Individuals with existing morbidities should adopt healthy fasting practices this Navratri

New Delhi, 30th March 2017: There is a lot of hustle bustle around, as the festive season is setting up. And we all know that Navratri marks the festive season, which is an auspicious 9-day period for Hindu devotees. Fasting, worshipping and playing dandiyaare a few important things that matter the most during this period. From kids to elders, you see almost everyone indulging in the 9-day fast schedule that is observed during the festival.

But sometimes, people end up ignoring their health because they believe in adhering to the strict fasting norms like eating once a day, staying without water till the last mean, consuming salt once a day and only consuming potato-based meals. The strict fasting practices do not suit individuals who are suffering from long-term chronic diseases like heart ailments, diabetes and blood pressure or for that matter pregnancy. They can all cause life-threatening complications for such patients and must be observed with caution and post-consultation with the treating doctor.


Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President IMA in a  statement said, “Fasting has many positive impacts on one’s health if an optimum level of nutritional intake are maintained. For patients who have heart issues, we recommend that they don’t eat fried foods like potato pakoras, fried potatoes and processed potato chips. Diabetics must immediately end their fast if the body’s blood sugar level falls below 60 mg. They must also drink ample amounts of fluid given that dehydration can lead to paralysis and heart attacks. The risks associated with fasting are low in patients with Type 2 diabetes. However, patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes should not fast. Fasting in chronic patients must be done in strict consultation with the doctors since the dosage of regular medicines may need to be reduced by 40-50% during fasts.”

A few healthy fasting tips during the Navratri include

  • Lauki Raita can be consumed instead of plain curd
  • One can eat almonds (badam) in between as snacks
  • Stuffed kuttu (buckwheat) roti with pumpkin (kaddu) vegetable should be consumed
  • Ample fruits should be consumed at regular intervals to maintain nutrient levels
  • Both chestnut flour and buckwheat flours can be combined as a healthy option
  • Singhara is not a cereal but a fruit and hence a good substitute for a Navratri fast where cereals are not to be eaten
  • A gluten free product, chestnut flour is an ideal food option for people with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances or allergies

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