The holy month of Ramadan concludes after the new moon is sighted, with a celebration that includes special prayers, shared family meals, and socializing.
However, in recent years, there are more reports of people overeating during iftar (breaking of fast) or during Hari Raya Aidilfitri as the mind’s natural reaction is to take in as much food as possible to compensate for a whole day of fasting as the body is starving.
Whenever Hari Raya (or any other festive season) comes around, so do a slew of special foods and snacks that are associated with the season. What is Hari Raya without these sweet treats? If you visit Muslim homes on Hari Raya Aidilfitri you can expect to taste a wide variety of delicious dishes, cookies and drinks. The variety of savory foods like beef or chicken rendang, ketupat, lontong, lemang, serunding and other home-cooked delicacies served during the season is tempting for anyone to over indulge.
That being said, it is hard to avoid overindulging as Malaysians generally love foods that are high in salt, sugar and fat. In light with the festive season, these mouthwatering delights will definitely pose a dietary challenge to most, especially people who have diabetes or prediabetes – the precursor to diabetes.
What is Pre-Diabetes?
While diabetes is a major public health concern in Malaysia with the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) escalating to 20.8% in adults. Unfortunately, 20% of the Malaysian population is unaware that they are prediabetes - a condition where your blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be labelled as (type 2) diabetes. If no action is taken for prediabetes, 90% of them will soon become diabetics.
If you have 2 or more of the below symptoms, you might be at risk of the condition called prediabetes
• Difficulties in losing weight
• Weight gain even with very little food
• Constantly feeling hungry
• Always feeling tired and fatigue for no reason
• Craving for sweet stuff
• Borderline blood sugar level
Why does Raya Food worsen blood sugar control?
In general, traditional Hari Raya dishes are often high in carbohydrates, sugar, and fat and can be harmful for your health when consumed in large quantities. Hari Raya is not a ticket to 'eat as you like', and people who are suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes or having borderline blood sugar level should abstain from overeating these dishes.
They should discipline themselves for the sake of their health. Those who throw caution to the wind will have to pay dearly if their health problems get worse.
The main culprit that causes uncontrolled blood sugar level is due to body’s inability to effectively store sugar in the blood into muscles to be used up effectively, whereby sugar are then stored excessively as fats, especially around the waists and fat tissues.
The condition is known as insulin resistance.
Once you have become insulin resistant, your pancreas will have to start pumping out ever larger amounts of insulin to bring down your blood sugar level. Higher insulin means more fat storage, particularly around the tummy (abdominal fat). As time passes, the pancreas starts to get fatigue and malfunctions, and that is when diabetes starts to develop.
What can you do for your uncontrolled blood sugar level during the festival?
Whether you have diabetes or prediabetes, the ultimate primary goal is to keep it under control. While it is almost impossible to abstain from all the delicious dishes during this festive season, you must control your intake of food high in sugar, fat and salt content.
In fact, all meals should be prepared using healthier ingredients. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, you should always control the portion size by using smaller plates and not to overindulge.
Apart from diet modulations, there is also a simple and natural way to help control your blood sugar level, which is by taking supplement. One of the most promising supplements is by taking bitter melon.
The MYTHS & FACTS of Bitter Melon
Bitter melon (also known as Momordica charantia or bitter gourd) is a plant that gets its name from its taste. Rich in many nutrients, bitter melon is classified as a super-food that has been widely used by people all around the world for both food and traditional medicine for centuries.
Traditionally, the fruit, leaves, stems, and roots of bitter melons have been used for many conditions such as diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, ulcers, kidney stones, liver disease, cancer, infections, psoriasis, menstrual problems, skin infections and wounds. Out of all its benefits, bitter melon is actually most frequently used to prevent diabetes.
Despite its many claims, scientific research was unfortunately unable to establish strong evidence on the anti-diabetes benefits of bitter melon. How bitter melon works still remain unclear until now.
Insumate® - Proven for Better FAT & BLOOD SUGAR control
Insumate® is derived from a Taiwan native species of green bitter melon, different from other bitter melon sold in supermarkets. It’s a well-researched patented extract with special peptide fragment extracted from the bitter melon using special technology.
Scientists found that Insumate® helps to regulate the body’s usage of blood sugar and fats through reducing the body’s resistance to Insulin - a blood sugar regulating hormones produced by the pancreas.
Unlike others bitter melon products that mainly mimics the effects of insulin and making pancreases to create more insulin, Insumate® works uniquely by helping the body to be more sensitive to insulin.
With this unique action, it can reduce insulin resistance and the burden of pancreas, and ultimately help to improve blood sugar and fats. By adding Insumate® during this festive season, it can help you monitor the blood sugar level better during the festival and prevent uncontrolled sugar level from happening .
Studies show that Insumate® is able to
· Reduce body fats ( reduce weight )
· Benefit fasting blood glucose within 1 month
· Work together with diabetic medications for better blood sugar control
A clinical trial reported that a combination of Insumate® to 2 other diabetes medications is proven to show better insulin control in subjects added with Insumate® , proven that Insumate® is a safe product for patients not just with pre-diabetes but also diabetes.