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Every year, the month of November is observed as the Diabetes Awareness Month - celebrated globally to raise awareness about both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. And, 14 November is observed as World Diabetes Day which is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.
The day was initiated in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization as a response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. The theme of World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month 2019 is 'Family and Diabetes'.
According to the reports from the International Diabetic Foundation, India has more diabetics than any other country in the world, 62 million Indians which is, more than 7.2 per cent of the adult population are diabetic and nearly 1 million Indians die due to diabetes every year.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes mellitus is a disease which occurs due to the insufficiency of the hormone called insulin, which is produced by the pancreas, a gland situated behind the stomach. When the pancreas fail to produce sufficient insulin to meet the body needs due to various factors such as - overweight, genetics, lack of activity/exercise and hormonal imbalance, it results in a sustained increase in glucose levels in the blood, leading to diabetes.
Untreated diabetes may lead to heart disease, nerve damage, blindness, kidney failure, amputations and early death.
The Diabetic Diet Do's And Dont's
Diet plays an important role in the management of diabetes. A diabetic diet consists of all food groups included in amounts to maintain desirable body weight and control blood sugar levels. A diabetic can consume almost any food that other people normally eat. However, quantities of some foods must be maintained within the daily calories allowance. Exceeding the calorie allowance prescribed could cause an increase in blood sugar levels.
- Cut down the refined carbs like sweets and sweetened products like sugar, honey, jaggery, cakes, pastries etc.
- Avoid fried foods that has butter, vanaspati and coconut oil.
- Avoid sweetened fruit juice, high calorie fruits or over ripe fruits like mango, banana, sapota, seethapala and jackfruit.
- Avoid roots and tubers such as potato, sweet potato, beetroot, yam, tapioca and sweet pumpkin.
- Avoid aerated and caffeine drinks.
- Avoid dry fruits such as raisins, dates, figs, prunes, plums, cashew &and pistachio.
- Restrict the amount of salt in the diet by avoiding food items like papad, pickles, processed food, canned food, baking soda and aginomoto.
- Avoid organ meat, red meat (mutton), beef, pork, and egg-yolk.
- Strictly avoid health drinks.
- Eat small and frequent meals and control portion size; don't give long gap between meals - have early dinner.
- Include raw or fresh salads and high fibre food (wheat, ragi, jowar, millets and brans) in every meal.
- Include green leafy vegetables and sprouts, flax seeds, chia seeds in daily diet.
- Selected fruits like small apple, pear, orange, guava, peaches, sweet-lime, plum,1 slice musk melon, apricot, jamun, papaya and pineapple are allowed 100gms only and preferably in mid-morning if the fasting blood glucose levels are less than 100mg/day.
- Use boiling / steaming/ baking / grilling process for cooking food.
- Limit the salt intake to 5gm/day or one levelled teaspoon.
- For cooking, use rice-bran oil, canola oil, groundnut oil, mustard oil, sunflower oil, olive oil etc. and limit the intake to 500 g or half a litre per person per month.
- Include plenty of water, butter milk, soups and keep your self-hydrated.
On A Final Note
If you have diabetes, it is important that you consult your doctor and dietitian to create an eating plan that works for you. Use healthy foods, portion control and scheduling to manage your blood glucose level and make sure you stay true to the diet.
With inputs from Ms. Pavithra. N. Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital.