it does not mean you cannot enjoy the festival as you used to before the diagnosis. Know your limits and adhere to the above pointers to make the most of Diwali this year.