Is fasting during Navratri good for diabetic patients?

Dr Pradeep Gadge shares whether fasting is good for diabetic patients, and if a patient opts for fasting, then how to do it in a right way.


Navratri has a special place many people, and they welcome it with great enthusiasm, many people prefer fasting during the fest. Due to religious and scientific beliefs, these nine days are said to be the best for fasting.

For a diabetic patient, fasting during Navratri is not mandatory, it is a personal choice. A diabetic patient, should neither overtly indulge in festive food, nor fast for the entire nine days.

However, it is advisable that you should not opt for fasting. It is crucial that you eat food in shorter durations to maintain your blood sugar levels. Therefore, going without food for a long time wouldn’t do any good to your health.

It would be a good idea to have slow absorbing foods (which have a low glycaemic index) before one begins the fast. Choosing this type of foods will keep one filled up, and keep your blood glucose levels more even during the course of the fast. Fruits, vegetables, and salad can be included.

Diabetic patients, who rely on insulin may experience low blood glucose levels during the day. One must avoid high-calorie food once the fast is over. High-calorie food can increase blood glucose levels immediately.

Diabetic patients, who take insulin, may experience low blood glucose levels during the day, however, after the fast, there is a risk of over-eating. Traditionally, one is inclined to overeat which can be dangerous.

Do not rely on tea or coffee, when it comes to hot drinks. If fasting makes you weak drink plenty of water and sugar-free beverages such as lemonade, coconut water, and buttermilk, avoid beverages with caffeine as they can dehydrate you, and can lead to further complications.

Consult your doctor and get the right advice before opting for fasting. Fasting would require the person to alter the dosage of insulin as well. It is best to consult your general physician.