World Diabetes Day: On November 14, World Diabetes Day is universally celebrated.
This day is meant to raise awareness about diabetes, a condition which is widely common in India.
Diabetes is essentially referred to a group of diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood.
Type 1, Type 2 and gestational diabetes are the three kinds of diabetes. In case of type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks and destroys cells in your pancreas that make insulin.
Children and young adults usually suffer from type 1 diabetes, but it can occur at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections every day.
Type 2 diabetes is the more common form of diabetes. Poor lifestyle and being overweight puts you at risk of type 2 diabetes. The body is unable to make insulin well in case of this kind of diabetes. Losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle can reverse type 2 diabetes.
Gestational diabetes: This is the kind of diabetes that develops in pregnant women. Mostly, this kind of diabetes goes after childbirth. However, women with gestational diabetes are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Living a healthy lifestyle is an essential prerequisite to managing and regulating blood sugar and diabetes. This includes eating healthy, being regular with exercise, including strength training in your fitness routine, maintaining a healthy weight and much more.
We speak to nutritionist Sheela Krishnaswamy about some effective lifestyle measures to control diabetes and she says, “Blood sugar regulation is important for diabetes management. It tends to shoot up after a meal, hence what diabetes eat plays a huge role in blood sugar regulation.”
Lifestyle tips for blood sugar control in diabetes
1. A well-managed diet with a balance of carbs, protein, fat and fibre.
2. Foods that are rich in protein and fibre can be helpful. Almonds, fresh fruits and vegetables, walnuts, seeds, sprouts, whole grains etc are all examples of foods rich in fibre.
3. Check your blood sugar levels several times in a day to ensure that your numbers are fibre.
4. Diet needs to be modified according to the severity of the disease, a person’s weight, eating habits etc. But roughly, “diabetics can have cereal with milk and a fruit for breakfast; roti, dal, sabzi along with dahi or raita for lunch; handful of almonds or sprouts for an evening snack; your dinner can be similar to lunch, but in smaller quantities,” recommends Sheela.
5. Avoid refined carbs like maida and refined sugar. High-fat foods also need to be off the table for diabetics.
6. Include more complex carbs in your diet, but in controlled proportions.
7. Stay away from aerated drinks and beverages if you have diabetes.
8. Avoid exercising on an empty stomach, unless their blood sugar levels are under control. Have a light snack before workout if you have diabetes and workout in the morning.
9. Quit smoking and alcohol.
10. Exercise regularly and be physically active. Make sure you include strength training in your fitness routine.
This World Diabetes Day, pledge to check your blood sugar levels regularly and consult a qualified dietitian if your condition is not under control.