PREVENT DIABETES!!

India has become the Diabetic Capital of the World. It is probably the most expected recognition as almost all my near and dear ones have Diabetes. A recent study said 1 in 5 Indians have Diabetes.An every 4th diabetic in the world is an Indian.There is an increase in the prevalence of diabetes all over the world. At the same time, there is an increase in the risk factors associated with diabetes like obesity,sedentary life habits and stress. Over the years we believe that diabetes is genetically transmitted or hereditary and has no cure, however we have never been told that it can be prevented. Before even prevention we need to identify the type of diabetes. There are three main types

1.Type 1 diabetes used to be known as insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM), or juvenile-onset diabetes as it often begins in childhood. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition where the immune system wrongly identifies and subsequently attacks the pancreatic cells that produce insulin, leading to little or no insulin production.

2.Type 2 diabetes used to be known as non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM) and adult onset diabetes, but it is increasingly common in children, largely due to children being more likely to be obese or overweight. In this condition, the body usually still produces some insulin, but this is not enough to meet demand and the body’s cells do not properly respond to the insulin. The latter effect is called insulin resistance, where persistently elevated blood glucose has caused cells to be overexposed to insulin, making them less responsive or unresponsive to the hormonal messenger.

3.Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnancy and typically resolves after childbirth. People who have experienced gestational diabetes do, however, have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.

Diabetic patient doing glucose level blood test using ultra mini glucometer and small drop of blood from finger and test strips isolated on a white background. Device shows 115  mg/dL which is normal

Only the type 1 is genetically transmitted while type 2 is because of our lifestyle and that can be prevented. To prevent we need to know how to identify if we are prone to it. There is a stage called pre-diabetic stage.The pre-diabetic stage is where the blood sugar is not normal but below the diabetic criteria of diabetes. There are two categories; one is impaired glucose tolerance where the value is between 140 and 199, and the diagnostic value is 200. The other stage is impaired fasting glucose where the fasting value is above 100 and below 126. People who belong to this category have a very high risk of developing diabetes over the years especially if the family has a history of diabetes.

Trials conducted all around the world have found that by lifestyle modification and by reducing the weight by 7 percent through physical activity, we can reduce the incidence of diabetes by 58 percent. We know that by controlling the risk factors on high risk individuals, you can reduce the prevalence of diabetes.If you have a family history of diabetes, and if you are a girl, you better start thinking about diabetes prevention at 20 to 25 as during pregnancy, you may test positive for diabetes. If you are a man and obese, you should start thinking about diabetes once you cross 25. If you are not obese, the disease may strike you only after 40. Family history of diabetes is a very important risk factor in all of us.

The big problem in hand. The information technology professionals. They are under tremendous stress at work.They don’t follow any timing, they have the pressure of deadlines, they have irregular meals, they work at night and they have only time to sit in front of the computer for hours and hours without any physical exercise.What can we do, first, don’t gain weight. Be active. More importantly, childhood obesity should be prevented. Obesity in childhood leads to obesity in adulthood.Health education should start from the school level. Awareness at a younger age can make a huge difference and children should be encouraged to indulge in physical activity. So thats about prevention.

What about who already have it.Before even giving tackling as to how to start diabetic diet,Some Myths about Diabetes and Their Diets

MYTH: A high-protein diet is best. 
Fact: Studies have shown that eating too much protein, especially animal protein, may actually cause insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes. A healthy diet includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our bodies need all three to function properly. The key is a balanced diet.

MYTH: You have to cut way down on carbs.
Fact: Again, the key is to eat a balanced diet. The serving size and the type of carbohydrates you eat are especially important. Focus on whole grain carbs since they are a good source of fiber and they are digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.

MYTH: You’ll no longer be able to eat normally. You need special diabetic meals.
Fact: The principles of healthy eating are the same—whether or not you’re trying to prevent or control diabetes. Expensive diabetic foods generally offer no special benefit. You can easily eat with your family and friends if you eat in moderation.

1.Chose Low GI Foods 

8 principles of low-glycemic eating

  • Eat a lot of non-starchy vegetables, beans, and fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and berries.
  • Even tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and papayas tend to have a lower glycemic index than typical desserts
  • .Eat grains in the least-processed state possible: “unbroken,” such as whole-kernel bread, brown rice, and whole barley, millet.
  • Limit white potatoes and refined grain products to small side dishes.
  • Limit concentrated sweets—including high-calorie foods with a low glycemic index, such as ice cream—to occasional treats. Eliminate sugar-sweetened drinks.
  • Eat a healthful type of protein at most meals, such as beans, fish, or skinless chicken.Choose foods with healthful fats, such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts), and avocados.
  • Limit saturated fats from dairy and other animal products. Completely eliminate partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats), which are in fast food and many packaged foods.
  • Have three meals and one or two snacks each day, and don’t skip breakfast.
  • Eat slowly and stop when full.

Adapted from Ending the Food Fight, by David Ludwig with Suzanne Rostler (Houghton Mifflin, 2008).

2.How to Include Sweets in your Diabetic Diet

If you have a sweet tooth the idea of giving up on sweets already leads to craving. Once you start eating healthy the cravings fade away. However you cans till wisely include sweets in the following ways

  • Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack. When eaten on their own, sweets and desserts cause your blood sugar to spike. But if you eat them along with other healthy foods as part of your meal, your blood sugar won’t rise as rapidly.
  • When you eat dessert, truly savor each bite. How many times have you mindlessly eaten your way through a bag of cookies or a huge piece of cake. Can you really say that you enjoyed each bite? Make your indulgence count by eating slowly and paying attention to the flavors and textures. You’ll enjoy it more, plus you’re less likely to overeat.

3.Healthy fats

The best fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant and fish sources and are liquid at room temperature. Primary sources include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and avocados. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health.

4.Eat at regularly set times

Your body is better able to regulate blood sugar levels—and your weight—when you maintain a regular meal schedule. Aim for moderate and consistent portion sizes for each meal or snack.

Don’t skip breakfast. Start your day off with a good breakfast. Eating breakfast every day will help you have energy as well as steady blood sugar levels.
Eat regular small meals—up to 5 per day. People tend to eat larger portions when they are overly hungry, so eating regularly will help you keep your portions in check.
Keep calorie intake the same. Regulating the amount of calories you eat on a day-to-day basis has an impact on the regularity of your blood sugar levels. Try to eat roughly the same amount of calories every day, rather than overeating one day or at one meal, and then skimping on the next.

 5.Exercise

One of the easiest ways is to start walking for 30 minutes five or more times a week. You can also try swimming, biking, or any other moderate-intensity activities—meaning you work up a light sweat and start to breathe harder.

Diabetes is on the rise, yet most cases are preventable with healthy lifestyle changes. Some can even be reversed. Taking steps to prevent and control diabetes doesn’t mean living in deprivation; it means eating a tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You don’t have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food. With these tips, you can still take pleasure from your meals without feeling hungry or deprived.

Happy Eating!!

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