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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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July 2016: Plan your Eid celebrations now, advises Diabetes UK

As the month of Ramadan draws to a close later this week, Muslims will be preparing to celebrate Eid. 

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Eid is a major occasion and celebrations involve lots of food which can create a challenge for people with diabetes, but having the condition doesn’t mean traditional festive foods are forbidden. Just like everyone else celebrating, high fat and high sugar foods, such as barfi and rasmalai, can be enjoyed in moderation.

Throughout the day, it’s best to eat foods that are absorbed relatively slowly, such as basmati rice, chickpeas and dhal or biryani. These types of foods, and fruits and vegetables, can help keep blood glucose levels more stable during the celebrations. If you monitor your blood glucose levels at home, don’t forget to test more regularly during the festivities to make sure they don’t get too high.

You can make some small changes to make traditional recipes healthier, for example replace sugar with sweetener and use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk instead of full fat milk. Choose healthier desserts such as fruit salads and low fat fruit yoghurt.

Practical tips on shopping for food, meal planning and healthy swaps are available in the Diabetes UK Enjoy Food guide, which also offers nutritional advice, recipes and ideas for making traditional dishes and drinks healthier, such as sprinkling finely chopped coriander seeds on top of lassi for extra flavour.

It’s accessible in combined English, Urdu and Gujarati and aims to support South Asian families with diabetes to shop, cook and eat well. People from Black, South Asian and Middle Eastern communities are two to four times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.

To order the guide and to find out more about food in general, visit the Enjoy Food pages.

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