Keeping Your Health in Check While Fasting During Navratri
We come from diverse backgrounds in the wonderful land of India, a country that cherishes its many cultures and festivals. Among these, Navratri holds a special place. It's a nine-day festival dedicated to honoring Goddess Durga.
Fasting During Navratri: A Challenge for Health: In our country, many of us face health challenges, particularly when it comes to conditions like diabetes. These challenges relate to our dietary habits, physical activity levels, healthcare choices, and the way we manage our well-being. Diabetes can be a complex condition to handle, especially when we fast during festivals like Navratri.
Balancing Health and Fasting: When we fast, it's important to strike a balance between our health and our devotion. This balance becomes even more critical for people with diabetes. Fasting can disrupt our health by causing blood sugar levels to either drop dangerously low or soar too high.
Getting Ready for a Healthy Fast: Before you begin your fast, it's crucial to have a discussion with your healthcare provider or doctor. They can help you prepare for fasting safely by assessing your health and offering guidance on how to manage your diabetes during this period.
Tips for a Healthy Navratri Fast: For those observing a fast during Navratri, here are some straightforward tips to ensure you maintain good health throughout this period.
Carbohydrates: Your Energy Source: A significant portion of your energy should come from carbohydrates, approximately 50%-60%. Avoid foods that rapidly increase your blood sugar levels. Instead, opt for healthier cooking methods like grilling, boiling, steaming, toasting, or baking, and avoid frying.
Protein: Your Friend in Fasting: Around 15%-20% of your daily energy should come from protein. If your fasting practices restrict foods like pulses, legumes, or non-vegetarian items, choose low-fat dairy products such as milk, curd, paneer, and protein-rich nuts.
Watching Your Fat Intake: Limit your daily fat consumption to about 30% of your total calories. Reducing fat intake and increasing fiber in your diet is beneficial for managing blood sugar levels.
Vitamins and Minerals: To get a good supply of vitamins and minerals, include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Opt for whole fruits and fresh veggies over juices.
Fiber: Don't forget to incorporate fiber into your diet. Aim for around 25g per 1000 kcal or 30-40g daily. Fiber is essential for blood sugar management.
Staying Hydrated: Especially during hot weather, stay hydrated by drinking low-calorie beverages like lemon water, green tea, and lassi.
Herbs and Spices: Enhance your meals with herbs and spices instead of sugar or sweeteners. They not only add flavor but may also benefit your health.
Meal Timing: Rather than consuming large, carb-heavy meals, opt for smaller, balanced meals every three hours. This approach helps prevent blood sugar spikes.
Learning and Preparation: To make your fasting experience safe and healthy, educate yourself and involve your family. Learn to recognize high and low blood sugar levels, check your blood sugar, and plan your meals. Remember that consuming smaller meals, snacks, or beverages made from fasting-appropriate foods is a wise choice.
In Conclusion: Fasting may not be advisable if you have health issues. However, if you wish to fast while managing diabetes, it is indeed possible. Seek guidance from your doctor, a dietitian, or a diabetes educator. With their support and some careful planning, you can maintain your health while enjoying this special time.