Health & Wellness

Diabetes: How to manage your lifestyle?

According to a latest study one in 8 Indian adults either has or is at high-risk of Diabetes.

One in 8 Indian adults either has or
is at high-risk of Diabetes. According to the IDF Diabetes Atlas 4th edition, India has the second highest number of people with Diabetes at 5 crore (50 Million) adults. In addition to this, 4 crore (40 million) Indians have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), which means they are at high-risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Some key Diabetes facts underlining the serious impact of Diabetes in India:

• Due to South Asian ethnicity, Indians are genetically predisposed to Diabetes. Therefore, people with type 2 Diabetes should not be blamed for their condition.
• Diabetes affects Indians a decade earlier than Europeans.
• The prevalence of Diabetes in urban areas is twice as high as rural areas

"There is mounting evidence showing that diabetes and its complications are threatening India's economic progress and development. The World Health Organization predicts diabetes and cardiovascular disease will drain the Indian economy of Rs. 100,000 crores each year in lost national income by 2015," says
Dr. Shaukat Sadikot, President - Diabetes India and Vice President - International Diabetes Federation. He adds, "Diabetes is no longer merely a condition that usually affects only the rich and elderly. Due to sedentary lifestyles, mass urbanization and changing diets, diabetes is affecting people at a younger age.

Additionally, Diabetes is also considered to be at the centre of the metabolic syndrome that encompasses other disorders such as Obesity, Cardiovascular Health and Hypertension." Dr. Sadikot points out that a few simple lifestyle practices can help in diabetes prevention. For example, if one's waist size in more than 90 cm, the person is 5 times at risk of contracting diabetes and must get himself checked at once. Similarly, if the family has a person with diabetes, the other adults in the household are likely to be predisposed to the condition and must get checked for blood sugar levels.

The role of Lifestyle

Studies indicate that the high incidence of Diabetes in the country is mainly because of sedentary lifestyle, limited physical activity, obesity, stress and consumption of unhealthy diets. Although there are increasing noise levels around Diabetes, yet awareness levels around making the right choices in lifestyle are relatively low. Diabetes is posing a serious lifestyle challenge and needs immediate attention. It needs building awareness for Diabetes prevention and management, and creating expert solutions/ products than can be included in the lifestyle of a person with Diabetes.

What is right eating?
Lifestyle management in Diabetes needs to cover regular physical activity, disciplined medication and a balanced diet that should also include Healthy snacking. "Diet changes in Lifestyle need to begin with healthy eating, which needs to be well planned. Well balanced meals and regular intake of smaller portions at frequent intervals are essential to diet management when one has diabetes. Healthy snacking is imperative in between meals in helping keep blood sugar levels stable." says Dr. Sadikot.

Sugar free is not enough
Besides helping cut sugar intake, a Diabetic Friendly snack must also ensure that it does not create extreme swings in blood sugar levels. Diabetic Friendly snacks should be created keeping exactly the same need in mind to keep a person feeling satisfied and active for longer.

Ideally, Diabetic snack should have
Zero Added Sugar: High Sugar is an important risk factor for people with Diabetes.
Zero Cholesterol: A person with Diabetes is more likely to have cholesterol abnormalities that contribute to cardiovascular diseases.
Zero Trans Fats: Trans Fats tend to raise the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Extra Dietary Fibre: A combination of soluble and insoluble fibres that delay glucose absorption preventing extreme swings in blood sugar levels.
Complex Carbohydrates: Complex Carbohydrates are considered healthier because they are digested by the body slowly, providing a steady source of energy.

Tags: diabetes in india, sugar free, the role of lifestyle

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