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The Fasting Days: Healthy Diet Plan For Diabetic Patients

The Fasting Days: Healthy Diet Plan For Diabetic Patients

Sacred Hindu and Muslim fasting begins with the onset of Chaitra Navratri and Ramadan this month! Although it is essential that those with diabetes must have a structured nutrition plan if they are going to observe fasts. Diabetic patients need to follow a healthy diet plan to keep diabetes under control along with their holy fasting. To ensure safe and healthy fasting this Chaitra Navratri and Ramadan follow these simple tips:

The rules and rituals of fasting are different in both religions but, commonly people willfully refrain from food in both religions for higher spiritual motives. Fasting definitely has a sacred aspect but it could be risky for people with diabetes. So, it is essential that diabetic people must have a nutrition plan in place if they are going to skip their normal meals during this period. In this article we aim to share simple but healthy diet plans for both - Ramdam and Navratri fasting so that diabetic patients can maintain their diabetes level easily alongside their fasting.

What Really Happens to Your Body During Fasting?

Our body needs energy, and the primary source of energy is glucose or sugar that we usually get from the food items we eat every day. But when we fast, this natural process changes and our bodies suffer from the loss of normal access to glucose. As a result, to acquire energy, our body starts pushing its cells to alternative glucose sources in our body. Many changes take place in our body during this process and after about 8 hours our body consumes almost all of its glucose reserves. Eventually, the blood glucose level reaches a dangerously low level called hypoglycemia. This situation leads to serious health issues especially for people who have diabetes. Healthy fasting is possible only if you eat the right food items in the right portions.

Navratri Fasting with Healthy Diet Plan

Navratri fasting is observed for nine days twice a year. Both fasting periods correspond to extreme seasonal changes that may lower our immune system along with weakening our digestive system. Although, Navratri fasting helps in detoxifying the body by improving the digestive system and increasing immunity. The benefits of Navratri fasting are plenty but it could be a difficult time for diabetic patients if they eat incorrectly as this could disturb the overall balance of their body. Diabetic patients should follow their normal diet during Navratri fasting but consider replacing their cereal with alternatives like Singhare Ka Atta (Water chestnut flour) or Kuttu Aata (Buckwheat). Both these flours are gluten-free with a low glycemic index. They help regulate blood sugar and provide energy persistently during the day. Other tips for healthy Navratri Fasting Include:

  • Add vegetables, fresh fruits, fluids, and coconut water to prevent dehydration. These fluids help drain the toxins produced in your body during fasting
  • Diabetics need to boycott potatoes. They can be replaced with other vegetables and curd/yoghurt
  • A lot of fluids, such as vegetable soups, juices, tender coconut water, etc., give energy, drain the toxins produced during fasting, and prevents dehydration
  • Include foods that help to maintain blood glucose level like oatmeal, nuts, legumes, etc.
  • Avoid excessive intake of fatty fried foods like puris, samosas, and sweets, etc.
  • Drink sugar-free decaffeinated beverages to prevent dehydration
  • Avoid tea, coffee, and other caffeinated drinks as they promote quick fluid loss
  • Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful of your food

Ramadan Fasting with Healthy Diet Plan

Ramadan is the sacred month of fasting for Muslims.  It starts and ends with the appearance of the semicircular moon. According to Islam, this month is an introspection month for all Muslims and Allah (God) forgives their bad karmas or sins by accepting their prayers and fastings. Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion to worship. However, fasting during Ramadan can cause major health issues especially for people with diabetes. Muslims do not drink or eat anything during daylight owing to their holy fasts called Roza. They eat suhoor/sehri (a light meal) before sunrise and iftar (the meal Muslims usually gather to break their fast together) after sunset. While Roza has its own benefits for the human body, fasting with no water and food carries a high risk of dehydration and hypoglycemia for diabetic patients. The holy month of Ramadan can be healthier if people eat a balanced diet by following some fasting tips:

  • Do not skip Suhoor/Sehrias this is the most important meal of the day. If you skip Suhoor it prolongs the fasting time which means your body starts dehydrating and tired early with a lack of energy and nutrients
  • Drink plenty of water between iftarand suhoor.
  • Your food choices will affect your energy level during the daytime. So, eat hydrating food items to be energized throughout the day
  • Simple carbohydrates will not provide long-term energy. So, add healthy fats and proteins with fruits and vegetables in your dishes  
  • Avoid overeating during Iftarand Suhoor as this can lead to unhealthy weight gain
  • Serve healthy and rich festival meals to break the fast. Add nutritious items in your meal with less fatty foods
  • Do not add fried, salty, and sugary delicacies to your meal as they can make you sluggish and exhausted
  • Avoid tea, coffee, and other caffeinated drinks as they promote quick fluid loss
  • Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful of your food
  • Water-filled fruits like watermelon, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini can be integrated into your meals

Regular Blood Sugar Monitoring

Fasting is opted for religious reasons and it has many positive effects on one’s overall health. But, if you are diabetic or have other diabetes-related health issues, it is advisable for you to talk to your doctor before you start fasting. Your doctor might recommend you to test your blood sugar levels more often during this holy months. You must then invest in a glucometer home testing purposes as regular sugar monitoring will help you know the reasons that could increase or decrease your sugar level. For buying a clinically accurate glucose meter, you can check out Dr Trust website today. We have small portable electronic Dr Trust glucometer that provide quick and accurate blood sugar reading easily anytime, anywhere.

Happy fasting to all...!

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