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Tips for Safe Fasting for Diabetics

For diabetics, undergoing fasting may be a challenge in itself because it can have an impact on sugar levels. However, is it safe for people with this disease to live it? Come onsee the complete guide in this article.

Tips for Safe Fasting for Diabetics

Can Diabetics Fast?

According to research reviews, fasting is known to help lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. PSteam can also help control blood sugar levels, as well as lose weight.

However, do the benefits of fasting apply to diabetics (diabetics)? In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) does not recommend it.

Please note, fasting can increase the risk of short-term complications of diabetes, such as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dL. The main cause of hypoglycemia during fasting is a lack of food intake.

If diabetic blood sugar is reduced, sufferers can experience a number of symptoms, such as seizures, hunger, and confusion.

Meanwhile, hyperglycemia is a condition when blood sugar in the body is high. Diabetics are at risk of experiencing it due to reduced drug use during fasting.

Not only that, diabetics can eat excessive food when breaking the fast. This also contributes to soaring blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of hyperglycemia to watch out for are blurred vision, frequent urination, dehydration, and nausea to vomiting.

Also Read: 7 Types of Foods with a Low Glycemic Index

Tips for Fasting for Diabetics

To be safer while fasting, there are some important tips that you should know, including:

1. Consult a Doctor Before Fasting

Talk to your doctor beforehand about planning to fast. That way, you can prevent complications that can occur.

Usually the doctor will give advice on how to manage diabetes during fasting. In addition, the doctor will also adjust medicines and insulin doses according to your condition.

2. Routinely Check Blood Sugar Levels

Fasting for diabetics is safe to do, as long as blood sugar levels remain stable at normal levels.

To find out whether blood sugar levels are high or low in the body, it is recommended that you regularly check your blood sugar while fasting.

Immediately cancel the fast if you experience hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

3. Meet Fluid Needs

One of the steps to make fasting safe for diabetics is to maintain good fluid intake.

Drink eight glasses of water every day. You can share it at dawn and break the fast.

4. Choose Foods with a Low Glycemic Index

Foods with a low glycemic index will not cause a drastic spike in blood sugar levels. Therefore, choose this type of food.

Some examples of foods with a low GI are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.

5. Avoid Overeating at Iftar

Fasting may make you weak all day. But when it’s time to break the fast, avoid overeating.

It is important to remember, calorie intake for diabetics should be limited. This is to prevent a drastic increase in blood sugar levels.

6. Stay away from foods that are high in carbohydrates and fat

Carbohydrates will be broken down into sugar when they enter the body. If consumed in excess during fasting, an increase in blood sugar levels can occur.

Meanwhile, foods with high fat can increase cholesterol and blood pressure. Both can interfere with heart health.

7. Consumption of Complete and Balanced Nutritious Foods

Fasting tips for diabetics are to choose healthy food intake, such as:

  • Vegetables: Examples of vegetables that can be consumed are broccoli, kale, and bitter melon.
  • Grains: The fiber in whole grains can help slow the absorption of food, thereby preventing dramatic spikes in blood sugar.
  • Dairy products: All dairy products are not broken down into sugar in the body, except for cheese.
  • Fruits: Consume whole fruits to get their fiber content.
  • Protein: Although it needs to be limited, protein intake is important for diabetics. You can add fish, meat, chicken to the menu for sahur and breaking the fast.

8. Limit Sweet Consumption

Sugar that enters the body will help restore energy after a day of fasting.

However, diabetics should limit sweet foods and drinks to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.

Also Read: Is it safe for diabetics to eat dates? This is the Rule

9. Don’t Miss Sahur Time

Diabetics are advised to consume complete and balanced nutritious food at dawn. So, don’t let laziness be the reason you miss your meal.

Food consumed at dawn will help provide energy reserves for the body. That way, you can undergo fasting smoothly.

10. Keep Exercise Routine

Diabetics who want to fast should still do regular exercise. This is important for keeping blood sugar levels within the normal range.

Do light exercise for 30 minutes between iftar and sahur. Be sure to avoid over-exercising.

Those are some fasting tips for diabetics that you should pay attention to. Knowing the fact that the risk of diabetes complications can increase due to fasting, make sure you talk to your doctor first.

  1. Anonymous. 2019. Important Tips for People with Diabetes in the Holy Month. https://www.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae/en/health-byte/pages/fasting-with-diabetes.aspx. (Accessed January 4, 2023).
  2. Anonymous. Diabetes and Ramadan. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/ramadan. (Accessed January 4, 2023).
  3. Anonymous. Diabetic Complications. https://www.upmc.com/services/diabetes-education-and-support/education/complications. (Accessed January 4, 2023).
  4. Al-Arouj, Monira, et al. 2005. Diabetes and Ramadan: 10 Tips for Fasting. https://diabetesjournals.org/care/article/28/9/2305/24199/Recommendations-for-Management-of-Diabetes-During. (Accessed January 4, 2023).
  5. Castro, M. Regina. 2021. Diabetes and fasting: Can I fast during Ramadan? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answers/diabetes-fasting/faq-20455907. (Accessed January 4, 2023).
  6. Rouhani, Mohammad H. & Azadbakht, Leila. 2014. Is Ramadan Fasting Related to Health Outcomes? A Review on the Related Evidence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4274578/. (Accessed January 4, 2023).

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