Jakarta, IO – When breaking their fast, many people choose extremely sweet dishes and drinks – iced fruit, martabak manis, cake, or fritters. All this sweet stuff risks spiking blood sugar levels. For diabetics, choosing what to eat during fasting is not easy, because they must watch what they ingest to control their blood sugar and maintain it at a normal range.
Then how do we maintain normal blood sugar levels amid the temptation of various goodies when fasting?
“Basically, ‘fasting’ is shifting mealtime from dusk to dawn, from about 18.00 p.m. to about 04.00 a.m., having a lower eating frequency with a shorter interval, as we need to sleep at night. Diet for diabetics is simplified as the ‘3Js’, jadwal or schedule, jumlah or amount, and jenis or type to prevent fluctuation of glucose levels, which in turn causes complaints and complication risks,” reported Dr. dr. Rita Ramayulis, DCN, M.Kes,, nutritionist and nutrition consultant practicing at the Royal Progress Sunter Hospital, North Jakarta, in the “Maintaining Stable Blood Sugar Level despite Fluctuating Temptations when Fasting” WhatsApp lecture organized on Wednesday (29/3/2023).
Diabetics must separate mealtimes into six parts when fasting. This will ensure that they have their nutritional needs satisfied while maintaining control of their blood sugar: breaking the fast, dinner, after tarawih prayers or right before bedtime, waking up for sahur meal, having the sahur meal, and nearing the imsak or fasting start time. “The purpose of having the sahur meal is to satisfy nutrient needs, provide energy sustainably from dawn to dusk, and to rehydrate the body. Consume intact fruit when you wake up for sahur. Then eat the sahur meal, which should comprise of complex carbohydrates with low to medium glycemic index, fish and tempeh protein side dish, and two types of vegetables. Add to this calcium and protein-rich milk,” Dr. Rita said.
The purpose of breaking the fast is to recover bodily fluids and normalize the level of the decreasing blood glucose. The fastest way to recover bodily fluid is by consuming high water content fruit and/or vegetables, consuming fluids that contain electrolytes, or consuming soups and other broths. To prevent blood sugar spikes, find sugary but fibrous foods, like bananas or papayas. Don’t consume fruit juice or sweet tea. Not only do they have no fibers, they tend to increase blood sugar level rapidly, and this endangers diabetics.
After performing salat maghrib or dusk prayers, then eat dinner. It’s the same composition as the sahur meal, but at a slightly bigger portion. Fill in half (50%) your plate with vegetables, 2-3 portions of (animal) protein (30%), with the remaining 20% for carbohydrates, with potatoes, corn, red sweet potato, or purple sweet potato for choice. Between meals, snack on small portions of intact fruit. Proper eating patterns will help you control your blood glucose level, improve the quality of your life, and prevent risk of complications.