Some diseases can be silent predators, offering few or no warning signs to alert you early. One such disease is diabetes. Not only does diabetes affect almost 50. 8 million people in India, but 25 percent don’t even know they have it.
What Is Diabetes?
As food is digested, it is broken down into glucose (also known as sugar), which provides energy and powers our cells. Insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas, moves the glucose from the blood to the cells. However, if there is not enough insulin or the insulin isn’t working properly, then the glucose stays in the blood and causes blood sugar levels to rise.
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 result from the pancreas no longer being able to make insulin and is usually found in children, teens. The most common form of diabetes is type 2. Risk factors include being overweight; not getting enough physical activity; having a parent or sibling with diabetes; being African-American, Asian-American, Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander; being a woman who had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby who weighed more than nine pounds; having high blood pressure, having low HDL (good cholesterol) or high triglycerides; or having pre- diabetes.
Diabetes Diet : What is it all about?
Food can either promote diabetes or help prevent it, depending on how it affects the body’s ability to process glucose. People should avoid foods that cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels and those that raise cholesterol, such as processed foods, foods high in saturated fats or with trans fats, and foods with added sugars and syrups.
Processed foods as well as items high in fat or sugar not only can disrupt the balance between glucose and insulin, resulting in inflammation, but can also contribute to risk factors such as being overweight.
Carbs, too, need to be watched. While they are necessary to fuel the body, some carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels more than others. “The glycemic index GI measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose in the body. Low GI measure foods raise blood glucose levels in blood slowly and keep you full for longer. High GI foods on the other hand include foods which cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels and do not keep stomach full for sufficient time.
There is no specific diabetes diet. The important thing is to follow a meal plan that is tailored to personal preferences and lifestyle and helps achieve goals for blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, blood pressure, and weight management.
Research shows that both the amount and the type of carbohydrate in food affect blood glucose levels. Studies also show that the total amount of carbohydrate in food, in general, is a stronger predictor of blood glucose response than the GI. Dry beans and legumes, all non-starchy vegetables, and many whole-grain breads and cereals all have a low GI.
A Diabetes diet is virtually the same as a healthy diet for anyone. Eat reasonably sized portions to avoid gaining weight, and include Low GI fruits and vegetables; whole grains rather than processed ones; fish and lean cuts of meat; beans and legumes; and liquid oils. Limit saturated fats and high-calorie snacks and desserts like chips, cake, and ice cream, and stay away from trans fats altogether.
Thirty minutes of exercise most days of the week and losing 5 to 10 percent of body weight, if a person is overweight, are also crucial in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Finally, anyone experiencing frequent urination, extreme thirst or hunger, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, blurry vision, or frequent infections should see a doctor for a blood test to check for diabetes. With careful attention and healthy lifestyle choices, diabetes can be kept under control.
Timing of meals in a Diabetes Diet
Planning a Diabetes diet is not simply a matter of “what one eats”, but also when one eats. One should not give long gaps between meals. A gap of more than 3.5-4 hrs can instabilize body glucose levels and can be fatal to diabetics. Regular monitoring of one’s sugar levels before going to bed and after waking up can help one keep a check on the levels and act accordingly to avoid any fatal consequences. If one checks blood glucose at bedtime and find it to be low, for example below 6 millomoles, it is advisable to take some long-acting carbohydrate before retiring to bed to prevent night-time hypoglycaemia. So it is not only the quantity or quality of meals that is to be manages but also the timings of consuming meals which has to be taken care of. A well planned Diabetes diet with all these guidelines followed properly, can help a diabetic, lead a normal life with control over diabetes!
General health statistics are dwindling all over the world. The rate of health disorders caused by bad lifestyle is increasing. Diabetes and heart health are the leading causes of deaths around the world. India is on the brink of being called the World Diabetes Capital. People dont have to lose their lives due to them as both these conditions are preventable and reversible provided you adopt a healthy lifestyle.
What is a healthy lifestyle? It is a combination of healthy diet and exercise. There has been an increase in awareness amongst people at large when it comes to adopting a healthier lifestyle. Result of which can be seen around us where a reasonable amount of people are either eating well or leading an active life. The biggest catch in this is that if some people are exercising but might not paying attention to their diet and vice a versa. Infact some recent studies have shown that some people put on weight when they start exercising. Mostly its because people assume that now that they are exercising they can eat as much as they want to. In some cases it might have worked but would not sustain good health in the long run. Combination of eating right and exercise is the only valid & successful approach to being healthy.
They say its never too late. Fortunately most of the lifestyle health disorders are reversible if you start watching what you eat and taking some time out for exercise. Eating healthy does not mean reducing your calorie intake. It means being more conscious of the quality of food you are taking in instead of the quantity. Most of us consider ourselves intelligent to differentiate between unhealthy and healthy food habits. Some healthy habits are obvious but there are some habits that are unhealthy but not so obvious to us. These unaccounted for habits might be gradually causing a lot of harm to your system and reversing everything thing else right being done to lead a healthy lifestyle.
There are a million sources that talk about “eat this and not that”. But how many look into your current dietary pattern and understand what is actually good and what is not so good for you. To help you give a brief insight into your daily dietary intake experts at Fitho have created a special health tool called the “Health Assessment Report’ that does exactly that. And it gets better as this tool is completely free of cost. Read more
Salads are popularly known as the dieter’s delight. Unfortunately a lot of salads that are often promoted as healthy might not be as healthy as they appear. Infact sometimes might even carry double the amount of calories than a bowl of pasta! Its very easy to add calories to a dish but how do you make it equally easy to reduce them.
The secret to the calorie count of every salad is in the sauce. Four signs that make salad fattening are : creamy dressing, red meat like bacon toppings, oily dressings and lastly cheese. Your next question would be how to choose a healthy salad from the menu without compromising on the flavour of it. We have a few answers explained for you right here:
Combine fruits with vegetables for that extra flavour: Fruits contain natural sugar that adds flavour without burdening the salad with extra calories. It is also the best substitute for artificial sugar. Citrus fruits can be added to enhance the flavour and give it a tangy taste for more variety. Both fresh fruits and dried fruits add flavour, texture and nutritional benefit to the salad. This combination adds antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet. Besides the reduced calories your body is getting the best of nutrition packed in one meal! Read more
Eating meals timely is important to maintain the metabolism. Untimely meals, delayed meals or even skipping meals slows down the metabolism. What happens when the metabolism gets disturbed? Simple, you start putting weight. Everyone tries to start healthy by keeping breakfast options minimal and healthy. But by the time we reach lunch all the work or a busy day takes a toll over our lunch choices. We dont realize eating unhealthy food will only make things worse both in terms of being bad to the body but also adding stress to our lives. Eating processed and junk food leads to high cholesterol, disturbed sugar levels resulting in high blood pressure, hyper-tension and Type 2 Diabetes.
We suggest why develop bad habits when its as easy to develop good habits. This doesnt mean you have to punish yourself and live only on raw food and water. It means that if you start planning in advance you can be more conscious while packing lunch at home or eating out. Here are some healthy lunch options that you could carry it from your home or buy.
Vegetable besan cheela with low fat curd: This chick pea-flour pancake are packed with protein. It can be prepared in no time and at the same time its tasty as well as nutritious. Chick pea is said to be a good source of fiber and many other nutrients and low in fat. One best thing about this Besan Chilla is that it can be pretty much toyed around with to suit different tastes. You can change the veggies you add to it: mushrooms, green peppers, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, or spinach. One vegetable chilla gives aroun 120-140 calories.
Paneer/Chicken wheat flour Kathi Roll: Kathi Rolls are hot crispy rotis served with a choice of fillings. Use any combination of vegetables like paneer, mushroom, soya, corn or green peas to make these vegetarian rolls. For non veg fillings you could use chicken. These rolls are ideal for packed lunches as these are quite easy to prepare, pick and eat.The calories varies according to type of filling, But on an average 1 vegetable kathi roll provides around 195 calories. Read more
Increased body fat percentage and being overweight result in lifestyle disorders that cause heart disease, hypothyroid, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. Excessive saturated fat consumption increases the cholesterol levels in the body. Certain types of fat are bad for health and some are equally important which are commonly referred to us essential fat without which the body will fail to absorb and process nutrition in the body. Read here to know more about this.
The distribution of fat varies between gentics and gender. Women tend to store more subcutaneous fat which is under their skin. Distribution of fat in women is generally in their hips and thighs area while men tend to store more fat in the middle area or the abdomen. Once the person enters adolescence the fat cells don’t increase in number instead they only increase or decrease in size. Its the male and female hormone that decide the fat deposit destination in the body. For example women with big bellies are considered to have higher levels of testosterone ( male hormone) in their system that causes fat accumulation on the stomach. While if men have large hips its due to the high levels of estrogen (female hormone) in that body part.
We presume that fat people are more prone to metabolic disorder ( also known as lifestyle disorders) but a study by Ruth Loos at the Medical Research Council in the U.K. found that lean people with a specific genetic variant were equally at risk of diabetes, heart disease even though the reports confirmed lower fat percentage in the body. Read more
Strength training is anaerobic style of physical activity that increases the strength of muscles through resistance training, isometric training or weight lifting. The Strength training routine puts the muscles through short duration, high intensity activities that result is better performance and effective weight loss.
Strength training is safe for both men and women of all ages and can be worked according to one physical ability and benefits mental and emotional health. Strength training also helps people with health problems like diabetes, arthiritis, osteoporosis and heart diseases can benefit from it with a good exercise program made around their needs. Old people have many problems like knee pain, back pain which can be a problem in movements. Strength training with light exercise can slowly work on the problem and help you reduce the pain and become fit.
Working on your muscles has many advantages. Read more
We are all familiar with the concept of eating right. There is so much information about all sorts of healthy foods and their calorie value. There is enough being written about how vitamins are good for you and what are the rich sources of this nutrient. But rarely do we get to know the approximate quantity that is required by the body on a daily basis. What makes a balanced diet. To make it a little simpler for you we decided to give you an overview of what should make your daily dietary intake.
The key nutrients that are required for smooth functioning of the diet are proteins, fat, fiber, minerals, iron, carbohydrates, vitamins and calcium. A diet that includes all these essential nutrients, in correct portion, is known as a balanced diet. Based on the average calorie requirement for a male weighing 60kgs: 2700 or a female weighing 55 kgs:2100 here is a list of essential foods to maintain your weight :