The sugar in your blood is called blood glucose and it is needed for your survival. The pancreas in your body produces a hormone known as insulin which reacts with blood glucose to release energy. During fast your blood glucose level dips and should be at its lowest at the end of the day. If you are looking to fast this Navratri, monitor your fasting blood glucose level and ensure that it does not dip beyond a point.
Ideally, your blood glucose level after fasting for 8 hours should be between 90 to 130 mg per decilitre of blood. If you find yours to be above this, it is a case of hyperglycemia, i.e. more than normal level of blood glucose. In order to maintain your blood sugar level, having cane or fruit sugars can help. They break down into sugars easily. But in case you are suffering from hyperglycemia, you might need to completely avoid all types of sugars. Bear these facts in mind during Navratri as people tend to eat more sweets during the fast.
Having a diet high in fibre, a minimum of 50 grams per day can help you reduce your fasting blood glucose. The best sources of dietary fibre other than whole grains (not allowed in a fast), are fruits and vegetables. The insulin that is produced in your body after a meal should convert the blood glucose into energy. The excess blood glucose gets converted into fat instead. Insulin is also released after you digest the food taken in your last meal. This is called basal insulin.
When you fast, the basal insulin breaks down the fat stored in your body and convert it into energy. This provides your body with a regular supply of energy since the stored fats are getting used up. In a healthy person, there is enough stored fat to supply energy during a fast. In fact your fasting should be based on using up the stored fat and not to starve. If all the stored fat of your body gets used up, your bones can be eaten away with the body’s metabolism.
A diabetic pregnant women needs to be more cautious of her as well as her baby's health if she is fasting. It is crcuicially important for the diabeic pregnant woman to maintain her fasting blood sugar levels within the ideal range. High blood sugar level during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of USA, the blood glucose level of a healthy person should not be affected by an 8 to 12 hour fast. If it is noted that the blood glucose is more than normal even after a period of fasting, it is indicative of an underlying medical condition such as type 1 or 2 diabetes. You should monitor your blood glucose during the Navratri fast based on your medical condition with the doctor’s advice.
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