Don't let festivals be a cause for your increase in blood glucose

Indian Festivals - The Major Cause for Rise in Blood Glucose Level

Indian festivals reflect our rich heritage and tradition that has been carried forward for years. Every state in India is known to celebrate different festivals that symbolize its culture. And with these diverse festivals comes a variety of irresistible sweets and delicious mithai. It is unrealistic to celebrate Indian festivals without satisfying your sweet tooth to the fullest. 

But do you know that all these mithais root to an increased blood sugar level leading to uncontrolled diabetes? India is the second-largest country with people suffering from high blood sugar levels and home to over 65 million people having diabetes. This figure means that over 62% of the Indian population is either obese or has uncontrolled sugar. 

No doubt, you cannot take away sweets and mithais from a festival, but you can definitely maintain your sugar level and take care of your diabetes. And to do so, you need to follow certain eating habits and tips to keep your blood glucose level under control. This article will help you understand how to achieve the same. 

How can you eat healthy during Indian Festivals?


We all fear sugar and oily foods, but what is a festival without these mouth-watering delicacies? No matter how much you resist having them, you finally end up consuming these sugary treats.

Although it is said that the most common cause of diabetes is these sugars and sweets, it does not always stand true. Several other food items eaten in excess and other unhealthy habits can lead to the same. 

Indian Festivals - The Major Cause for Rise in Blood Glucose Level

And during Indian festivals, we fail to track the amount of unhealthy food consumed, leading to severe health conditions. Although you cannot avoid these sugars and oily foods, here are some tips to eat healthy during the festive season:

  • Eat foods that cool down your body, such as fruits, and vegetables like cucumber. Consuming a lot of meat and oily foods can produce a lot of excess heat in your body that can be balanced by consuming these foods.

  • Change your cooking methods, that is, use healthier cooking methods to preserve the nutritional value of the food. For example, you can bake or air fry rather than deep frying
  •  Substitute healthier ingredients in your foods as it will enhance the nutritional value without compromising on their taste. For example, you can substitute butter with healthy olive oil or use brown rice instead of white rice.
  • To eliminate acidity and avoid bloating, consume fennel, ajwain, or ginger tea after meals. You can also drink a warm glass of water as it helps speed up the process of digestion.
How can you keep your blood glucose under control during the festive season?
Indian Festivals - The Major Cause for Rise in Blood Glucose Level

Sugary treats come with calories and bad sugar that can harm your health. As mentioned earlier, any special occasion in India is incomplete without sweets and savory. So what can you do during this time to ensure that your blood glucose levels are under control?

Here are some tips to keep blood glucose under control to prevent adverse effects and severe health conditions during a festival:

  • Do not consume sugars, or for that instance, any food in excess, as it can increase the risk of various harmful health conditions. Know your limit and restrict your food intake to a certain amount.
  • Avoid oily foods, especially during the night, as they can have an adverse effect on your health.
  • Break your meals into smaller portions and include sweets and other foods that increase your sugar levels only once or twice a day. By counting your carbs, you can control the intake of foods that spike up your blood glucose levels.
  • Avoid sugary drinks with artificial sweeteners as sugar in liquid form is worse than solid and can rapidly increase your blood glucose levels if consumed in excess. It also means that you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages as it contains large quantities of sugar.
  • Do not skip your meals. It is a myth among most people that avoiding meals can control your blood glucose levels. However, when you skip a meal, your blood sugar levels are affected negatively, and can cause low blood sugar having severe outcomes.
  • Consume a lot of liquids like lemon water, coconut water, buttermilk or soups to keep your body hydrated. Water and other fluids help eliminate excess glucose out of the body, thus controlling it.
  • Lastly, get enough sleep as it helps to control your blood glucose level. Although festive seasons interrupt your everyday sleep routine, ensure to get a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep daily.

Are artificial sugars safe for diabetic patients during festivals?

Indian Festivals - The Major Cause for Rise in Blood Glucose Level

Nobody can resist a delicious and juicy gulab jamun just because they have diabetes or high blood glucose levels. It is human tendency to satisfy these irresistible cravings despite such severe situations.

And Indian festivals have always resulted in a rise in your blood glucose level due to this temptation. Such situations result in the use of artificial sweeteners to satisfy the sugar cravings of people.

Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes do not add to your calorie intake, and only a fraction can add enough sweetness to your food. Many diabetic patients consume artificial sugars to enjoy all the sweet delicacies without worrying about their blood glucose levels, and it is considered safe.

However, anything in excess can harm your body. Due to this, moderation in the use of artificial sweeteners is necessary as excess intake can lead to weight gain, tumors, and other health hazards. The FDA has a fixed limit for the daily intake of these artificial sugars, of which, a few common ones a listed below:

  • Saccharin – 15mg for each kilogram of body weight.
  • Aspartame – 50mg for each kilogram of body weight.
  • Sucralose – 5mg for each kilogram of body weight.

Indian festivals are the most enjoyable and happiest part of the year as it allows families to gather with unity and joy. But if you were having a hard time during festivals by worrying about your blood glucose level, then you’re all sorted now.

Follow these tips to eat healthy food and the tips to keep blood glucose levels in control listed above. Ensure to read all of them properly to have a joyous and stress-free festive time with your loved ones. Also, exercise daily as it helps to improve the metabolism of your body and improve digestion. And lastly, don’t forget to count your carbs while you enjoy!


    Mrs.Sripriya Ravi, M.Sc, Senior Dietitian
    Mrs.Vinodhini Gopi, M.Sc, Diabetes Educator