Life style appears to be a fancy term – a term which is used frequently and heard frequently about. It just refers to how a person lives – his food, his, sleep, his habits, his work nature, how he spend his leisure time etc. So life style defines a person. Also it is responsible for his overall health and also for most of the health trouble he encounters. The spectrum of life style disorders is hence a result of ones own life style.
Diabetes is A Life Style Disorder
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which there is increased blood glucose level.This increased blood glucose level for a prolonged period of time ultimately leads to heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, foot ulcer, eye damage, etc. Also it is found out that the health expense of diabetic persons are 2-3 timewls greater than people without diabetes.
Diabetes is identified as different types- Type- I, Type- II, Type- III, Neonatal & gestational. Of the overall diabetic population in the world, 90% of them are suffering from Type- II diabetes.
Type- II diabetes is a life style choice to a larger extend. In this type of diabetes, persons have an higher than normal blood glucose level due to insulin resistance & insulin deficiency which is developed due to high calorie intake, physical inactivity, increased stress levels or improper sleep patterns all of which accounts to the persons life style.
Hence Type- II diabetes can be called as a life style disorder mostly. The bad life style piles up the glucose levels in blood which lead to insulin resistance/ insufficient insulin to convert the glucose to glycogen (or stored energy) making the person diabetic.
Type – II diabetes usually develop after the age of 40. Life style disorder needs life style changes. Mere changes in lifestyle can helps the person from the further progression or even can revers the disease. So diabetes can be controlled by some changes in one’s lifestyle. Life style changes are behavior modification or habit changes that encourage positive changes in life.
The 3 Primary categories of lifestyle changes are:
- Psychological changes.
- Behaviourial changes.
- Dietary changes
Changes in these can make significant changes in life. So diet plays an important role in creating life style changes which indicate that changes in one’s diet can modify his blood glucose level.
Role of diet in Diabetes Management
Healthy eating is the most important decision you make in managing diabetes. Dieting doesn’t mean starving or banning things from the diet .It just means being more conscious on what you eat keeping in mind about your health status and the needs of the body .
Whatever you eat have an immediate effect on your blood glucose level .Eating food that keeps high glucose level in blood for a longer time can cause health risks.Also you can change these foods with food that normalize the blood sugar levels.
Hence opting for healthy eating can be a game changer in your diabetes management. Along with healthy eating including exercise , yoga in your daily routine and medical support If required can bring back to you a healthy body.
Always keep in mind that if the food is not proper then the medicine is of no use and if the food is proper the medicine is of no need.
So all life style disorders can be modified with your diet changes. Hence eating healthy is necessary in the management of diabetes .
There is nothing as such called as diabetic diet . The basic guidelines for healthy eating in same for everyone – with or without diabetes
Nourishing food in right proportion in a diabetic person can provide 2 important benefits:
1 Reduce the blood glucose level .
2 Maintain a healthy weight.
The super food for diabetes includes:
- Whole or minimally processed food.
- Fiber rich fruits & vegetables
- Moderate amount of complex carbohydrates
6.Limited use of added sugars & refined grains .
When you eat food, the pancreas produces insulin which converts the glucose from blood and store as energy . So when we eat high glucose content food & empty calories, this get digested fast & there is a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. But the insulin produced is insufficient to convert them all leading to a condition called as hypoglycemia.
This blood moves to all parts of body which over long period of time damages the cells and tissues of organs leading of complications. Diabetic diet contains wholesome foods with complex carbohydrates that takes more time for digestion and ensures a slow and steady rise in blood glucose level.
Diabetic should be started only on advice of doctor or dietician who advices a diet based on following preferences:
4 Life style
5 Other medical conditions
6 Food preferences, intolerance, allergy ,etc.
Now llet’s look more into the constituents of food. There are 2 types of nutrients that we get from the food we take.
1.Macronutrients – Our Body requires in more quantity. Carbohydrates , proteins & fats an macronutrients.
2 Micronutrients – Our body requires them but requires only limited supply. Vitamin & Minerals are micronutrients
A balanced/ healthy diet hence supply all there nutrients as per the requirements – not too low or very high .
AMOUNT OF FOOD TO BE TAKEN
Food is our source of energy that is required for the functioning of our body .Hence the amount we take is important since unutilized energy gets stored as fat.Hence the concept of calorie is important .
Calorie refers to the amount of energy we receive from the food we consume. It is approximated that a person requires 1200 -1500 calories a day for the healthy functioning of his or her body. The calories we obtain again are of 2 types :
1.Empty calories : the food gives high calories but no nutrition. E.g. – sugar , processed rice , wheat etc.
2.Negative calories : food have high water content and requires more time for digestion . Hence requires extra calories to digest them & gives nutrition .
Hence in a diabetic diet , make sure to include low glycemic index food & negative calorie foods which ensures that the body obtains its nutrition & slow and steady production of blood glucose .
Healthy eating habit for diabetes
*Rather than banning foods,do portion control. This will help you in determining what to eat & when to eat .
*Practice mindful eating – It is a sensory approach towards the food to eat.Chew the food , take more morsels and appretiate the food you eat.
*Rather than eating 3 big meals , having 4-6 small meals throughout the day – keeps you full throughout the day & also the sudden spike in blood glucose by big meals don’t happen .
* Try to eat your food on time- this helps the body in regulating the body cycle & boosting metabolism.
*Opt for a low glycemic index food & make sure you are giving all the nutrients that the body needs .
Water intake in diabetes
* One of the major symptoms of diabetes is frequent urination which means water loss from body that can cause dehydration.
*Therefore people with diabetes must drink 8-10 glass of water to keep the body hydrated .
*Avoid soft drinks, carbonated drinks & alcohol – opt for infused water in plain water appears to be boring.
A diabetic diet constitutes low glycemic index food which constitutes whole foods , complex carbohydrates , proteins, fats & fibers in limited amounts:
- 1.Whole grains, millets, brown rice oats, raggi
- 2.Vegetables- broccoli , cauliflower , cabbage , onion , tomato , Brussel sprouts , eggplant , mushroom , beans , darky leafy vegetables , legumes.
- 3.Fruits -strawberries , blueberries ,avocado , grapes , kiwi , orange , apples.
- Lean meats – chicken , lamb , turkey , beef
- Sea foods -salmon , shellfish , sardine , shrimps, tuna, cod & lobster
- 6.Dairy products – milk , yoghurt, buttermilk
- 8.Seeds & nuts
- 9.Herbs & spices
- 10.Olive oil , peanut oil , sunflower oil , soyabean oil , coconut oil
- 11.9 -12 glasses of water
Above are some of the foods recommend in diabetes.
Food to Avoid
- Refined sugars – in all sweets, white sugar
- Processed grains – white rice, maida
- Starchy Vegetables. — Potato, Tapioca, etc
- Alcohol, soft & carbonated drink,
- Fast foods – Pasta, Noodles, Pizza, (all these have trans-fat & refined sugars).
Diabetes diet need not to be boring and bland as people say. Try eating new foods, follow mindful eating & make sure your body gets all the nutrients.
Ayurvedic Texts Offers the Following Information on Diabetes Diet:
Acharya Charaka Says : People who are habituated taking Yava (Barley), Sushka Saktu (dry corn), Mugda (green Gram) & Amlaki (gooseberries) never get diabetes which suggests that they are super foods for diabetes. Some of the foods recommend for Prameha rogis in Ayurveda are –
- Barley – According to Ayurveda, barley is a super food for diabetes. Acharyas recommends to take them in different forms– porridge, pancakes, etc.
- Dry Corn Flour
- Green Soup – Sprout, soups or steamed.
- Bitter Vegetable- bitter gourd, Parval, etc.
- Brown rice.
- Meats of animals & birds living in arid region suggests lean meats – chicken, turkey, etc – as soups
- Water mixed with honey or triphala
Ayurveda in short recommends foods that does not cause kapha dosha increase in the body.
Anything that in oily, sweet and heavy increases kapha in the body. It is advised to avoid all these foods from your diabetic diet.
Proper elimination of doshas via Panchakarma therapies, regulating the disease by samanam (internal medication) along with Vyayama (exercise) & pathya ahara comprises Ayurvedic treatment for Prameha.