How to manage Diabetes during festivals?

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Festivals are the time to celebrate, meet loved ones, enjoy great food, and have lots of fun! Many people plan for months to throw extravagant parties during the festival time and serve an exotic menu to pamper their loved ones.

With so much excitement around festivals, we tend to lose track of the disciplined lifestyle that we lead otherwise and give-in to the tempting spread of food. In fact, this is even harder for people with diabetes as many of them may not be able to resist decadent sweets, crunchy snacks, refreshing yet sugary beverages, and/or endless servings of the choicest liquor served during this time.

As we all cherish festivities, there are many smart ways to enjoy this time without shooting the blood sugar levels beyond the roof. Here are some tips to help people with diabetes to better manage their health during the festive season.

  1. Consume food prepared using natural sweeteners. Instead of depending upon regular sugar or artificial sweeteners, people with diabetes can cook or consume sweet treats made with naturally sweet ingredients such as dates, raisins, figs, and other fruits.
  2. Eat protein-rich foods. People with diabetes should eat a full meal before picking any dessert during festive dinners. Protein-rich snacks or meals are filling and help to restrict carbohydrate intake, which improves the overall blood sugar levels.
  3. Eat foods prepared in healthy oils. Olive oil and avocado oil are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that help to manage blood glucose levels. In fact, food made using healthy fats such as monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fats can lower blood sugar levels and provide satiety, which restricts intake of calorie-rich sweet/dessert.
  4. Eat before you leave home. Eating a healthy salad or a fibrous sandwich can limit the consumption of fried and creamy snacks served at the parties. In fact, people with diabetes must include a salad in at least two meals every day.
    Eating a healthy salad or a fibrous sandwich can limit the consumption of fried and creamy snacks served at the parties.
  5. Stay active. No matter how difficult it may seem, but staying physically active for even 30 minutes a day during this time can go a long way in the management of diabetes. Never hesitate to show off your dancing skills (no matter how bad you think you are) to get a chance to burn some extra calories and let happy hormones flow through your body.
  6. Drink wisely. It is best to sip on water while socializing even if it may not seem practical to many. You can also try sticking to only wine, or better still drink water and wine alternately, to limit the overall alcohol intake.
  7. Do not overeat. Overeating is a forbidden thing for people with diabetes as it hinders the management of their blood sugar levels. It is best to limit the calorie intake by eating a smaller portion of both snacks and meals.
  8. Eat nuts. Nuts are the healthiest snack food to munch on and given the endless supply of nuts one gets during Diwali, you can make most of these super foods by eating a few of them as such or dry roasted to fill your body with healthy nutrients!

This way, people with diabetes can enjoy celebrations without depriving themselves of all the fun elements associated with festivities!

(About the Author: Priyanka Dogra is a professional nutritionist, recipe developer, content writer, and food and nutrition consultant. She has more than 12 years of work experience in the field of nutrition and is a post graduate in Therapeutic nutrition from Delhi university. She has been associated with the best healthcare organizations in India and is involved with projects pertaining to the field of health and nutrition.)