Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Delicious Diwali & Dangers of Diabetes

Diwali - a celebration of good over evil is here. We wish that the colourful and bright night of happiness may wash away all the darkness, hatred and immorality from our society and our life.

Unfortunately, diabetes is one evil in life which can’t be just treated away. Once acquired it has to be managed either by painful insulin syringes, periodic check of blood sugar levels, controlling the kind of food and how much we eat of it and regular exercises. After doing all this we still will have to suffer from the complexities of diabetes.

Anyways, but this is not we want to talk about in this blog.  We are just a day away from the grand finale of the festival season. Diwali is already burning bright in Indian homes and fireworks will add to the haze in the air. This is that time of the year when we are ready to get sugar high instead of being high the other way round. Boxes of sweets and chocolates would have already started piling up in your refrigerators which will be distributed to wish our near and dear ones. Well, just like the beauty of this festival this time we decided to present our high on content (usually) blog into a riot of colour and try to bring out the problems of Diwali in a more easy on eye format.

Unfortunately, for many diabetics Diwali isn’t all about happiness but they do feel sad on this occasion. Thinking why? Well, because a diabetic always has to take utmost care of their diet pattern. Since Diwali involves a lot of delicious food and sweets it becomes very difficult to refuse everything or anything, for a pre-diabetic and a diabetic it becomes a tussle of health over desire. At such times diabetics feel slightly depressed as they cannot have rich food items and sweets, fearing sudden increase in their blood sugar levels. So how can a patient of diabetes still enjoy some Diwali festivity? We at would like to suggest following few actions which can help you to enjoy Diwali as well as keep a tab on your blood sugar levels.

Prepare for the Diwali Evening 
Along with preparing sweets and other rich-in-calories food items with natural sweeteners, you can prepare your body for the evening, which means eating food with very low or minimum calories from the morning till evening so that your body can easily digest one or two sweets which aren’t avoidable.

Diwali isn’t the excuse for skipping exercise
We all know festivals are the time to have fun and relax on your own pace taking it easy on things as it comes. Well-well that’s what a lethargic person may say but for a diabetic person festivals are the time to renew the energy towards living a healthier life. Use this good occasion to bring double the positive energies within yourself, think of it as fighting evil. Dedicate your time in the morning to exercise - either walk, jog, go gym, dance or swim and if possible spend an extra hour on Diwali day doing household chorus (cleaning, dusting, mopping etc.) - this will give you a few extra points for not only controlling diabetes but getting admired by family members for the time you’ve spent in doing household chorus. Diwali is also time for shopping, you can try parking your car little away from the mall/ shopping area, this will help you to break the stereotype routine exercises avoiding monotony.

Try Natural Sweeteners instead of artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners should be avoided at all. Ofcourse you won’t add sugar in your sweets to make them sweet but try to completely avoid artificial sweeteners too, instead add dates or raisins or natural fruits to sweeten your sweets. It will certainly need a little effort to come up with exciting recipes that will keep you happy at the longer run, but you will certainly gain many brownie points in next get together where you can claim to find sweet recipes without compromising on their sweetness.

Upgrade for good - From regular Cooking Oil to Healthier Cooking Oils
Add a dramatic twist in your diabetic healthcare by just replacing your regular refined/ mustard oils to more lighter and nutrient rich avocado or olive oil. These new age oils largely found in European continent contain monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and Omega 3 fats which are gifted with natural tendency of lowering the blood sugar levels. The goodness of healthy facts can be further explored in food groups such as salmon, tuna and flax seeds.

The “If-This-Then-Do-That” rule - Let’s say if you have a Diwali dinner planned with friends and family which is bound to be loaded with calories (along with their love), then try to eat a below average meal during the day. You can just have fresh salads or drink buttermilk in your lunch menu, so that you can maintain the harmony in your sugar levels.

Alcohol is bad in everyday life as well as Diabetes -
Avoid consuming alcohol mostly but at festive occasions certainly. The moment you will get high, all the plans of celebrating diabetes friendly Diabetes will go for a toss, you may end up eating those fried items easily available. The other reason is quite obvious; alcohol tends to increase your weight leading to uncontrolled blood sugar. If it is must for you to have it for social obligations:  sip slowly on your drink so that your host doesn't quickly refill your glass. 
We can go on and on for different lifestyle and festival friendly tips which may help you to celebrate Diwali with Love and not with Diabetes but hope you got the crux of this blog -
Self-Control, Moderation and Dedication to fight Diabetes” - this is what you need. If you need any help in understanding the complexities of diabetes, please feel free to reach us any time.

Have a wonderful, bright, environment friendly and sweetness of love this Diwali. Celebrate it with one and all; celebrate it with not so privileged ones and share a smile with them.

Happy Diwali!

Dr. MS Singhal
Managing Director -
Singhal Diabetic Clinic, Haridwar 

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