Healthy Tips to Fight Diabetes
(This is part 2 of a post on diabetes that we published earlier - called What is Diabetes and Why Should I Worry About It? )
Although there is no real cure for Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, there are definitely some lifestyle changes that can manage or control it and even put Type 2 diabetes in remission. Here are some of them to get you started:
- Limit your fast food intake - Choose healthy snacks such as baked chips, veggie sticks or apples slices instead of empty calories in junk food such as french fries.
- Eat a variety of food - Your plate should contain half a plate of veggies, about a quarter protein and about a quarter carbs like multi grain phulka (roti) or brown rice or millets. Indian meals with paneer, legumes, dairy, nuts and seeds can be substituted for proteins. Protein keeps you full for longer and thus curbs your calorie intake.
- Avoid aerated drinks - Limit artificially sweetened drinks such as sodas, juices and sports drinks. These drinks add calories with little or no nutritional value. Studies have found that people who regularly drink artificially sweetened beverages have a roughly 25% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Natural Sugars - Try to consume less refined and more natural sugar in your diet. If you do need to add sugar to your food / drinks, go for healthy natural sweeteners such as stevia or honey or jaggery that will not increase the glycemic index (sugar levels) in your blood stream.
- Drink water – Water is essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions in flushing out waste from your body. Drinking water instead of other beverages may help control blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.
- Limit the consumption of refined carbs - Refined carbs are grains that have had the fibrous and nutritious parts removed like wheat, pasta, white bread. Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are considered as "empty" calories. Wheat flour can be fortified by the embry of the wheat called wheat germ to make your rotis nutritious.
- Follow a plant-based, low-calorie diet - Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check and promote weight loss.
- Work out - Choose any physical activity like walking, cycling, swimming that you enjoy and that you can follow through regularly. Studies have suggested that we need 150 minutes of moderate intensity workout spread-out through a week.
- Supplements - You can include some natural supplements such as health juices (jamun, karela, amla etc.) or herbal powders (neem leaf powder, karela powder, etc.) in your daily diet to keep sugar levels in check.
Such simple lifestyle changes will improve how you feel today and help ensure a happier and healthier future.