7 tips to keep diabetes under control during Chinese New Year

Ms Kala Adaikan, Principal Dietitian, Department of Dietetics, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group, provides the following tips on keeping diabetes under control during Chinese New Year:

  1. Eat a healthy breakfast before starting your house visits

  2. Your breakfast should include complex (starchy) carbohydrates packed with lots of fibre (e.g. whole oats, multi-grain cereals, wholemeal bread), nuts and seeds. Starchy carbohydrates will release glucose into the blood stream at a slower rate compared to sugary foods.

  3. Set a limit to the amount of festive goodies you can eat in a day

  4. If you're unsure what limit you should set on the love letters and pineapple tarts, check with your doctor or your dietitian. Beware how easy the total carbohydrates consumed add up with every additional peanut cookie or kueh bangkit.

  5. Skip the sugary canned drinks

  6. Ask for tea, water or lemon water instead, or pick one with reduced sugar.

  7. Spread out the carbohydrates throughout the day

  8. Prevent sudden spikes in blood glucose levels by eating small, frequent meals.

  9. Cut down on your portions

  10. If you must have bak kwa, try a bite-size portion.

  11. Snack on fruits, seeds and nuts

  12. The complex (starchy) carbohydrates contained in fruits, seeds and nuts (e.g. sunflower seeds almonds, pumpkin seeds) will fill you up and make you less inclined to binge on the festive goodies.

  13. Walk more

  14. Exercise helps muscle cells to absorb blood glucose. So pick up your walking pace during the festive period. Walk 30 to 60 minutes every day.

Ref: S13