Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. It affects both adults and children. Here are some diabetes-related queries answered for you.
Diabetes runs in my family. My father is a Type II diabetic. Is there something I can do to avoid getting the disease?
You may be genetically predisposed to diabetes, but you can postpone the disease depending upon your food choices and lifestyle. Avoid maida, sugar, fruit juices, white rice, pasta, noodles, chocolates etc. Switch to brown rice, whole wheat bread, chapatis made from jowar and bajra and whole wheat instead. Increase your intake of both raw and cooked vegetables. Switch to soya milk or drink low fat cow’s milk or curd. Non-vegetarians can eat eggs, fish and chicken.
Incorporate an exercise routine like a brisk walk four to five times a week for 30-40 minutes. Keep yourself at an ideal weight as gaining weight can increase your risk of precipitating diabetes. Above all, keep stress under control as prolonged tension can raise cholesterol, leading to high blood pressure and diabetes.
A lot of my diabetic friends consume fenugreek (methi) seeds. How does it help tocontrol blood glucose?
Methi has been used since ancient times to manage diabetes and cholesterol. It is rich in fibre and clinical tests (on animals) show that it can bring down blood glucose and cholesterol. It also helps to improve digestion and reduces phlegm. One teaspoon of methi seed powder taken twice a day before meals for a month may help reduce blood glucose levels in some diabetics.
Are eggs bad for health for a person suffering from diabetes?
If you have normal cholesterol and are leading an active healthy lifestyle, you can eat one egg four times a week without worrying about its cholesterol content. Eggs are rich in nutrients and are highly beneficial to health. They have the best quality protein and help to even out blood sugar. Eggs are therefore highly beneficial for those suffering from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). When they’re eaten with a high fibre cereal like whole wheat bread or a
chapati (whole wheat), the patient does not experience hypoglycemia from breakfast to lunch.
However if you have a family history of high cholesterol or if you have high cholesterol, then it is wise to either avoid eggs completely or stick to egg whites only.
-By Dr Anjali Mukerjee
(Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and the founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre.)