With one out of every five diabetic patients in the world being an Indian, the country is already touted as the diabetes capital of the world. Currently, about 6 crore Indians suffer from this disease, including over 10 lakh kids and teenagers with type I diabetes. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of diabetic patients in India is projected to touch 7 crore by 2025, and if you do not want to be one of them, then it’s time you take charge of your lifestyle to keep the disease at bay.
The main triggers
Contrary to popular belief, diabetes is not necessarily caused because of sweet intake, but can happen due to a hectic lifestyle, stress and tension, say doctors. “Just eating sweets and that too in moderation cannot lead to diabetes; however excessive use of sweets can lead to obesity, which may precipitate diabetes. Unhealthy lifestyle with very little physical activity, excessive mental stress, not getting adequate sleep and eating too much refined foods are the main triggers,” says nutritionist Neelanjana Singh of Heinz Nutri Life Clinic. “People with a family history of diabetes should be extra cautious,” warns Dr Vikas Ahluwalia of Max Super Speciality Hospital.
The Right diet
An ideal diet for a diabetic should be low in fat and carbohydrates and rich in fibre. Even if you are not diabetic, it’s always healthy to follow this diet. “Root vegetables and tubers like radish and potato, fruits like mangoes, bananas should be avoided. A diet full of green leafy vegetables, pulses, sprouts, soya (soya milk, soya paneer) is perfect,” says nutritionist Shivani Passi, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute. “Go for a fibre rich diet such as coarse grains, whole dals or legumes. Apple, guava, jamun and papaya are the best fruits. The cooking oil should be high in mono unsaturated fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids such as peanut oil, mustard oil, canola oil and olive oil,” recommends nutritionist Neelanjana Singh.
Symptoms to watch out for
Diabetics can also lead a normal life with a normal diet, only if their disease is detected on time. And, for timely detection, recognising the symptoms is very important. While the symptoms may vary from person to person, the usual signs include suddenly starting to pass urine more frequently than usual, which could even lead to loss of controlling the urge to urinate, and even bedwetting in extreme cases. One can even experience a sudden unexplained weight loss followed by weakness and lethargy. While some may also lose appetite, some start feeling excessively hungry. So, if you are off late feeling a bit too weak or lethargic to do even do stuff that you once enjoyed a lot, do not blame it on job stress. Instead, consult a doctor and check if it’s more than just a passing phase.
Diabetic-friendly oat bran muffin
Ingredients: 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup oat bran, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp grated orange zest, 1/3 cup grated jaggery, 1/2 cup condensed milk, 1/4 cup molasses or mild flavoured honey, 1 tsp pure vanilla essence, 2 tsp peanut oil, 1 1/4 cup milk, 1 cup raisins
Method: In a large bowl, mix the flour, oat bran, jaggery, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest. Simultaneously, in another bowl, mix the condensed milk, honey, vanilla, milk and peanut oil. Mix the ingredients of both the bowls together and mix well. Stir in the raisins. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees celsius and place the muffin rack. Line about 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Pour a ladle each of the batter to fill the muffin cups, and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cool it for a while and then serve.
(By Chef JP Bhatt, Bread & More)
Biggest myths about diabetes
1. Once you start taking medicines for diabetes, you can never leave them: It’s not true. Weight loss diet and regular exercise can help you to go off the medicines.
2. If a mother is diabetic, the child will also be diabetic: False. Diabetic parents have only 25% chances of getting a diabetic child. Not to forget, at times, it skips the generation too.
3. The insulin myths: Insulin is not a cure for diabetes. It’s only a treatment that is used to control blood sugar and glucose toxity. Also, if you think that since you are on insulin, you can eat anything, you are highly mistaken. You’ll still have to keep your diet under control along with regular exercise and weight reduction, in case you are obese.
(By Dr Vikas Ahluwalia, specialist Bariatric and Metabolic, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket)