Diwali announces the peak of the festive season in India. It is also a festival that is marked by a lot of sweets, savouries, and fried food. It can be detrimental for even the most disciplined people in terms of binge eating, undoing all the hard work they may have done to avoid cravings. However, the fact that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes are on the rise cannot be ignored. In India, there are 74 million adults with the condition. It is therefore imperative to understand how to control blood sugar levels by curbing cravings and focusing on a healthy lifestyle and detox process even during the festivities.
When you measure and monitor the impact of every dish you consume, and understand how it can affect your blood sugar levels, the outcomes can be very positive. With methodologies like digital therapeutics (DTx), it becomes possible to get real-time updates on blood sugar levels, and understand which foods can be consumed in moderation, and what must be avoided completely. It enables holistic management of diabetes through monitoring, physical exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep and hydration. This way, even those who have had diabetes for a long time can enhance their Diwali experience by staying in control.
How to manage diabetes this Diwali?
Here are some ways in which a structured programme can help in diabetes management during festivals.
1. Being aware of what you eat
What we eat has a direct effect on our blood sugar levels. Using digital technology to monitor the sugar response to each food item would enable better awareness and control. Certain foods like nuts, seeds, etc., are beneficial for people with diabetes. It is important to understand what to eat and what to avoid. As most of the Diwali sweets are fried. They are also full of processed carbs so it is better to avoid them. Instead eat something that is grilled, boiled or roasted.
2. Portion control
Diwali is incomplete without good food and sweets. Instead of trying to deprive yourself completely, eat less and reduce portion size. Choose sweets that do not have a high amount of sugar or fats. So, portion control is the key to prevent sugar spikes.
3. Calculate your carbohydrate intake
Carbohydrates impact our blood sugar levels the most. More the amount of carbs consumed, more the rise in blood sugar. So limit the consumption of carbs in your diet. Knowing your carbohydrate intake can help determine the impact. If you are someone who takes insulin, this can be extremely beneficial.
4. Eat balanced food
An ideal diet should have a mix of proteins, fibre, fats, starchy food, fruits and vegetables. If you are eating out, make sure to take a smaller plate and include a little of all these in your plate. Different types of nuts and seeds, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, beans, dal, ragi, sprouts, red or brown rice, whole grains, fresh fruits, and salads are all healthy options.
5. Sleep and exercise
Last but not the least, the importance of restful sleep at night and 30-45 minutes of exercise cannot be underscored. This will help reduce stress and manage your blood sugar levels. Reduce and avoid screen time before going to bed, avoid having caffeine or alcohol in the evening, and the amount of spicy food you eat at dinner time. Wear comfortable clothes to bed and reduce any form of light in the room.
Last but not the least; get your blood sugar levels tested at regular intervals. This will make it easier to spot any fluctuations and help your diabetes care team to guide you at the earliest. Monitor blood sugar levels before and after food, exercise or go for a walk post meal. This will enable you to know what makes the levels spike or go down. Diabetes management is key to avoiding any complications and ensures that you are able to lead an active and healthy life even with all the festive spirit and have a healthy & happy Diwali.