Change your unhealthy habits before it’s too late
By Anuradha Sawhney Aug 18 2016
Tags: Leisure Writing
Did you know that India has about 63 million people suffering from diabetes and this figure is likely to go up to 80 million by 2025? According to an Indo-US collaborative study, Delhi alone has more than 30 lakh people suffering from diabetes. Further, a study conducted by Dr Anoop Misra, chairman Fortis-C-DOC hospital showed that 37 per cent of urban Indians suffer from diabetes and pre-diabetes.
So many people suffering from something so harmful, something that can kill you and, ironically, something that is so easily preventable and reversible, without medications. I have no clue why people are not ready to reverse diabetes, rather than keep trying to control it using medications. These medications do not cure diabetes, they just work to keep it in check.
Do you ever think about who is at risk? Well, if you had asked your doctor this question a decade ago, he would have probably replied: “someone old, obese or with a family history.” Today, however, diabetes has turned into an epidemic. The figures quoted at the start of the article prove it. More and more young people are being affected by this disease. Thanks to an increasing sedentary lifestyle led by most people and the prevalence of junk food all over, diabetes is becoming more common than ever.
Dr Rajesh Khadgawat, additional professor, department of endocri-nology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, says there is an increase in prevalence of insulin resistance among the Indian popu-lation today. Lifestyle plays a crucial role here. Factors such as lack of physical activity, poor dietary habits, lack of sleep and stress increase the risk of diabetes. Also, more than the old age, it’s obesity that is becoming the leading cause of type 2 diabetes.
How would you know if you have diabetes? Well, only checking fasting and post prandial levels sugar levels is not a definitive indicator of diabetes or being pre diabetic as was proved by my mother recently. Her fasting and post prandial sugar levels were in the normal range, but because I suspected she may be diabetic or at least pre diabetic (because I knew her lifestyle involved eating at least one meal out daily, she did no exercise if she could help it and her diet included dairy and eggs), I asked her to get her fasting insulin level checked. And I was right. Her fasting insulin level was 11.50, something that rings alarm bells for those who know. She was definitely pre-diabetic, on her way to getting full blown diabetes if she was not careful.
I asked her to start on a regime of increasing her dietary fibre consciously. Fortunately, she listened to me. She started to include a glass of cold pressed vegetable juice in her daily diet, as well as consciously walking for at least 45 minutes daily. I made her give up all dairy products and eggs. She brought her fasting insulin level down to 7.50 in 2 months and I hope she will continue till the level is down to four at least.
Please realise, diet and exercise hold the key to fighting diabetes; change your unhealthy habits before it’s too late.
(The writer is a vegan chef and author of The Vegan Kitchen: Bollywood Style!)