Newham diabetics can still enjoy Diwali, says Diabetes UK

A diabetes charity is warning Newham residents to take extra care with their diet as they get ready to celebrate Diwali.

Hindus, Sikhs and Jains mark the Festival of Lights with famiily and friends, as well as traditional sweets.

However Diabetes UK is warning diabetics in Newham who want to enjoy Diwali to take extra care during the festival.

A spokeswoman for the charity said: “This year Diwali falls on Sunday November 3 and while it is an important time to bring friends and family together, the fact that the traditional sweets enjoyed at this time are often high in fat and sugar can mean that for people with diabetes, the festival can feel like a testing time.

“But having the condition doesn’t mean traditional festive foods are forbidden, as even high fat and high sugar foods such as barfi and mithai (Indian sweet meats) can be enjoyed in moderation.”

She suggested diabetics should eat foods that are absorbed relatively slowly, such as basmati rice, chickpeas and dhal. These types of foods, and fruits and vegetables, can help keep blood glucose levels more stable during the celebrations.

Those who have a blood testing monitor should test their blood glucose levels more during the festivities and before every meal to make sure they don’t get too high.

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And the occasional sweet treat can be incorporated into a healthy balanced diet. Small changes to traditional recipes can make them healthier, for example by replacing sugar with sweetener and using semi-skimmed or skimmed milk instead of full fat milk.

If you need any more information you can call the Diabetes UK Careline on 0345 123 2399.