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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014
The lifestyle disease
Shikha Sharma, Hindustan Times
March 01, 2013
First Published: 18:02 IST(1/3/2013)
Last Updated: 20:48 IST(2/3/2013)

Diabetes is perceived as a lifestyle ailment, which means that it is the offshoot of unhealthy living habits. Experts say that our genes can give us a disposition that is likely to become diabetic only if we don’t follow a healthy lifestyle. Or, in other words, the disease can be tackled if we take good care of our health.

The three main parameters to keep in mind in order to control diabetes include right nutrition, regular exercise |and keeping stress levels under control. 

Healthy Diet

CHOOSE: Opt for oils from a healthy source instead of refined oils.
Healthy nutrition doesn’t end just with avoiding sweets. It also involves giving the body all the nutrients it needs to fight the progress of diabetes. This means that a diabetic person must consume adequate amounts of nutrition-dense foods.

Foods which are rich in vitamins, minerals and micronutrients can came in a variety of forms.

The right oils: Get your oils from a healthy source rather than eating foods laden with refined oils. Choose nuts and seeds, which have oil in its natural state, without the effects of disruptive processing methods. Other healthy sources of oil include flaxseeds, white and black sesame (til), almonds, pine nuts (chilgoza) and sunflower seeds.


Herbal juices:
Go for herbal juices such as wheatgrass, aloe vera, and a mixed vegetable concoction that includes spirulina, bottle gourd, ginger, amla, tulsi, mint, spinach and tomato.

Sprout power:
Sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrients and people who fry sprouts kill their nutritional value. As a rule, sprouts should be eaten fresh. If you don’t like the taste of fresh sprouts, then just blanch them (put the sprouts in a sieve and pour boiling water through it) to make them more hygienic, softer and hence, more palatable. Add chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumber, green chillies, chaat masala and a dash of lemon juice to make this dish delicious.

Work It Out
Keep It Fresh: Sprouts should be eaten fresh and not fried at all
Regular exercise has a direct bearing on sugar levels. When we exercise, it is easy to keep blood sugar levels under control, but if we stop exercising, the levels begin to fluctuate. Exercising and leading an active lifestyle are an important part of diabetes management. Whether it is walking, jogging, sprinting, swimming, or any other sport, choose your regime depending upon your preference.

Take It Easy
Keeping stress levels under control is also essential for diabetes management. We can achieve this through yoga, pranayam, breathing exercises, music therapy or meditation. Employ a judicious mix of nutrition, exercise and stress management to prevent diabetes from spinning out of control.

What to watch out for
Beware of these related complications in your day-to-day life if you are diabetic:

Remember that wounds may take more time than usual to heal. So strictly follow the complete course of medication prescribed by your doctor. Be extra careful if you sustain a foot injury.


Taking care of the health of your feet is crucial for diabetics.


This might involve wearing the right kind of shoes to prevent corns and calluses, keeping the webbing between toes dry and wearing socks to prevent cuts and infections.


Read the fine print on possible reactions and effects before taking any over-the-counter medicines.


During pregnancy, diabetics might require special care and supervision. Alert your doctor once pregnancy has been confirmed.

Get your eyesight checked at regular intervals. Over the years, high blood sugar impacts the eyes the most. Similarly, getting urine checked for diabetes-related complications is equally important.

To pre-empt any problems, you should also see your dentist regularly.

Diabetics who have an erratic eating schedule and need to take insulin must make themselves aware of the symptoms of hypoglycaemia, and keep some food items handy as a precautionary measure.

Avoid getting a tattoo or a body piercing.

From HT Brunch, March 3
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