Managing diabetes in Ramadan 2024: 15 nutritious Sehri ideas for diabetics - Hindustan Times

Managing diabetes in Ramadan 2024: 15 nutritious Sehri ideas tailored for diabetics along with recipes to balance sugar

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Mar 12, 2024 09:00 PM IST

Sehri recipes for diabetics to fuel healthy Ramadan 2024: Here are 15 tasty, nourishing, diabetes-safe Suhoor options for Ramadan fasting to balance blood sugar

For those with diabetes and observing Ramadan fast, it is crucial to opt for Sehri or Suhoor choices that offer sustained energy and help regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day. Monitoring portion sizes and being mindful of the glycemic index of foods can aid in managing blood sugar levels effectively during Ramadan.

Managing diabetes in Ramadan 2024: 15 nutritious Sehri ideas tailored for diabetics along with recipes to balance sugar (Photo by Pinterest)
Managing diabetes in Ramadan 2024: 15 nutritious Sehri ideas tailored for diabetics along with recipes to balance sugar (Photo by Pinterest)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Subrata Das, HOD, Internal Medicine and Diabetology at Sakra World Hospital, suggested some nutritious Sehri options tailored for diabetics along with recipes -

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1. Whole Grain Upma with Fresh Fruit: Cook whole grain upma (semolina or bulgur wheat or dalia) with water or vegetable broth until soft and fluffy. Top the upma with a variety of fresh fruits such as diced mangoes, pomegranate seeds, or sliced bananas. Optionally, enhance with a sprinkle of chaat masala or crushed roasted peanuts for a savory twist.

2. Vegetable Egg Omelette: Prepare a vegetable egg omelette by whisking whole eggs and egg whites until well combined. Incorporate diced vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms into the egg mixture. Cook the omelette in a non-stick skillet coated lightly with olive oil or cooking spray until the eggs are fully set and cooked through.

3. Yogurt Chaat: Combine plain yogurt with sliced fruits such as papaya, pomegranate seeds, or diced apples. Sprinkle with crushed nuts like almonds or pistachios, and add roasted seeds like pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Optionally, drizzle with a teaspoon of honey or a pinch of chaat masala for flavor. This option provides protein from yogurt, healthy fats from nuts and seeds, and fiber from fruits.

5. For a diabetes-friendly smoothie: Blend together spinach, kale, cucumber and a small portion of berries for sweetness. Add unsweetened almond milk or Greek yogurt for creaminess, and a dash of cinnamon or ginger for flavor. Optionally, include a tablespoon of chia seeds or flaxseeds for added fiber and healthy fats. Enjoy this nutrient-packed smoothie as a refreshing and blood sugar-friendly beverage.

6. Chia Seed Pudding: Mix chia seeds with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk in a container. Incorporate a dash of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Refrigerate the mixture overnight until it thickens to a pudding-like consistency, then garnish with sliced fruits and nuts before serving.

Dr Subrata Das asserted, “Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water between iftar and sehri is essential. Also, adjusting medication timing to align with fasting and meal times may be necessary, but medications should be taken as prescribed. At the end, it's important to note that individuals with a history of allergies to any of the ingredients should refrain from consuming this dish. Additionally, consulting a doctor to adjust medication doses for better suitability during Ramadan, ensuring blood sugar control while preventing hypoglycemia, is advisable.”

According to Dr Rajeshwari Panda, HOD, Nutrition and Dietetics Department at Medicover Hospitals in Navi Mumbai, Sehri or the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan, is crucial for individuals with diabetes as it helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. She advised some Sehri options and recipes tailored for diabetics -

  1. Vegetable Omelette:

· Beat together eggs with chopped vegetables such as spinach, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions.

· Cook in a non-stick pan with a small amount of olive oil or cooking spray.

· Season with herbs and spices like black pepper, cumin, and coriander.

2. Moong Dal Cheela (Pancakes):

· Soak split moong dal overnight, then grind it into a smooth batter.

· Add chopped vegetables like spinach, onions, and tomatoes to the batter.

· Cook small pancakes on a non-stick pan with minimal oil.

· Serve with mint chutney or a side of Greek yogurt.

3. Vegetable Upma:

· Dry roast semolina (rava) until lightly golden.

· Sauté onions, green chilies, and mixed vegetables like carrots, peas, and bell peppers in a pan with minimal oil.

· Add the roasted semolina and water, then cook until the upma is fluffy and fully cooked.

· Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot.

4. Sprouts Salad:

· Mix together sprouted lentils like moong or chana with diced cucumber, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers.

· Season with chaat masala, black salt, and lemon juice.

· Enjoy as a light and refreshing Sehri option.

5. Whole Wheat Chapati with Paneer Bhurji:

· Prepare a filling of crumbled paneer cooked with onions, tomatoes, and spices like turmeric, cumin, and coriander.

· Serve with whole wheat chapatis or parathas.

· Add a side of sliced cucumber and mint raita for a cooling effect.

6. Dalia (Broken Wheat) Porridge:

· Cook dalia with water or low-fat milk until soft and creamy.

· Add a pinch of cinnamon and cardamom for flavor.

· Sweeten with a small amount of jaggery or stevia, if desired.

· Top with sliced almonds or walnuts for added crunch.

7. Masoor Dal Soup:

· Cook masoor dal (red lentils) with water, turmeric, and salt until soft.

· Temper with cumin seeds, garlic, and curry leaves in a separate pan.

· Mix the tempered spices into the cooked dal to enhance flavor.

· Serve hot as a comforting and nutritious Sehri option.

8. Vegetable Poha:

· Rinse flattened rice (poha) and drain well.

· Sauté mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chilies, and chopped vegetables like potatoes, peas, and carrots in a pan with minimal oil.

· Add the rinsed poha and cook until heated through.

· Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with a side of plain yogurt.

9. Low-Sugar Fruit Chaat:

· Mix together diced fruits like apples, oranges, pears, and kiwi.

· Sprinkle it with chaat masala, black salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

· Enjoy this flavourful fruit salad as a refreshing Sehri option.

She concluded, “These Sehri options offer a mix of fiber-rich whole grains, protein-packed lentils and dairy, and a variety of vegetables and fruits, all essential for managing blood sugar levels effectively. Adjust spices and seasonings according to personal taste preferences, and remember to monitor portion sizes to maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day. Avoid sugar, honey and jaggery.”

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