There was a recent report in Gulf Newspaper that as many as 20 per cent of Indians are diabetic. A report published by the International Diabetes Federation indicated that 19.3 per cent of the population in the UAE between the aged of 20 and 79 already had type II diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that can lead to many complications and is the scourge of the modern age.
There are many myths about what you need to do if you intend to prevent the onset of diabetes or manage it if you already have it. Having the disease does not mean that you have to eat tasteless unseasoned food for the rest of your life. If you take a few prudent steps, you can live a long, healthy life even if you have diabetes. The key as in all cases is moderation and greater awareness about what is good for you and what is not.
Almost all doctors agree that one of the major things you can do to stave off diabetes is lose weight. Though it is easier said than done, losing even 5 to 10 per cent of your total body weight can help you reduce blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Losing weight not only helps you look good but it also boosts your confidence, energy and general health.
People who have an apple shape and hence more belly fat are more susceptible to diabetes than their pear shaped buddies. Hence abdominal weight is dangerous and is linked closely to both heart disease and diabetes. To cut belly weight, it is advisable to avoid all food containing added sugar like candy, fizzy drinks, doughnuts and even the cereal and granola bars that deceptively look healthy. Exercise too can go a long way towards maintaining a healthy weight and lowering your risk for diabetes.
In the event that you do end up being diagnosed with diabetes, you really need no special foods. The key is to look out for hidden sugars and to plan your meals properly. Healthy desserts made from all kinds of delicious fruits are fine. Even so-called fatty foods like flax seeds, whole milk, avacados and raw nuts are good as they are considered to be healthy fats. You don’t need to avoid carbohydrates altogether. What matters is the kind of carbohydrates you take in. Wholegrain carbs instead of simple carbs and those that are digested more slowly so that insulin levels do not spike should be at the top of your list. When it comes to proteins, it is good to stick to a high-protein diet though it is best not to have too much animal protein. Fish, shellfish, chicken and turkey can be cooked to create a number of delicious meals. As far as possible, try and avoid processed and red meat and packaged meals with lots of processed food. When it comes to carbs, white bread, refined pastas, rice and sugary cereals are the foods to avoid.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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