Has the beginning of the festival season made you sceptical about the food choices to make? Here’s a full-fledged festival diet plan for diabetes patients.
In a culturally rich country like India, every other day is celebrated as a festival with sweets and savouries galore. When you live with a chronic disease like diabetes, it is hard to resist delicacies that melt your heart, but you must. If diabetes is the problem, we have a festival diet plan for diabetes patients, to make diabetes management simpler on a happy occasion. Let us see how it is made possible!!
How do Festivals Impact Diabetes?
Many Indian festivals are performed according to rituals and celebrated with full splendour, whether it is with fasting or feasting. But for diabetics, both extremes could be a problem.
Fasting may lower your blood sugar levels and deplete your energy reserve, resulting in hypoglycemia. It has symptoms such as dizziness, tiredness, pounding heartbeat, shakiness, irritability, and anxiousness.
On the other hand, throwing caution to the wind and indulging as much as you feel like may increase your blood sugar levels and worsen your condition. You could get hyperglycemia, the symptoms of which include excessive urination, confusion, abdominal pain, blurred vision, fatigue, shortness of breath, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting.
What Should a Healthy Diet for Diabetes Include During Festivals?
Diet can impact your blood glucose (sugar) levels, and you can manage it by having a thorough understanding of the kind of food you consume.
As diabetics are more sensitive to blood sugar level fluctuations and the complications associated with them, fasting is generally not recommended without a doctor’s approval.
Let’s come to what diabetics can eat during festivals. Foods with a low glycaemic index (GI), raise your blood sugar modestly while providing the necessary amount of carbohydrates required to produce energy for the body. Thus, low GI foods are a better choice for people with diabetes.
Eating a healthy diet with a range of macro and micronutrients can help diabetics maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and keep their cholesterol and blood pressure within target ranges.
A diet for diabetes should follow certain guidelines regarding the macro and micronutrients, even during festivals:
- Carbohydrates: Include more complex carbohydrates and food with low glycaemic indexes, such as whole wheat flour, multigrain flours, millets, flours with bran, whole vegetables, fresh fruits, pulses, and dals.
- Fibre: Fibre can slow the absorption of sugar from food and help prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Incorporate nuts, salads, unstrained soups, fresh fruits, and vegetables into your diet.
- Proteins: Proteins help you feel satiated for a long time and lower the GI of meals. Include low-fat milk and milk products, fish, chicken, egg, nuts, and dry fruits in your meals.
- Fats: Use olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, etc., as sources of healthy fats in your diet.
- Vitamins and minerals: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are some of the richest sources of vitamins and minerals and should be included in plenty in your diet.
- Water and Fluids: Drink plenty of water and low-calorie drinks like lassi, lemon water, and green tea during fasting as it may help quell hunger and keep you hydrated.
Diabetic Diet Plan for Festivals
Here is a specially formulated diabetes-healthy meal plan for festivals. You can choose the plan based on whether you are fasting for the festival or not.
Diabetic Diet Chart for Those Fasting
This plan can help you control your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
- Early Morning (5-7 am): 1 glass of lukewarm water
- Breakfast (8-10 am): Tea (no sugar)/milk (skimmed)/green smoothie + 1 bowl sama (little millet) upma with vegetables
- Lunch (1-2 pm): 1-2 singhara (water chestnut flour) OR kuttu (buckwheat flour) roti + 1 cup vegetable or pumpkin curry
- Evening (4-5 pm): Tea /coffee/milk with a handful of nuts OR 1 cup makhana kheer
- Dinner (7-8 pm): 1 cup sauteed paneer cubes + 1 cup cut fruits
Diabetic Diet Chart for Those Not Fasting
Here is a special festival diet plan for diabetes patients to enjoy the festival delicacies while staying in control of blood sugar levels.
- Early Morning (5-7 am): 1 glass of lukewarm water
- Breakfast (8-10 am): Unsweetened tea/skimmed milk/apple smoothie + millet vegetable cheela or dosa + chutney/vegetable curry
- Mid-Morning (11-12 noon): 1 apple/ dry fruit laddoo/coconut ladoo
- Lunch (1-2 pm): 1 cup veg/non-veg pulao + raita + ½ cup vegetable/paneer curry + 1 small cup pumpkin halwa/apple rabri
- Evening(4-5 pm): 1 cup tea /coffee/milk with some makhana or peanuts
- Dinner (8-9 pm): ½ cup sprouts salad + 1-2 whole wheat roti + 1 cup vegetable curry + 1 khajur barfi
- Bedtime: 1 glass of warm turmeric milk
Enjoy the Festivals by Following a Few Healthy Tips
- If you plan on fasting, get your doctor’s approval beforehand and take special precautions to avoid low or high blood sugar levels.
- Avoid strenuous exercise or intense physical activity during the festival season as it can cause a dip in your blood sugar levels.
- Avoid fasting for a longer time if you have diabetes as it may affect your blood sugar levels. Try to have low-calorie foods at regular intervals to maintain your blood sugar levels.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels before and after a meal.
- Confirm with your doctor how you can adjust your insulin dosage according to your carbohydrate intake.
- Ensure that you keep yourself hydrated as dehydration can increase your blood sugar levels.
- Avoid eating food rich in carbohydrates, fats, and high calories. Also, avoid processed food as it can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels.
- Use skimmed milk while preparing sweets and avoid full-fat milk.
- Replace refined sugar with honey, jaggery or stevia as a sweetening agent.
- Replace high-calorie snacks with roasted almonds, walnuts, and other seeds and nuts.
- Consider the portion size of the food as it plays an important role in controlling the intake of calories.
- Consume caffeine in moderation as it can affect your blood sugar levels.
- Discontinue your fasting if you feel dizzy, weak, and lightheaded.
Festivals can be fun even for a diabetic if celebrated in the right way. Being health conscious and adopting festival diet plans for diabetes patients can help you enjoy the festival and maintain your health simultaneously.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Striking a healthy balance between fasting and feasting is the key to enjoying festivals as a diabetic.
- Eating a healthy diet with macronutrients such as complex carbohydrates, fibre, protein, healthy fats and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals can help diabetics maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and keep their cholesterol and blood pressure within target ranges.
- If you plan on fasting during the festivals, get your doctor’s approval beforehand and take special precautions to avoid low or high blood sugar levels.
- Try to have low-calorie foods at regular intervals during fasting as this helps to maintain your blood sugar levels.
- Monitoring your blood sugar levels, watching your portion size, taking your insulin dose according to the intake of carbohydrates, and keeping yourself hydrated are a few healthy tips that help manage diabetes during festivals.
- Incorporate protein and fibre-rich foods in your meals, as they help you feel fuller for a longer time and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.
Friendly Asked Questions
No, diabetic patients should not eat rasgulla. Rasgulla is made from full-fat or whole milk and sugar and is not suitable for diabetics. Instead, you can eat dry fruit laddoo and makhana kheer, which are higher in fibre content and lower in sugar and calories when compared to rasgulla. If you want to eat rasgulla, indulge in small portions once in a while.
No, diabetics shouldn’t eat jalebi. Jalebi is made up of maida, deep fried, and dipped in sugar syrup, which makes it high in calories and sugar. It can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. Hence, diabetics should avoid eating jalebi.
Dishes that contain low amounts of sugar and are high in complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre are best for diabetics. A few Indian sweet dishes that are best for diabetics are makhana kheer, apple rabri, dry fruits ladoo, and pumpkin and apple halwa. A healthy festival diet plan for diabetes patients can help them control their blood sugar levels while enjoying the festivities.