Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Partying is fun and Diabetes

Partying is fun when moderation runs the show

Partying is part of our lives. Needless to say, no party can be conceived without food and beverages.

While everyone needs to guard against careless indulgence while partying, people with diabetes need to be even more careful. Parties generally tempt people to abandon healthy nutrition habits. However, the question is "how" to enjoy and still keep good health. Believe it or, not, it can be done.

Consider a few tips to start with.

• Do not miss your medicines and blood glucose monitoring on any occasion. Discuss with your doctor how you can enjoy without disturbing your health.

• Try to maintain consistency in meal timings. If food is going to be served late, try having some snacks.

• Practice portion control. You can, in fact, eat a variety of foods including your favorites if only you control the size of the portion of food you eat. A small portion is less likely to upset your blood-sugar levels.

• Follow a regular exercise routine. Moderate increase in physical activities can compensate for excess eating.

While going for a party and family get-together, do consider:

• Check your sugar before you leave so you have a fair idea of where your medication, drinks, food and dancing can take you. Have a small snack before leaving or with you if you think food would be served late.

• Never go to a party hungry. If you've already eaten, you'll be less likely to eat too much. Most buffet tables are filled with heavy, starchy and fatty foods and if you are too much hungry you are likely to eat more.

• Look at the entire buffet table before you eat anything. Choose non-fat or low-fat foods. At parties and other social events, gravitate toward the veggies and fresh fruit. When choosing a meal, try to stick to foods that have been grilled, barbecued, marinated, steamed, baked, or poached. Limit foods that are fried, creamed, buttered or that are served with sauces.

• If you feel that you are tempted by something sweet or a high calorie snack, can have a small serving. Either you can opt for for 1 or 2 units of increased insulin dose that day if you are on insulin or you could exercise little more than usual. If the party includes exercise like dance or other activities, you may be able to eat a little more without taking extra insulin.

• It is better not to have alcohol, as it can affect diabetes in many ways. Ask your doctor as over 100 medications interact with alcohol. If you want to drink, then don't drink on an empty stomach. (No more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men). The effects of alcohol can last well into the next day, so test more frequently and be extra careful throughout the following 24 hours. Always, try to have roasted snacks rather than fried ones with alcohol.

• Water is preferable to any sweetened or alcoholic drink. However, if you're going to have any other beverage, alternate every other drink with a glass of water. This tactic may keep you from drinking too much.

• If the party involves lots of walking or dancing, then have good fitting, comfortable shoes. Wrong footwear can cause blisters or other injuries to your feet.

• Undue exertion may lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugars). Hypoglycemia can be dangerous. So always inform about hypos to your friends, so that you can get the required help if needed. Make sure there is some candy or sugar in your hand bag or pocket.

And if it's you who is hosting the party, it's your opportunity to set a example of health-friendly partying.

• Food doesn't have t 0 be sole means of entertainment. Try making the party fun in other ways.

• Have sugar-free sweets and desserts. Artificial sweeteners like sucralose are safe for baking and cooking.

• Have a wide variety of fruits instead of traditional mithai. You can have a spread of fruit salads, cocktails, chaats, fresh fruit drinks to choose from.

• Not only too much sugar is bad for health; high fat diets are too. Using healthy oils; low fat dairy products; lean meat and choosing microwave grilling or roasting as a method of cooking can go a long way in making your party good health friendly.

With India, being the diabetic capital of the world you can be sure that where you go or you invite a group, you will get a friend with diabetes. So, don’t hide the fact about your diabetes. Indulge in good diabetes care practices and spread them. People with diabetes can enjoy all food in moderation, which actually is good for every one. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle even when you are having a party will have a positive influence on your blood sugar and health. Regular exercise and sensible daily planning would make parties more enjoyable and fun. Pick a nice outfit and be ready for the show!

And always remember - you control diabetes, it doesn't control you.

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