Whether you’ve been newly diagnosed, have been fighting against type 1 or type 2 diabetes for a while, or are helping a loved one, you’ve come to the right place.
This is the start of gaining a deeper understanding of how you can live a healthier life—with all the tools, health tips, and food ideas you need.
What is DIABETES
Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a metabolic disease that causes your blood glucose, or blood sugar levels too high. The insulin hormone moves sugar from the blood into your cells to be stored or used for energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) relates to a group of common metabolic disorders that share the phenotype of Hyperglycemia.
Types of diabetes:
Each type of diabetes has unique symptoms, causes, and treatments.
•Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. It’s unclear what causes this attack.
•Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body did not makes or use insulin well, and sugar builds up in your blood.
•Pre-diabetes is otherwise known as “impaired glucose tolerance”, is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. It occurs when your blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
•Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Insulin-blocking hormones produced by the placenta cause this type of diabetes.
Symptoms of diabetes
Diabetes symptoms are caused by rising blood sugar that include:
• Excessive eating (polyphagia)
• Excessive drinking of water (Polydipsia)
• Excessive urinating (Polyuria).
• Extreme fatigue or tiredness
• Mental status changes
• Unexplained and rapid weight loss
• Blurred vision
• Nausea and vomiting
• Recurrent infections
• Poor healing of wounds
• Skin problems
Causes of Diabetes
Different causes are associated with each type of diabetes
TYPE 1 Diabetes which is primarily due to the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas and leads to a deficiency of insulin in the body. It can occur due to immune-mediated causes or may also develop spontaneously owing to an unknown cause.
TYPE 2 Diabetes which has a range from insulin deficiency to secretion defect of insulin due to insulin resistance in the body. It stems from a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. This condition runs in families. Family members share genes that make them more likely to get type 2 diabetes and to be overweight.
Pre-diabetes, as the name suggests, is considered to be a station along the way towards full-blown Type 2 diabetes. Many people who develop pre-diabetes are overweight, have poor diets and live sedentary (inactive) lifestyles.
Gestational Diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the result of hormonal changes during pregnancy when a pregnant lady (who is not diabetic) cannot tolerate any degree of glucose. This can cause high blood sugar during pregnancy.
Prevention of Diabetes
1. Get more physical activity: It’s important to avoid being sedentary if you want to prevent diabetes. aerobic exercise and resistance training can help control diabetes.
2. Get plenty of fibre: Consuming a good fibre source at each meal helps prevent spikes in insulin levels, which may help reduce your risk of developing diabetes, by improving your blood sugar control.
3. Avoid Refined carbs: Eating foods high in refined carbs increases blood sugar and insulin levels, which may lead to diabetes over time. While whole grains reduce your risk of diabetes and help maintain blood sugar levels.
4. Lose extra weight: weight loss can improve insulin sensitivity as well as delay, and even prevent progression to type 2 diabetes.
5. Skip fad diets and just make healthier choices: Low-carb diets, the glycemic index diet or other fad diets may help you lose weight at first. But their effectiveness at preventing diabetes and their long-term effects will not happen.
6. Quit Smoking: Cigarettes can increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes to more than three times that of nonsmokers. It directly decreases the body’s ability to utilize insulin. Moreover, it has been observed that after smoking, blood sugar levels increase.
Diabetes and Diet
Healthy eating is a central part of managing diabetes. The foods you eat not only make a difference in how you control the disease, but also to how well you feel and how much energy you have.
Eating to beat diabetes is much more about making wise food adjustments than it is about denial and deprivation. A better way to look at a diet when you have diabetes is one that helps you establish a new normal when it comes to your eating habits and food choices.
1. Choose Carbohydrates that Keep Blood Sugar Steady
• High fibre foods like whole-grain bread and cereals, and foods made with 100% whole wheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, corn and cornmeal
• Fresh (or frozen) fruits like berries, apples, pears, and oranges,
• Vegetables. Both starchy and non-starchy vegetables are all healthy carbs that have a less (glycemic) effect on your blood sugar
2.Aim for Heart-Healthy Fats
• Natural sources of vegetable fats, such as nuts, seeds, or avocados (high in calories, so keep portions small)
• Foods that give you omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna, or mackerel
• Plant-based oils, such as canola, grapeseed, or olive oils
3.Aim for Good Protein
• Plant-based proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, or tofu
• Chicken breast or turkey, Eggs
• Low-fat yoghurt, 1% or skim milk, low-fat cottage cheese, Low-fat or nonfat sour cream
4. Be smart about sweets
Swapping sugary drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar can be a good start.
• Trans fats from partially hydrogenated or deep-fried foods
• Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts
• White bread, sugary cereals, refined pasta or rice
• Processed meat and red meat
• Low-fat products that have replaced saturated fat with added sugar
“Everyone is different and, ultimately, you know best how your body responds to different types of foods, so you may have to make individual adjustments when cooking at home, eating out, or attending celebrations,” Ms Priyanshi Bhatnagar (US certified Holistic Nutritionist) points out.
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar