The alarming global statistics and a steady escalating incidence of diabetes in India have long been a thorn in our side; with the number of diabetics estimated to cross the 100 million mark by 2030. The recent findings of International Diabetes Federation throw up a startling trend by pointing out that more than 50% of Indians are not even aware that they suffer from diabetes and there are millions who either stay undiagnosed or are diagnosed with a condition called ‘pre diabetes’, that predisposes them to a greater risk to heart ailments, kidney and liver disorders and a host of diabetes related complications.
No wonder, an early detection is the best way to nib this life threatening lifestyle disorder. But so is to take corrective actions in our eating habits, physical activity levels and lifestyle, if one is diagnosed with pre diabetes, a condition linked to blood sugar levels that are higher than normal values but not high enough to be considered as diabetes. Those with pre diabetes are more likely to develop diabetes and cardio vascular diseases later. However, it is possible to reverse pre diabetes and delay or prevent the onset of diabetes by following appropriate diet strategies and incorporating healthy life style modifications.
Here are the essentials of a pre diabetes diet:
- Go for low GI foods– Defeat pre diabetes by staying away from foods with high glycemic index (the foods that raise the blood sugar levels too high too soon). Low GI foods include non- starchy fruits, pulses, whole grains and vegetables.
- Be portion wise– No need to completely shun the so called ‘diabetes don’ts’ such as rice, potatoes and sweets. Be careful about the portion sizes, pair starchy foods with fiber rich ones and keep the decadent sweets for special occasions.
- Step up the fiber content of your diet- Adding complex carbohydrate sources like whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruits help to slow down the release of glucose in blood and avoid sugar spikes.
- Maintain discipline– Ensure that no meals are skipped and a routine is set in the time and frequency of meals.
- Restrict sugary drinks and alcohol – Loaded with empty calories, carbonated and alcoholic beverages are best avoided.
- Make healthy swaps– Swap refined and processed foods with fresh, whole and natural foods; and choose low fat milk, lean meats (fish and chicken) and 4-5 cups of vegetables every day.
- Stay close to your ideal body weight – Studies have shown that losing even 5-10% of body weight can cut the risk to diabetes by a whopping 40-50%.
- Be active – A pre diabetes diet plan shall be incomplete without a regular physical activity regime. You may go for brisk walk, run on a treadmill, swim or opt for tailored aerobic or dance classes; simply ensure that you are exercising for 30-40 minutes, at least 5 times a week.
As Published In B Positive Magazine