We all enjoy a little bit of Indian food like idli, rice, roti, dal, etc. It is comfort and home for most of us! But here’s a little food for thought…not comfort. Our ancestors ate this way and remained fit and disease free because of the activity that accompanied it. They worked in fields and farms, walked so much more than we do today and were generally far more active than we could ever be! Our kids are not as active, thanks to the fancy world we live in!
This being the case, when you eat high carb foods with no or minimum activity – the chances of weight gain and lifestyle diseases are far higher.
Let’s try and understand how heavy our daily habits can weigh upon us and the possible corrective lifestyle measures to move into a safe NON – DIABETIC zone.
Pre-diabetes and symptoms
It is a medical condition that we describe as “caught between two stools” [in Hindi: न घर का न घाट का]
The blood sugar level of an individual is neither too high to be diagnosed as a diabetic, nor it is too low to be considered normal. This is a typical Pre diabetic condition. Individuals with such a condition can be affected by type-2 diabetes as they advance in time without any intervention.
Pre-diabetics usually do not carry any evident symptoms; however, they do experience frequent hunger, cravings to munch on snacks or desserts and muscle fatigue, weight gain and frequent urination patterns.
The fact is that the majority of us feel this is no big a deal, they are minor daily experiences and are ignore worthy. However, here comes the twist – the recent reports from the International Diabetes Federation stated that India is one of those countries with the majority of its population suffering from type-2 diabetes . There are approximately 74 million individuals diagnosed with diabetes in India and an alarming rate of 40 million with pre-diabetes. This is simply nerve-wracking as in an article published in the Times of India titled, Prediabetes is detected 1 in 3 persons, an interview with Endocrinologist Dr. Shashank Joshi who is the chair of IDF South-East Asia region, said, “Apart from diabetes India has two big burdens, One is prediabetes and the other is asymptomatic diabetes”.
Breaking off the progression to type-2 diabetes from pre-diabetics is not impossible. It can be taken care of by making lifestyle changes.
How and why are we slipping into Pre-diabetes?
There are a few known causes to fall prey to prediabetes. One of them might be that you are genetically prone to type-2 diabetes but 76% of individuals have been in the pre-diabetes stage mainly due to incorrect food decisions through years and sedentary lifestyle with less than an hour’s activity everyday. We are at a stage where every action requires just a tap on your device. Shopping for clothes, getting groceries from the store, or buying medicines. The need to get our limbs moving to step out of our comfortable rooms feels like an arduous task. Thanks to the pandemic, the need to begin early, rush around the house to finish the chores, and put ourselves together to travel to our workplaces has also ceased. The covid-19 pandemic brought major changes to our lifestyles. The concept of work-from-home kept individuals glued to their laptops all day long.
The one change that didn’t exactly work in our favor was the ease of reaching out to the pantry when peckish! It is only normal to munch on something while working. During the pandemic, the frustration of isolation and the lack of having much to do created quite a few habitual smokers as well. Tobacco may aggravate the risk of getting prediabetes as it may function as a resistance to insulin in the body. Other reasons that could be a reason to get prediabetes are polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOD) in women, which is irregular menstruation accompanied by excessive hair growth, imbalance in hormone secretion, and obesity.
To summarize, you could be at the risk of prediabetes if :
- You have a family history of Diabetes
- Inactiveness or sedentary lifestyle
- Unhealthy diet
- Obesity or excessive weight gain
- And the most shocking reason – lack of regular sleep cycles!
Lifestyle changes that can convert a prediabetic to a non-diabetic
We are not expected to spend 6 hours a day in the gym – but a minimum requirement of investing an hour for physical activity will make a massive difference.
Physical activity is not necessarily working out in a gym, it could be anything from jogging, yoga, playing a sport, cycling, trekking, swimming, and so on.
Along with physical activity, a healthy way of eating is to become a lifestyle. We can’t stress on this enough! Cut down on those ready-made so-call fitness snacks sold in the market that are made with honey, chocolate, jaggery, dates syrup, maple syrup, and sugar cane extracts. These are sugar-coated lies fed to the consumers that this category of sugar is healthy and promotes a fitter life, at the end of the manufacturing process these are all categorized as plain old SUGAR.
Make smart food choices to break your carb and sugar loaded breakfast options to a more High protein- low carb loaded option like breakfast clusters in place of sugary cereals, eggs and protein packed – low carb breakfast options for diabetics.
If you want to continue to munch on snacks, replace the fried food with Makhana, veggies, low carb protein bars and snacks baked with nuts and seeds.
Any kind of carb is broken down into glucose and converted into sugar in our bloodstream. Pre Diabetics may not have completely broken pancreas which is incapable of producing insulin however, will have insulin resistance in their digestive system. Hence it is important to manage blood sugar levels by avoiding high-carb meals and any form of sugar. An ideal plate change would be from Rice, dal, sabji to chicken, fish, paneer, eggs and a variety of vegetables! As far as fruit is concerned, if portion control is your strength, fruit is your friend!
As we thank you for taking time out to read our little piece, remember a healthy lifestyle is the only part you have control over, not your genetics! So let’s do our bit and save ourselves from lifelong damage with corrective measures. #CHEATwithoutCHEATING. Eat healthy and stay fit.#fitnessisalifestyle