There is no denying the fact that diabetes is on the rise in India and according to a recent study, the number of men and women suffering from diabetes has increased significantly in the past few years where there are several factors that contribute to this alarming trend. First, the Indian diet is increasingly becoming westernized, with more and more people consuming processed and junk food while secondly, sedentary lifestyles are becoming more common, with people spending more time indoors and less time being physically active and thirdly, obesity is also on the rise, with more and more people being overweight or obese.
All these factors contribute to the rise in diabetes cases in India and if this trend is not reversed, the number of diabetic patients in India is expected to increase dramatically in the years to come, which will put a huge strain on the already overburdened healthcare system in the country. It is therefore imperative that measures are taken to promote healthy lifestyles and to educate people about the risks of diabetes, only then can we hope to stem the rising tide of this disease in India.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Soumava Sengupta, CEO at BUILD, shared, “There are a few key things that one could do to manage their diabetes. While the symptoms and treatments may be different for men and women, the basic principles of managing diabetes are the same.” He revealed some tips to help you manage your diabetes:
1. Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein. There is some evidence that whey proteins can help in managing diabetes. It is rich in amino acids and is used to help build, and repair muscle mass. Some studies have shown that whey protein can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This means that it may help to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. For people with diabetes, it is important to include protein-rich foods in their diet and to spread protein intake throughout the day.
2. Exercise regularly to help keep blood sugar levels under control and improve overall health. Jogging, running, cycling, or even daily walks can be very useful to manage diabetes. Your muscles use sugar (glucose) as energy while you work out. Your body uses insulin more effectively when you exercise frequently.
3. Monitor blood sugar levels regularly and take insulin or medications as prescribed
4. Talk to a doctor about diabetes and any concerns you have
5. Avoid tobacco use, which can worsen diabetes symptoms and increase the risk of complications
Dr Subhash Kumar Wangnoo, Senior Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist at Apollo Centre for Obesity, Diabetes and Endocrinology of Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, asserted, “Lifestyle changes can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. Prevention is especially important if you’re currently at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes because of excess weight or obesity, high cholesterol, or a family history of diabetes. The maximum sugar recommended daily amount of sugar is 30g for adults – which works out to just about six teaspoons a day. Simple lifestyle changes can contribute towards the reduction of the consumption of excessive sugar in the diet.” According to him, this could include:
1. Instead of chocolate bars, sweets, cakes, and biscuits, choose healthier snacks such as unsweetened yogurts, unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.
2. Consumption of artificial sweeteners (in limited quantity) in place of sugar.
3. Keep an eye on reduced-fat foods. Many contain more sugar as food manufacturers add sugar to compensate for the altered taste and texture caused by the fat being removed.
4. Consumption of foods that are rich in soluble dietary fibre and magnesium like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, lentils and peas, beans, rajma, soya, whole grains, and seeds, etc. Research states that soluble dietary fibre has been demonstrated to slow down digestion and absorption and effectively reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
5. Fruits rich in vitamin C such as amla, guava, and citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruits, etc. should be consumed. They do not add much to your blood sugars and at the same time protect the patient from other complications.
6. Drink plenty of water (preferably with a tinge of lemon).
7. Limit the intake of caffeine, dry fruits, and fruit juices.
8. Nuts like peanuts and almonds can be taken in small portions as they are high in energy and low in sugar. Peas or beans with pods are of great benefit to diabetics.”
A few lifestyle changes and taking care of health can help manage diabetes. Eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and taking medication as prescribed can help manage diabetes and also help prevent diabetes complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. By following these tips, both men and women can manage their diabetes and stay healthy.