By Dr. Khoobsurat Najma
Here are some simple ways of ensuring that the diabetics in your family can be a part of feasting without harming their health:
Prepare them for the evening: along with preparing sweets and other food items with artificial sweeteners, one can prepare the body for the evening. Add food with low or minimum calories from the morning so that their body can easily digest one or two sweets that they cannot avoid like Prasad.
Get their blood tested: Keeping a check on their blood sugar levels will help in planning out the celebration accordingly. Check their sugar levels before and after Diwali
Keep a count on their calories: Along with preparing sweets and other food items carefully, calculating the intake of calories on the day of Diwali will also help them enjoy with full vigor and enthusiasm.
Switch to olive oil: Replace your regular cooking oil with olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which are considered a healthy dietary fat.
Choose the sweets wisely: Don’t get lured by sugar-free sweets as most of these are made up of khoya, which is rich in fat. Remember, fats have more calories than sugars. If they wish to have sweets then he/she should prefer sugar free rasgulla over sugar free barfi.
Give them healthy options: Help them have a low calorie, low carb, and low fat diet in the day. Replace their caffeine with salads. This way a bit of extra indulgence will not take a toll on their blood sugar levels. Make them opt for grilled, baked food instead of fried food.
Encourage small portions: ask them to eat with a partner. Sharing means they take a smaller portion size. Make smaller sizes of sweets and other delicacies and in smaller quantities. The more you make, the more you will be tempted to indulge
Increase their physical activity: encourage them to take the stairs instead of the lift, take a walk to their friend’s place and involve them in Diwali preparations. These easy, everyday activities help burn a lot of calories.
Limit alcohol: Alcohol interferers with the body`s ability to break down carbohydrate which can cause hypoglycemia in diabetics. It not only blocks the generation of sugar within the body when it is most needed but also masks the critical symptoms of hypoglycemia such like hunger, palpitation and sweating.
Do not let them stay up till late hours: Although the festive season calls for late night gatherings and fun filled times with friends and relatives, avoid staying up till very late as it could interfere with their metabolism. Make sure they get good 6-7 hours of sleep so they can continue with the festivities.