The nine-day Navratri festival has begun and this marks the beginning of the festive season. Nine days of fasting (where traditionally in Northern India, people do not maintain a strict fast, and eat sweets and fried foods to small quantities through the day) is a great way to reset our system and recharge it with new zeal and energy for the coming season, as this festival also marks the onset of winters. Besides, in Ayurveda it is considered that fasting is a good way to boost metabolism and prepare the body for seasonal shifts. However, this can be challenging for ailing people especially those with diabetes. Due to dietary restrictions, you may have to eat limited foods, which may interfere with blood sugar levels if diet is not taken care of. If you are diabetic and observing nine days of navratri fast, you must follow these rules to maintain your blood sugar levels.
Don’t Overeat Potatoes
One of the biggest mistakes that we commit is consuming potatoes in excess since most Navratri preparations have potato as the main ingredient. Be watchful of what you eat as potatoes can be catastrophic for blood sugar management. You can have sweet potatoes instead of carbs but do not overindulge. You can also have curd and salad alongside it to balance the meal.
Say No To Deep Fried Foods
Another mistake that may ruin your blood sugar levels is consuming fried Navratri foods. These are tasty and satiate cravings, while you are fasting but this kind of fat is not healthy for a diabetic. If you wish to keep your blood glucose levels in check, have steamed, stir-fried, or boiled foods. You can air-fry them if you wish to, but try to strictly avoid deep fried foods.
Have Fibre-Rich Flours
Fibre is very important for overall health and you should consume ample amounts of fibre during Navratri. Buckwheat flour or kuttu ka atta and water chestnut flour or singhare ka atta are fast-friendly flours that you must have at least once every two days if not daily. These help in managing sugar by making the body slowly release it. These also have low glycemic index, which is great for maintaining diabetes while keeping energy levels high.
Increase Protein Intake
Make sure that you are eating an ample amount of protein throughout the nine days of fasting. Due to dietary restrictions, most people won’t be eating common protein-rich foods (like meat, fish, or eggs) and so, it is necessary to substitute them with alternate sources of protein. Include cottage cheese or paneer, yoghurt or curd, milk, nuts and seeds in your diet.
A common mistake that a lot of people commit while fasting is not drinking enough water and fluids. Since we are not eating a full-fledged meal like what we eat on normal days, we don’t feel thirsty. This makes us not drink water leading to dehydration. This can impact your blood sugar levels. So, have water, fresh fruit juices, coconut water, cucumber, lemonade, etc. to replenish water loss.
Avoid Consuming Sweets
There are so many Navratri delicacies that are mostly sweets. Be it pudding, porridge, mawa sweets, etc. – these are extensively consumed during Navratri to keep energy levels up. While this is okay for others, diabetics should strictly refrain from having sweets. This would only worsen your condition.
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