Hindus, Sikhs and Jains with diabetes who are planning on celebrating Diwali can still enjoy sweet treats but in moderation, according to Diabetes UK.
Diwali is held on Wednesday 11 November this year, and with traditional festival foods often being high in fat and sugar is it important that people with diabetes think carefully about how they approach it. But having the condition doesn’t mean having to miss out if you plan your day’s meals in advance and use moderation, says the charity.
Krishna Sarda, Engaging Communities Manager at Diabetes UK, said: “Traditional sweets can mean that Diwali presents a challenge for people with diabetes, as foods like barfi and mithai typically contain high fat and sugar levels. Also, fried foods such as pakoras and samosas are high in fat and calories. However, people with diabetes can enjoy small amounts of these festive foods if they plan ahead and fit it around a healthy balanced diet.
“Throughout the day, it’s best to eat healthier foods such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrain basmati rice, chickpeas and dhal. These types of foods can help keep your blood glucose levels more stable during the celebrations, but keep an eye on your portions.
“You can also make some small changes to make traditional recipes healthier, such as using vegetable oil instead of ghee, using spices and herbs to replace some of the salt, and by replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners.
“The other important thing to remember is to stay active, as this will help you to manage your blood glucose levels. If you have a blood testing monitor, don’t forget to test your blood glucose levels more during the festivities and before every meal to make sure they don’t get too high. One or two high blood glucose readings should not affect long-term diabetes control, but people should aim to avoid persistently high readings. Speak with a healthcare professional about the healthiest approach to the festival for you.” For more information about diabetes visit www.diabetes.org.uk or call the Diabetes UK Careline on 0345 123 2399.