Diabetes prevention is in our hands. We all know someone who has diabetes if we don't have it ourselves.

It’s November – World Diabetes Awareness Month, let’s bring up the concern how important it is to educate about the diabetes awareness amongst everyone as it can strike anyone, from any walk of life. In diabetes, the pancreas either produces little or no insulin, or the body cells do not respond to the insulin that produced whereby causing an increase in blood glucose levels. 

Risk factors: obesity, genetic, ageing, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, pcos, stress, etc. 

And over time, high blood glucose leads to problems such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, etc. 

Few Types of Diabetes:

1)  Type 1 diabetes: in this type immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made.  Hence, body does not make insulin and therefore patient with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day to stay alive.

2)   Type 2 diabetes: in this type body doesn't make or use insulin well. And it can happen at any age.

3)   Gestational diabetes: It develops in some pregnant women and later it can lead to type 2 diabetes. 

It’s true that there is no cure for diabetes but timely detection and right management can go a long way in helping patients lead a normal life. Few diet tips to manage diabetes:

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
  • Lose weight if overweight or obese & maintain your healthy/ ideal body weight.
  • Eat 5-6 small frequent meals in a day instead of having 3 heavy meals. And never skip any meal of the day specially the 1st meal of the day i.e.breakfast. Remember the gap between two meals, however, should not exceed 3 to 3½ hours in order to maintain blood glucose levels.
  • Include more of fruits and vegetables in your diet for fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidant requirements.
  • Choose carbs smartly. Go for complex carbs like whole grains, oats, brown rice. Also, can consume jowar, bajra, ragi, barley.
  • Eat lean protein in diet like lean chicken, fish, sprouts, pulses and low-fat dairy products in diet like skimmed milk, yogurt and avoid full-fat dairy.
  • Fats are important too but eat healthy fats like Omega-3 in the diet. E.g. fish, avocados, flax seeds, olive oil, walnuts, etc.
  • Include green vegetables like spinach, methi, bitter-gourd, lady finger, etc.
  • Preferred cooking methods for food specially for non-veg are baking, grilling, roasting, steaming, boiling or broiling.
  • Include fenugreek seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon powder, wheat grass, garlic, turmeric in the diet.
  • Limit the salt intake in the diet. Instead use herbs.
  • Exercise for 30 mins at least every day. It helps in controlling weight in the obese and diabetic patients by improving the insulin sensitivity. E.g. walking, cycling, swimming,etc.
  • Sleep well.
  • Don’t stress. Try yoga.
  • Avoid sugary food and refined grains e.g. white bread, white rice, pasta, corn flour, maida, ice-creams, cake, donuts, honey, sugarcane, jaggery, sweets, chocolate, etc.
  • Avoid all processed, junk and fried food.
  • Don’t eat fruits like banana, mango, chikoo, custard apple, jackfruit, and grapes. Avoid fruit juices and milkshakes instead choose a whole fruit to eat.
  • Avoid eating saturated fat in diet like butter, red meat, mayonnaise, etc.
  • Avoid eating roots and tubers like potato, sweet potato, etc as they tend to increase blood sugar levels rapidly.
  • Avoid drinking aerated drinks and coconut water.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Don’t miss/ stop your medication prescribed by your doctor without consulting your doctor. 

Remember, it is never too late to make the change. Eating regularly and healthily is the key to good diabetes control.