1st September 2023,Mumbai: The Festive Temptations
Festive season is upon us and so is the time to have get-togethers and indulge in good food with friends and relatives. It’s natural to crave sugary food around this time and forget the fitness goals for a while, but too much indulgence can be detrimental to health. Making mindful food choices can help us not only enjoy the upcoming festivities but also keep blood sugar levels and other health parameters in control.
Navigating the Sweet Seduction
Food and festivities often go together, and it’s not always possible to say no to food, especially when you are around your loved ones. If you feel you are over-indulging on some days, to balance this out, you can add more fiber, vegetables, fruits, and other foods that help you detox. Also, try to balance out the calories by consuming small meals instead of a large one.
Understanding the Sugar Dilemma
“During festivals, if we don’t have yummy sweets and tasty snacks, it feels like something is missing, right? During this time, we really want to eat sweets, drinks, and foods with lots of carbs. So, our sugar intake goes up a lot. While it’s important to enjoy the festivals without feeling bad and being good to ourselves, too much sugar can make us gain weight, cause skin problems, and make us feel moody. But even if we try not to eat sugary things, there are hidden sugars in foods that can still make us eat a lot of sugar. So, during this time when there are so many delicious foods, we need a good plan to manage how much sugar we eat,” says Dr. Shubhashree Patil, Consultant Diabetologist and Physician, Director – Diabetes and Wellness Clinic, Andheri (East) Mumbai.
Tips to Balance Blood Sugar During Festivals
Dr. Patil shares the following tips for people with diabetes:
Embrace the festive feasting while maintaining balance. Allow yourself occasional indulgent meals, but ensure you return to healthier eating habits after a few festive days. This approach prevents sudden spikes in sugar levels that can lead to weight gain and mood swings.
Mindful Meal Planning
Anticipate high-carb, high-sugar meals and offset them with nutrient-rich choices during the day. Prioritize protein and fiber intake before and after indulgent meals to stabilize blood sugar levels. This prevents extreme fluctuations and supports overall well-being.
Preparation and Recovery
Pay attention to what you do before and after festive events. Prioritize gut health by exercising and consuming wholesome foods before indulging. After celebrations, swiftly revert to your regular routine and hydrate to flush out toxins. Replace refined sugars with natural sugars found in fruits to gradually restore balance.
Distribute sugar consumption evenly throughout the day. This helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, preventing sharp spikes and crashes that can disrupt energy levels and mood.
Smart Choices and Activity
Make thoughtful food choices, opting for treats with lower sugar content. Engage in physical activity to regulate blood sugar levels, promote overall health, and counterbalance the effects of festive indulgence.
“As we soak in the happiness of festivals and relish the wonderful tastes and smells, it’s important to remember our well-being. While we adore festive treats, finding the right balance matters. By knowing how sugar affects us and using smart approaches, we can fully enjoy the celebrations without harming our health. Let this festive time be a mix of joyful indulgence and taking care of ourselves, cherishing both the fun and our good health,” says Dr. Patil.
This festive season, as you savor the delectable dishes and sugary delights, remember that moderation and mindful choices are the keys to keeping your blood sugar levels in check. Festivals are a time for celebration, and it’s possible to enjoy them without compromising your health. So, go ahead, indulge, but do so wisely, ensuring that the joy of festivities doesn’t come at the cost of your well-being.
-by Kashvi Gala