New Delhi: It is that time of the year again with winter setting in and New Year festivities around the corner.
The festive spirit and good food around can make the successful management of one's calorie intake tough, particularly in those living with diabetes. Apart from this, research suggests that during winter, people living with diabetes tend to have higher HbA1c levels than during the warmer months.
The need of the hour is to raise awareness on the fact that it is possible to maintain and control blood glucose levels in winter and during New Year, provided certain precautions are taken.
Speaking about this, Dr Sanjay Kalra - Consultant Endocrinologist, Bharti Hospital Karnal and Vice President, South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies said, "A drop in temperature and holiday festivities can make it difficult for people to stick to their regular diet and exercise patterns. This is truer for those living with diabetes, as any drastic changes to their lifestyle can cause blood glucose levels to fluctuate or increase."
He added, "It is common to consume cakes, pastries, and other such snacks and savouries during New Year. Carbohydrates, including foods with glucose, typically raise the blood glucose more than other foods. As one tends to feel hungrier in winter, portion control becomes a major issue. It is, therefore, important to be mindful of what one eats in this season and follow certain precautionary measures to prevent blood glucose levels from skyrocketing."
Since sweets and savouries are loaded with calories, Kalra said they should be consumed in moderation.
"Limit the servings to one portion or one piece. It is better to take a small bite of a sweet rather than consume the whole of it. People living with diabetes should not skip their diet regimen and medication. Eating smaller portions of the main meals during the day is key. Stick to soups and salads and give carbs a miss. Try eating roasted, grilled, baked, or boiled food over fried ones," he said.
"Winter is a time when one tends to feel lazy for any kind of physical activity. However, it is important to remember that a little exercise each day will help with insulin sensitivity and in better regulation of glucose levels. It is also advisable to get your glucose levels checked regularly. Eat more of the grains, fruits and vegetables that are in season. Drink alcohol in moderation. And if you take insulin, it's best to have an alcoholic drink with food. People living with diabetes should ensure that they keep their feet covered to prevent frost bite or any other infections."
He suggests drinking plenty of water through the day to alleviate false hunger. About 10 to 15 glasses of water daily can also help in flushing out toxins from the body, and keep the body hydrated.
"Winter and the impending New Year festivities should not be an excuse for overeating or creating an imbalance. People with conditions such as diabetes can suffer the consequences of not being able to control their craving. Avoiding overindulgence is the key to maintaining good health this season," he concluded.