Diabetes - A Lifestyle Disease
When thousands of people die in the US due to terrorist attack, it is rightly considered to be a tragedy with global implications. But when thousands of deaths occur each day due to unnecessary disease, nobody even thinks about it! Disease that could have been prevented by supplementing with minor changes in lifestyle to bring about years of vibrant health. Make no mistake! The primary cause of disease is improper nutrition and lack of exercise coupled with increasing environmental pollution. All this triggers a host of terrorist activity or free radical activity within the body which slowly disintegrates our immune system. Once your immunity begins to fail, your body becomes an open battle ground welcoming any disease.
The Diet and Diabetes connection
There is now a worldwide epidemic of diabetes. It is highly preventive disease which shortens life span. Most people with diabetes begin aging very fast. Type II Diabetes is an affluent disease which precipitates due to an urban lifestyle, little or no exercise, eating refined foods, poor stress management excessive drinking etc. When we eat a lot of desserts, white breads, pasta, white rice, maida biscuits, pizzas, burgers, pastries, naans, rumali rotis, noodles and other highly processed starches and restaurant foods, 3-4 times a week, our ability to utilize insulin gets hampered and we become prediabetic. At this juncture, one can develop high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, obesity, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and Type II diabetes. A high triglyceride reading coupled with a low HDL reading implies prediabetic conditions known as insulin resistance. This condition leads to premature and unnecessary aging, affecting your heart, your arteries, (giving rise to blood pressure) your liver, eyes, extremities, your appearance, your moods, your emotional state almost everything.
Even if you are genetically prone to getting diabetes, you can postpone the problem or not precipitate it at all if you choose to eat sensibly and exercise regularly. Sugar and fat, both have a depressing effect on your immunity. They interfere with your body’s soldiers (white blood cells) ability to attack and destroy invading pathogens. The negative effects of fried food and sugar can last for more than twelve hours. That means your body is fighting a losing battle for those 12 hours which causes further degeneration. The fate of every cell in your body is decided at the end of each day according to what you choose to put in your mouth.
Health Tips for Diabetics
1. Avoid refined foods like white rice, maida, dessert, soft drinks, chocolates, sugar and foods rich in fat.
2. Increase fiber in your diet. You can do this easily by eating whole grains, whole pulses, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. You can also take one tablespoon of isabgol daily to increase fiber intake.
3. Eat some sprouts every day. They are rich in protein, calcium and nutrients that help increase immunity and balance blood sugar.
4. Stress promotes disease states in the body. It depresses immunity. It produces a hormone cortisol which can slow down your immune system. Stress triggers free radical damage, can upset blood sugar make you age faster. You can control stress by using relaxation techniques like meditation, pranayam, yoga or by listening to music or taking a short holiday.
5. Take some antioxidants like vitamin A,C,E and selenium. They help protect the body against unnecessary aging.
6. Certain minerals like zinc, chromium, selenium and magnesium help to control blood sugar imbalances.Discuss this with your doctor if you are a diabetic.
7. Certain herbs available in pharmacies are especially good to control diabetes. `Karneem’ made from karela is one such herb. A syrup made from “jamun” known as “jambukasav” is another such herb which help to control blood sugar. You may have to gradually reduce your dosage of diabetic medication after consuming these. Check with your physician before doing so.
Remember that type II Diabetes is a nutrition related problem, and a risk factor for heart disease therefore controlling your diet could prove to be your best bet against diabetes.