The latest global figures on diabetes, released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), has raised a serious alarm for India by saying that nearly 52% of Indians aren’t aware that they are suffering from high blood sugar. India is presently home to 62 million diabetics — an increase of nearly 2 million in just one year.In this land of diverse festivities, it is essential to keep diabetes in check to avoid complications and aftermath of sugar overload post celebrations.

Here are a few ways to stay in the clear without taking the fun out of the festive mood.

 

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Avoid skipping meals or medication during festivities-
fasting is bad for the blood sugar level.

Irregular eating habits affect glucose uptake and utilization. If you are on medications for diabetes, skipping your meal will not change the way medication is utilized by your body. This inturn will reduce the blood sugar level leaving you with increased risk of hypoglycemia. Evenly spaced and divided meals/ healthy snacking ( at least every 4 hours) throughout the day will help you combat sudden undesirable changes in blood sugar. Balanced meals with proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber; rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients, will prevent fatigue, weight gain and maintain a gradual increase  and decrease in sugar. Do not forget your blood sugar surveillance regime amidst the festivities.

 

untitled-design-2Have a meal or a timely snack in order to avoid excessive intake of sweets on an empty stomach.

 Fasting or delaying meals/ snack makes us hungry indicating that our body is low on “fuel” – glucose. The brain alone uses up 20% of daily glucose intake. We tend to eat a lot at once later to compensate. This cause an overload of glucose. Hence there is a sudden drop and sudden increase in glucose levels. This makes recognizing and controlling sugar levels much more difficult.Self-monitoring of blood glucose before and after food at regular intervals becomes essential in the management of diabetes. Avoid skipping meals to consume sweets to prevent a sugar overload.

 

sugar-485055_960_720Sweets need a healthier option of sweetening.

Table sugar is sucrose, a disaccharide made up of Glucose and Fructose.Jaggery is Sucrose hence is sweeter than Table-sugar.Honey is Fructose which is twice as sweet as other sugars, therefore Honey is sweeter than table sugar, and Jaggery.Sucralose  can be used in sweets. It is bulked up with maltodextrin so that it looks like sugar, adding some calories. Still , it has 12 to 25% the calories of Table sugar.Jaggery is essentially unrefined sugar which is obtained from raw, concentrated sugar cane juice.Studies show that jaggery (essentially rich in iron and minerals) has higher glycemic index than plain sugar hence better avoided equally.

 

19399996686_bec8dec83c_bAvoid deep fried sweets and snacks. 
Keep an eye on the cholesterol levels!

 Excessive glucose in the body is stored as fat. Deep fried sweets and snacks add to the increased blood sugar level and in turn to the cholesterol deposition. Cholesterol is of two types: HDL( High-density lipoprotein) which is essential for many metabolic processes and heart friendly , the good cholesterol & LDL( Low-density lipoprotein) which is derived from consuming fried food and is often referred to as bad cholesterol.Excessive cholesterol may line and deposit along the walls of arteries hindering the blood flow leading to clogging and putting you at risk for heart diseases.Replace sweets with dry fruits like walnut and  almonds which are rich in omega fatty acids which are essential. Avoid raisins ( high glycemic content) and cashews if you are already at risk with increased cholesterol levels. Fruits are a healthy replacement to sweets.

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 This article is curated by Dr Lakshmi Shastry ,BDS, Bangalore, 2 yrs experience.