Diabetes is an epidemic. There is absolutely no doubt about it. And an even bigger problem is that it is getting younger – with people even in their twenties now getting affected. November 14th every year is celebrated as World Diabetes Day, so this is a good time to learn how to prevent it. As it is, there is no cure for this disorder (it can only be managed), so prevention is definitely the better route to follow. Follow these 9 ways to keep it at bay:
Maintain a healthy weight. Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy body weight helps insulin work better in your body and that keeps blood sugar stable and the risk of pre diabetes (and thereon diabetes) low. In fact losing even 5-6 kgs delivers a much reduced risk.
Have 3 main meals with 2 snacks in between. Keep your portions small. Handy tip for correct portion control: cereals and protein – the size of your palm (for example 1 medium size egg, 2 chapattis). Fill up the rest of the plate with vegetables and green leafy salad.
Swap half of your white refined grains for whole grains, which deliver complex carbohydrates and are also a gold mine of nutrient and fibre. Try whole wheat, dalia, jowar, ragi, bajra, unpolished rice, amaranth. These breakdown more slowly to release glucose in blood and the presence of extra fibre also slow down the glucose absorption.
Keep a tight lid on sugar intake, both table sugar as well as that hidden surreptitiously in processed foods. Learn to read the labels carefully and work deliberately to cut down your sweet tooth. Excess sugar indirectly leads to an increased risk for diabetes, so is best kept as ow as possible.
Choose your oils carefully. Swap your dalda and butter for olive oil and vegetable oils (use a judicious mix of oils, changing every now and then to harness all their benefits)and get a steady and balanced supply of good mono unsaturated (MUFA) and poly unsaturated (PUFA) fats.
Keep a tight watch on your numbers and control them consciously. Work toward lowering blood pressure and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and boosting HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Careful eating and regular exercise both help.
Consciously try to reduce your stress levels. Stress is a major cause of many men now disorders, including diabetes. So learn to relax for some time each day. Keep some me time out, where you can listen to music, meditate or read. Yoga, meditation and tai-chi classes also help.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes at least thrice a week; done even in three 10 minute bursts helps. Gardening, walking the dog, doing chores around the house—anything that’s not sitting on the couch benefits your body by stimulating heart rate and circulation.
Make an effort to stay happy. A positive, relaxed attitude goes a long way towards keeping diabetes at bay.