As we come to the end of the year, India celebrates three to four major festivals in the month of Oct, Nov and Dec – we start our celebrations with Ganesh Chaturthi with Modaks, Duressera with Malpua, Diwali with Ladoo and end up with Christmas and New Year with cakes and wines.
If a person is diabetic maintaining the blood sugar levels is also important because over a period of time, the average blood sugar levels i.e. HbA1c levels also increases. There are certain factors which affect the blood sugar levels during festival season.
- People tend to eat large serving size of food including sweets, savory, fried and fatty foods.
- Few people may indulge in alcoholic party’s
- People may be stressful especially females if they are hosting or arranging party at home and involved in cooking and other preparation.
- Few people may also be too relaxed.
- Eating food at irregular timings. Fasting which leads to hypoglycemia and weakness.
- Feasting may lead to high sugar levels.
- Finally no physical activity.
Some tips to maintain healthy sugar levels
Healthy balance meal: Restrict high calories foods or simple sugars like rice, sugar and fats. Consume high fiber vegetable and salads. Good portion of protein like lentils and pulses and small portion of healthy fats.
- Concentrate on fiber rich food like
- Wheat or broken wheat – Kichidi, Pulao, Pongal
- Millets like - Sama Chawal (Banyad millet) rice, Kichidi
- Amaranth flour – For Chapathi, Poori
- Buckwheat flour – poori, Dosa, Kichidi
- Rajgira – poori, Paratha
- Makhana – (Fox nuts) – Kheer
- Sighare ke atta – roti, Chapathi, samosa, poori
- If you are preparing sweets at home, prepare with skimmed milk instead of full fatted milk.
- Use jaggery instead of sugar
- For snacks u can use roasted Makhana, peanuts, paneer, Sighare (water chestnuts), pumpkin seeds, Chanaa Sundal, Chivda instead of fried savory.
- Instead of deep fried food opt for backed, grilled ones.
Controlling the portion size of the food we consume is also important avoid second helping. And pre-fasting meal can be complex carbohydrates and foods that have a low glycemic index such as whole grain foods, lentils and nuts.
Hydration: include plenty of water, soups, lassie and butter milk which are safe for diabetic.
Regular meal timings: follow the small and frequent meal pattern. Fasting or feasting should be avoided
Exercise: regular exercise is important to burn the excess of calories consumed. If fasting then excessive physical exertion must be avoided
Relax: tension or stress also may increase the blood sugar. So pre planning the party or function will reduce the stress levels.
Self-monitors and checking blood sugars: daily blood test is important at home.
Medication: consuming medicine on time also helps to keep the sugar level control.
Story Ms. Pavithra. N. Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur