Diwali is just around the corner; and this means it's time to indulge in all our favourite sweet and savoury dishes! From kaju barfi to halwa and ladoos and a whole range of delicious snacks - the choicest delicacies make their way to our homes and our tummies! However, these food-centric festivities often take a toll on the people with diabetes and other such lifestyle diseases. After all, there is temptation everywhere - whether it is at family get-togethers or the ubiquitous Diwali card parties. Overindulging in sweets can lead to a spike in sugar levels. Sticking to their recommended meal plan can get tough for diabetics at this time. But with a few tips and strategies, here's how you can make better choices and manage your sugar levels during the festive season. And also, you can stay on track with your nutrition plan without depriving yourself from enjoying all the festive delicacies!
9 Healthy Tips To Manage Blood Sugar During Festival:
Whether you are heading out to a friend's place for a party or a meal at a restaurant, it will help to get a sense of the food you will likely be served. Ask your friend what the likely menu is and plan to eat only those items that won't cause a spike in your sugar levels. Opt for low calorie vegetable or lean meat-based options. Choose baked and grilled options over deep fried snacks. You can also take a dish along with you that you know you can eat without worry. Check out the restaurant menu and plan to order those desires that complement your diet plan.
Never Skip Your Meals:
Maintaining discipline in your eating routine is an imperative for a diabetic, and it is all the more important during the festive seasons. Never skip your meals, especially before attending a party as this may have a negative impact on your blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that skipping meals can lead to unhealthy dietary habits. If needed you can always break your meals into smaller portions throughout the day, but never skip a meal.
Watch Your Carbs:
Preventing a spike in your blood sugar levels is not just about watching your sugar intake, it is also about sensible consumption of carbohydrates. Avoid simple and refined carbohydrates as that can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. If you plan to indulge in something sweet, cut down on the amount of carbohydrates like rice, wheat, potato during that meal.
Read The Labels:
Read the labels of the products you buy and avoid products with ingredients like trans-fat and high fructose corn syrup, commonly found in deep fried snacks, sodas, juices, candies, cereals etc. Today we see a lot of grocery stores that help customers make healthier food choices with products that are chemical & preservative free and made with healthier ingredients, so as a consumer we need to be aware and make these choices as well.
Get In Some Exercise:
This can be one of the toughest things to do during the festive season as schedules can go completely awry, whether you are busy with parties or simply busy doing nothing! Can't go to the gym? Head out for a short walk instead or a quick run. Avoid binge watching in front of the TV.
Don't Compromise On Your Sleep:
Late nights are commonplace during Diwali celebrations, but lack of sleep can negatively affect your blood sugar levels. Try and get in your 7-9 hours of sleep as much as possible. If you think you will have to stay out late, get in an afternoon nap. Remember, rest and recovery is key for any individual's health.
Saying no to second helpings is a great way to control what you eat during the festive season. Avoid the temptation of dipping into the snack bowl as it is passed around, or picking up something from the buffet table as you walk by. Opt for healthier alternatives whether you are eating or cooking. Use jaggery instead of sugar in your sweets. Say no to deep-fried snacks and instead choose baked options. Choose brown rice over white rice, whole grains over refined options. If you are making sweets at home, jaggery could be a healthier alternative as compared to refined sugar.
Say No To Alcohol:
The high calories present in alcohol and sugars in carbonated beverages can lead to a spike in sugar levels. While it may be hard to abstain from the revelry, it is best to limit or ideally avoid alcohol intake.
It is important to check your blood sugar levels at this time, especially before you head out for a party or a meal outside. Always ensure you take your medicines on time.
A few simple steps that will go a long way in helping you enjoy a worry-free Diwali!
Author's Bio: Shona Prabhu is a Consulting Nutritionist at The Organic World
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