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Diabetes Management: Diet And Lifestyle Changes To Adopt Today

Healthy diet and lifestyle may go a long way in managing blood sugar levels

Diabetes is one of the most common disorders faced by millions across the world today. The chronic condition is characterised by elevated blood sugar levels (glucose). The World Health Organisation (WHO) projects that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death in 2030. While diabetics often need strong medications to ensure that the blood sugars are in control or the insulin is responding well. Scientists have claimed that there are many natural ways to ensure that your blood sugar levels are stable. Healthy diet and lifestyle may go a long way in managing blood sugar levels. However, it must be ensured that you do not leave your medications midway or make any drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle without consulting a medical expert.

Here are some expert tips to manage diabetes naturally:

S K Wangnoo, Senior Consultant- Endocrinology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, suggests some lifestyle changes that will help in preventing diabetes.

1. Breath clean air: It is very important to not confine yourself within the four walls of your home/office, and make sure the air you breathe is very clean and fresh. As per the recent report by Lancet, air pollution is linked to diabetes. Researchers found that pollution triggered inflammation which reduces the insulin action. Hence it is very important to breath clean air. Investing on a good air purifier amy not be a bad decision after all.

2. Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol. Replace all your sugary and aerated drinks with water. Many studies have proved that increased water intake may lead to better blood sugar control and insulin response. It is also important to limit your alcohol intake as it can lead to weight gain and may upsurge your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.

3. Quit smoking: Smoking has proven to contribute to major and serious health related issues such as heart attack, cancer, TB and even diabetes. Smokers are twice as likely to develop diabetes as non-smokers.

Diabetes and Air Pollution

Beena Bansal, Director, Endocrinology and Diabetology, Medanta, said: Air pollution in India is a serious issue with the major sources being fuel adulteration, vehicular emissions and traffic congestion

“High air pollution levels can cause immediate health problems such as aggravated cardiovascular and respiratory illness, added stress to heart and lungs causing them to work harder to supply the body with oxygen and may even damage cells in the respiratory system.”

Arvind Chabra, Country Head, Blueair, says that many reports are published these days explaining health hazards related to breathing polluted air.

“Average individual spends 90 per cent of the time indoors and indoor air can be 5 times more polluted. With modern technology, air purifiers can be effective in reducing indoor air borne pollutant. Investing on a good air purifier can be a healthy decision.

“Always go for an efficient air purifier which has advanced filtration technology like HEPASilent™ and removes minutest of the air pollutants, has a high CADR & ACH (Air Changes per hour) as it ensures a consistent flow of clean air in your room,” said Chabra.
Diabetic Diet:
A diabetic diet should be loaded with foods that are low on glycemic index. The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbs with low GI value (55 or less) are digested, absorbed and metabolised slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood glucose. Carbohydrates with a GI higher than 70 cause marked fluctuations in the blood glucose levels.

Here are foods with low glycaemic index that you can add to your diet. 

1. Spinach

The glycemic load of a bowlful of spinach is almost zero, which means it can do wonders for people with diabetes. In addition to this, certain amino acids in spinach are useful in lowering blood pressure.Spinach is also packed with folate and iron which are the key nutrients needed during pregnancy for healthy development of the baby. Spinach is also a great source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, B, C, E and K.

2. Tomato

About 140 grams of tomato has a GI of less than 15, which makes it a tremendously low GI food. And that’s not all, tomatoes could be the best bet for diabetics for their abundance in a mineral called chromium. Chromium works in keeping blood sugar levels in check.

3. Guavas

Guavas make the cut as the lowest GI fruits. Fruits contain natural sugar, and so does Guava, yet the sugar present in the guava doesn’t trigger any sugar spike because of its tremendously low GI.

4. Flaxseed 

Packed with large amounts of an insoluble fibre called lignan, flaxseeds keep the hungers pangs at bay. They help reduce the chances of heart complications and strokes linked with diabetes. Moreover, flaxseeds regulate blood sugar levels in the body and improve gut health and insulin sensitivity.

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