Diabetes and Diwali can seem like tough things to juggle. It's only natural to indulge during the festival season, so nutrition can seem like a challenge — especially when just two sugar-syrup-soaked sweet gulab jamuns pack almost 300 calories, the Times of India reports.
But by setting carbohydrate goals and managing your diabetes nutrition, experiencing Diwali with diabetes can be smooth-sailing. A little planning and self-control are all you need to have an incredible time, so here's how you can be diabetes-minded and still make this year's festival a grand time.
Control What You Eat
A typical Diwali festival buffet is packed with rich traditional foods and sugary sweets such as dhoklas, deep-fried dal puri and pakoras, potato curry, naan, ras malai and halva, and one serving of each item can be between 100 and 250 calories. But don't worry: You can manage your diabetes without completely skipping these delectable Diwali staples.
The key to success is starting each day with a healthy breakfast that's packed with fibre, complex carbs and protein. To compensate for that big festival dinner, eat a low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat diet that includes salads and soups during the day. Avoid bread and sugary fruit drinks, and go easy on rich, oily and spicy foods.
If it's possible, check the labels on the sweets and savouries you pick up for carbs, starches, fibre, sugar and sugar alcohols. Sugar-free foods aren't completely safe if you have diabetes; they often contain carbs that spike your blood glucose levels. Look for items with healthy natural sweeteners, such as dates and figs, which are rich in calcium and fibre.
Choose hydrating beverages like water and buttermilk over coffee, tea and fizzy drinks.
And don't forget to check your portion sizes. Stick to your carb goals so that you can enjoy the sweets and drinks. The smaller your portions, the more varieties you'll be able to try.
One advantage of annual holidays is that they're never a surprise. So if you're managing diabetes, getting an eating plan in place for festivals like Diwali is a breeze. One way to celebrate while keeping your levels in check is by cooking your meals at home. When you cook at home, you control the ingredients in your recipe, so you can make healthy substitutions, such as low-fat milk for whole milk and natural sweeteners for sugar. These small changes keep your carbs and calories in check and still taste great.
Opt for air-frying, roasting, baking and grilling over deep-frying, as these methods use less oil and are less fattening. If you need oil, use olive oil. It's rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and other healthy dietary fats, and it helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Before heading out to the festivities, revisit your medication schedule and stick to it. Avoid skipping a dose by setting reminders on your phone.
The Diwali spread typically includes dried fruits and nuts, but carrying a snack of almonds and walnuts is a great way to get through the festivities and keep your calorie intake on track.
Diwali's also a great time to keep up your physical activity. Run to the grocery store to get the ingredients for your Diwali treats, or walk across to the neighbourhood grounds to light the firecrackers. Remember, too, that festivals mean music — and music means dancing, which is a great way to burn off those extra Diwali calories.
Because you'll be on your toes the whole time, don't forget to take a break. Late nights are par for the course during the festive season, and Diwali is no exception. Inadequate sleep affects your blood glucose metabolism, so make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep every night.
A little extra planning goes a long way when it comes to diabetes and Diwali, but now that you have a plan, get out there and enjoy the festival!
Disclaimer: This publication/article/editorial is meant for awareness/educational purposes and does not constitute or imply an endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation of any products. Please consult your doctor/healthcare practitioner before starting any diet, medication or exercise.