India – the diabetes capital of the world
India is often called “the diabetes capital of the world”, and with a good reason – the typical Indian diet is rich in fat and sugar. The most common form of diabetes in India is Type-2 diabetes and it is reaching epidemic proportions in most parts of India. The International Diabetes Federation estimates that the number of diabetic patients in India more than doubled from 19 million in 1995 to 40.9 million in 2007. It is projected to increase to 69.9 million by 2025. I find it very worrying. Over the years I have had clients in India with Type- 2 diabetes and it always surprises me how little the patients know about healthy foods and how dangerous it can be for their system to keep on eating foods rich in sugar, fat and white carbohydrates.
What causes type-2 diabetes?
Type-2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, the body does not respond properly to insulin and the liver, fat and muscle cells do not use insulin effectively. The rise in Type-2 diabetes is a direct cause of improper diet and inactivity. However, genetics are also known to play a role in the developments of Type-2 diabetes. Type-2 diabetes can cause many serious complications if not looked after. Changes of diet and exercise are extremely important for people suffering from diabetes and are the only way to control the disease. Dietary modifications include losing weight if overweight; avoiding refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates. Portion control is a problem for many people, but for individuals with Type- 2 diabetes it becomes even more important—especially when concerning carbohydrates. Evenly spacing out meals and snacks throughout the day will help keep blood sugar levels stable. It is ideal to wait at least 2 hours (but no more than 3 hours) between meals and snacks during the day. Eating at regular intervals will help to prevent blood sugar level from going either too high or too low.
Prevention and foods to reduce with Type-2 diabetes
Type-2 diabetes can be prevented by healthy lifestyle habits. Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential in preventing diabetes. Paying attention to the amount and the type of food you eat is essential too. People with Type-2 diabetes should reduce their fat intake by making changes to the way their food is cooked. Rather than frying food, it is advisable to grill, steam, boil or dry-roast food. Dairy products such as milk should be reduced because it contains a lot of unhealthy fat. Sugary desserts, cakes and pastries should be minimized. Take-away foods are often high in fat and should not be a part of a daily diet. Choosing dishes that have been stir-fried, grilled or steamed is a better choice. White bread and white rice is as bad as eating white sugar. A better option is whole wheat bread and brown rice. Basically consuming complex carbohydrates such as whole grain products and legumes produces a much smaller amount of sugar and insulin in the blood. Regular exercise is essential for Type-2 diabetes prevention but also essential for diabetic patients.
Look after yourself
Diabetes is a growing threat to human health. It is a serious disease and speeds up the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke. If not looked after Type-2 diabetes is a leading cause of kidney failure and blindness. My message is; look after yourself, your health and your well-being. Know your food and feed your body with healthy foods. Stay away from processed foods, refined grains, oils and sugars. My experience with patients is that when one eats a diet rich in vegetables, legumes, raw nuts, seeds and whole grains, it becomes relatively easy to lose excess weight, and therefore control Type-2 diabetes. It is possible to prevent and cure Type-2 diabetes with healthy food habits but it involves commitment and dedication.
Take care of your health!
Sally Goldfinger, originally from Denmark, Copenhagen but now based between Spain and India. Sally is an international Yoga Teacher & Wellness Expert. Apart from teaching Yoga she also offer consultations in diet and nutrition based on holistic principles. She is fully qualified and she has studied and trained at Yoga Vidya Dham Gurukulam (India), Sanathana Global School of Yoga Studies AW (Copenhagen) and Ayurveda Pura Academy (London)
Her mission is to inspire people living a healthy life through Yoga, diet and Ayurveda. Apart from teaching Yoga and giving consultations in nutrition and lifestyle, she organizes Yoga events , Yoga & Health Holidays and Yoga & Ayurveda Holidays in Europe and in Kerala. She is the Founder and Director of IONYOGA & Healthy Within.