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Dos and don'ts for diabetics during Ramadan (sample meal plan included)

Ramadan has begun! Diabetic and want to fast? Read this to find out whether diabetics should fast, and if they can, what they should eat and avoid.

The cases of people suffering from diabetes all around the globe is increasing day by day. There are approximately more than 1 billion muslims in the world and most of them observe fast (without water and food intake) between dawn and sunset during the Islamic month of Ramadan. In case if fasting affects the health of the observer, (for example- people with type 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus) they are advised to not fast for long hours as fasting can lead to a fall in the blood glucose levels and it may even lead to hypoglycemia, and even the religion exempts them from fasting in such condition. But many such diabetics still decide to fast against the advice of their doctors. In the end, it is a personal choice whether to fast or not. Know whether your waistline predict your diabetes risk?

Here are some safety guidelines which diabetics need to take care of during fasting-

  • Check your blood glucose levels more often than you would check on days when you are not fasting.
  • Treatment is very important if your blood glucose level is high or too low.
  • If you feel confused, disoriented and unwell, immediately check your blood glucose level. These can be indications of hypoglycemia.
  • Experts advise that if the blood glucose levels drop below 70mg/dL, it is better to break the fast.
  • If the blood glucose levels are above 300 mg/dL, seek medical advice.
  • Take anti-diabetic drugs or insulin as per doctor's advice. Your doctor may make some changes as per your fasting schedule. Here are the reasons you re unable to keep diabetes under control.

Type of foods you should eat and avoid during Iftar

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  • It is very important to select the right and healthy foods. Selecting wrong and unhealthy foods may cause an imbalance in the blood glucose levels.
  • Once you break your fast in the evening, eat small, healthy and nutritious meals.
  • Be wise about the portion size.
  • Do not overeat.
  • Do not break your fast with foods that are deep fried or laden with sugar.
  • Avoid eating large and heavy meals in one go. This may lead to acidity, bloating and discomfort.
  • After you break your fast, drink healthy fluids. Water is the best fluid you can drink. Other options include nimbu pani, buttermilk, unsweetened lassi and plain milk. Avoid drinking sherbet, fruit juice, packaged drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soda and frizzy drinks are strictly not recommended because these drinks can further lead to dehydration. Here are healthy resolutions every diabetic should follow for a better life.

Type of foods to eat and avoid at Sehri

  • Eat just before the sunrise when you start your next day's fast.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat foods with high fiber content and low glycemic index. Such foods remain in the stomach for long and delays hunger pangs. This will help you feel fuller. Foods with low glycemic index include:

i) Whole cereals such as wheat, broken wheat, oats, barley, quinoa and brown rice

ii) Legumes such as chick peas, kidney beans, lima beans, black-eyed beans

iii) Low-fat dairy products such as low-fat milk and low-fat paneer

iv) Whole fruits (eat one fruit at a time)

  • Eat a balanced meal. Combine a good source of cereal, pulse and loads of vegetables.

Sample Diet Plan for Ramadan

Sehri

  • 2 dates + 1 small bowl couscous with veggies + 1 glass buttermilk OR
  • 2 medium pieces grilled chicken with 1 roti (replace deep fried chicken with grilled/steamed/ baked chicken) OR
  • 1 bowl chickpea (chole) chaat with loads of veggies (do not add sweet chutney) + 1 glass plain and unsweetened lassi OR
  • 1 whole wheat chicken roll.

Iftar

  • 1 bowl quinoa pilaf or barley pilaf (add lot of veggies and legume of your choice)+ 1 glass buttermilk OR
  • 1 bowl apple cinnamon oatmeal+ 4 almonds OR
  • 2 oatmeal pancakes or multigrain pancakes+ 1 glass milk OR
  • 1 whole wheat roti with 2 scrambled egg whites OR
  • 1 bowl mixed sprouts with veggies and flaxseeds (add just 1 teaspoon)

Dinner

  • 1 vegetable or paneer paratha with 1 bowl curd OR
  • 1 bowl chicken pulao with 1 bowl vegetable raita OR
  • 1 roti with 1 bowl egg white curry OR
  • 1 bowl salad + 2 medium pieces grilled fish + 1 roti

Image source: Shutterstock (Image for representational purpose only)


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