Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 and diabetes: How to manage blood sugar levels during the festivities | Health - Hindustan Times

Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 and diabetes: How to manage blood sugar levels during the festivities

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Apr 07, 2024 01:40 PM IST

Eid-ul-Fitr 2024: Health experts share tips for diabetics to keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels to avoid any health complications amid festive feasting

Eid-ul-Fitr is a time of joy and togetherness and individuals with diabetes can fully participate in the post-Ramadan festivities while prioritising their health and blood sugar levels. Health experts advise to plan ahead, make mindful food choices, stay active, monitor blood sugar levels, manage stress and seek support so that those with diabetes can enjoy a happy and healthy Eid-ul-Fitr celebration in 2024.

Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 and diabetes: How to manage blood sugar levels during the festivities (Image by Freepik)
Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 and diabetes: How to manage blood sugar levels during the festivities (Image by Freepik)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr CC Nair, Department of Physician/Internal Medicine at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, suggetsed, “To manage blood sugar levels, try to swap sugary desserts with fresh fruit, dates, nuts, seeds, or fruit salads. Use dark chocolate with higher cocoa content instead of that tempting milk chocolate. Smaller portions prevent blood sugar spikes. Use smaller plates to manage the serving sizes. Try to monitor the blood sugar levels at home regularly as suggested by the doctor. Drink enough water to stay hydrated as dehydration leads to fluctuation in blood sugar levels. Limit or avoid sugary drinks like soda and choose water and herbal tea to ensure you are hydrated enough.”

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Dr Rajeshwari Panda, HOD, Nutrition and Dietetics Department at Medicover Hospitals in Navi Mumbai said, “Eid-ul-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan, is a time of joy, celebration and feasting for Muslims around the world. However, for individuals with diabetes, navigating the festivities while managing blood sugar levels can present challenges. With tempting sweets, rich foods, and irregular eating patterns, it's crucial for those with diabetes to take proactive steps to maintain stable blood sugar levels during Eid-ul-Fitr.”

She recommended the following practical tips and strategies to help individuals with diabetes enjoy the festivities while keeping their health in check -

  1. Plan Ahead: Before the celebrations begin, plan your meals and snacks to ensure they align with your diabetes management plan. Consider consulting with a dietitian or healthcare provider for personalised advice on managing your blood sugar during Eid-ul-Fitr.
  2. Choose Wisely: Opt for healthier alternatives to traditional sweets and desserts, such as sugar-free or low-sugar options. Enjoy fresh fruits instead of sugary treats, as they provide natural sweetness along with fiber and essential nutrients. When indulging in traditional sweets, practice portion control to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels.
  3. Be Mindful of Carbohydrates: Pay attention to your carbohydrate intake, as many Eid-ul-Fitr dishes are rich in rice, bread, and other starchy foods. Aim to balance your meals with lean proteins, healthy fats, and high-fiber foods to help stabilise blood sugar levels.
  4. Stay Active: Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, even during the festive period. Take short walks after meals or engage in light exercises to help regulate blood sugar levels. Plan family activities that involve movement, such as outdoor games or group workouts, to stay active while spending time with loved ones.
  5. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels throughout the festivities, especially if you're trying new foods or deviating from your usual routine. Carry your glucose monitoring device with you and test your blood sugar regularly, following your healthcare provider's recommendations.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in warmer climates or if you're engaging in physical activities. Limit sugary beverages and opt for water, herbal teas or sugar-free drinks instead.
  7. Manage Stress: Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations can be stressful due to social obligations, family gatherings and other factors. Practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to keep stress levels in check. Prioritise self-care and make time for relaxation and rest amidst the festivities.
  8. Seek Support: Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family members, or support groups for encouragement and assistance in managing your diabetes during Eid-ul-Fitr. Share your concerns and challenges with loved ones and enlist their support in making healthy choices throughout the celebrations.

Bringing his expertise to the same, Dr Rajiv Kovil, Diabetes and Obesity Specialist at Zandra Healthcare and Co-Founder of the Rang De Neela initiative, said, “As the festive season approaches, indulging in sweet treats and rich foods becomes almost inevitable. However, it's essential to keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels to avoid any health complications.” He suggested some practical tips to help you manage your sugar levels during this celebratory time -

  1. Incorporate Fiber-Rich Foods: One effective way to regulate blood sugar levels is by incorporating more fiber-rich foods into your diet. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber and can help prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar. By including these foods in your meals, you can maintain better control over your sugar levels even when enjoying festive delicacies.
  2. Stay Physically Active: Alongside dietary adjustments, staying physically active is crucial for managing blood sugar levels during festivities. Regular exercise not only helps control blood sugar but also improves insulin sensitivity. You don't need to engage in intense workouts; even a brisk walk after a big meal can make a significant difference. Prioritise movement and aim for consistency to support your overall health during this time.
  3. Practice Moderation: While it's tempting to indulge in all the festive treats, remember that moderation is key, especially for individuals managing diabetes. Enjoy your favorite desserts, but do so in small portions to avoid overwhelming your system with excess sugars. Be mindful of portion sizes and listen to your body's cues to prevent overindulgence.
  4. Prioritise Your Health: As you navigate through the festive season filled with tempting treats and delicious meals, make your health a top priority. Be mindful of your food choices, opt for healthier alternatives when possible, and ensure you stay active throughout the celebrations. By making conscious decisions and staying committed to your well-being, you can effectively manage your blood sugar levels and enjoy the festivities without compromising your health.

Remember that moderation, balance and self-care are key to maintaining stable blood sugar levels and overall well-being during this special time while small lifestyle adjustments can make a significant impact on your overall health and well-being, allowing you to savour the joy of the season while safeguarding your health. By following these simple yet effective strategies, you can navigate the festive season with confidence and maintain optimal blood sugar levels.

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