INDIA, 14th November, 2019: Every year World Diabetes Day is celebrated as a campaign to generate more awareness around an illness that impacts over 72 million people across India and is slowly becoming one of the most common diseases across the country. The Indian Diabetes Federation estimates this number to increase to more than double and reach 134 million by 2025, and this presents a serious public health challenge. According to the World Health Organization, a combination of factors have contributed to the increase in the number of Indians suffering from diabetes including rapid urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, increasing life expectancy and unhealthy diets.
With this year’s theme centered around ‘The family and Diabetes’, let’s take a minute to analyze how we can protect our families and loved ones by making some simple and yet important changes. Enlisted below are a few key tips that will help you manage this lifestyle disease better:
Tip 1: Change your snacking choices!
For a type 2 diabetic, the first step to managing the disease is imbibing healthier food habits. The next step is to snack right! A lot us tend to binge on fried or unhealthy snacks without worrying about the repercussions. A simple and gradual way to change this, is to revise your snacking routine. Replace your usual choices with food items like almonds, makhanas or yoghurt that are healthy and filling and will also help in building your overall health.
Stressing on the importance of eating right, leading Bollywood Actress, Soha Ali Khan said, “We Indians really love our snacks in all forms – sweet or savory. Many of us tend to overindulge in them, and this can have a larger negative impact over a course of time. A good way to change this is to opt for healthier snacking alternatives. In my case, I make it a point to keep food like a handful of roasted or flavoured almonds, fresh fruit or oats stored away in a small box nearby, to ensure I don’t snack on unhealthy food that gives me empty calories.”
Tip 2: Find ways to be more active!
Regular physical exercise is good for anyone who is trying to manage their blood glucose. This will also help keep your blood pressure under control, manage your weight, maintain your energy levels and decrease risk for any heart diseases which are quite common amongst diabetics. Start by adding small doses of daily exercise and increasing it gradually to 30 minutes or 1 hour every day, and over time this will contribute in managing the disease better.
According to, Fitness enthusiast and Supermodel, Milind Soman said, “Choosing a form of exercise you enjoy will help keep you fit and motivated. My suggestion is if you enjoy a particular dance form, like to run, or prefer to swim, or enjoy aerobics – do exactly that. I also recommend to complement your fitness regime, by substituting unhealthy snacks with healthier options like almonds which make for crunchy and delicious pre or post workout meals.”
Tip 3: Watch your weight!
Obesity, and abdominal fat is often linked with increased blood sugar levels. A recent study also highlighted that those diabetic patients who regain weight, lose out on the initial benefits of reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases compared to those who maintain their weight. A few studies have also directly compared cardio metabolic risk between people who successfully lost weight and maintained the weight loss to those who regained weight, particularly among people with type 2 diabetes. That said, being cognizant and making a clear effort to manage weight is an important aspect in managing type 2 diabetes better, and will lead to a more holistic lifestyle.
Commenting on this, Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant said, “For people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes, being conscious of your weight and making a sustained effort to control it is key. Almonds provide energy and also are known to have satiating properties that may promote feelings of fullness, making them a good addition for any weight management plan.”
Tip 4: Take notes!
Another good thing you can do to better manage your blood sugar levels is to maintain a daily log and account of your day. This can include details of the amount of medication you might have taken during the day, the food you consumed, details of your physical activity, as well as things that caused you stress during the day. Over a period of time, this will give you a deeper insight into your progress, and help manage your lifestyle in a better and more organized way.
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