Diabetes On The Rise In Indian Women
On World Diabetes Day, let’s look at diabetes in Indian women. We explore the reasons behind the rapid rise in India — lack of exercise, an unhealthy diet, and irregular sleeping hours.
By Shadab Khan
A woman juggles many different roles – as a mother, a wife, a sister, etc. Therefore, she has limited time to devote to herself and her interests. The health of her family and loved ones take precedence over her own health, which results in many illnesses, including diabetes.
Diabetes in women:
Diabetes is a prevalent condition in more than 17 per cent of women in urban areas. Furthermore, there has been an 80 per cent increase among women suffering from diabetes nationwide (4.6 per cent to 8.3 per cent) in the past three decades.
This rise in diabetes can be attributed to many factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, irregular eating habit, no exercise and low priority to health check-ups. However, most people would not be aware that proper dietary patterns can help to prevent and control diabetes amongst people.
According to an article published in a new website, a survey conducted across 14 cities in India revealed that over 60 per cent of Indian women are at a risk of diabetes. The findings also showed that 78 per cent women interviewed were aware of diabetes as a serious health concern and more than 70 per cent women believed that a healthy lifestyle will help prevent diabetes and its associated complications.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a medical condition where one’s blood glucose or blood sugar levels are too high. There are two types of diabetes:
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin; whereas, Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar.
One of the drawbacks of working full time is work pressure and reliance on junk food. Doctors are concerned that this harmful lifestyle is making people prone to a host of diseases caused by unhealthy eating and lack of exercise.
Hence, eating well-balanced meals and regular physical activities are essential to healthy living and taking better care of oneself. Women should, therefore, balance their food intake and exercise regularly to prevent and even manage diabetes.
Here are a few tips for the same:
- Incorporate foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre in your diet.
- Fill up at least the half portion of your plate with non-starchy vegetables for a healthy meal.
- Avoid sweets and chocolates. Take fruits to satisfy your sweet cravings.
- Take time to plan before you shop and stock your kitchen so that everything you need for quick meals is available.
- Healthy snacks like nuts and oats can help curb hunger while adding a nutritious energy boost to your day.
Supercharging your diet:
The right consumption of a balanced food and a proper diet can help a lot but supplementing the diet with the right kind of nutrients can help assist lower blood glucose levels, improve glucose utilization and increase insulin levels in diabetes. Here are a few examples of some foods:
- Bitter melons: Extracts from bitter melons contain at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, which has been confirmed to have a blood glucose-lowering effect, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p. These substances either work individually or together to help reduce blood sugar levels.
- Touchi extract: Touchi is a fermented soybean product that has been used for thousands of years in China and Japan and its extract is concentrated. It is a natural alternative with similar health benefits and none of these has side effects.
- Gymnema sylvestre: Is a herb native to the tropical forests of southern and central India. It’s been used medicinally in ayurveda (an ancient Indian medicinal practice) for over 2,000 years.
- Fenugreek: Is high in soluble fibre, which helps lower blood sugar by slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. This suggests that it may be effective in treating people with diabetes.
Additionally, specialised blends of ingredients such as zinc and key B-vitamins support a variety of health concerns related to blood sugar, provide support for carbohydrate metabolism. This formula also includes glutamine, carnitine and leucine to help fuel muscles.
Changes in lifestyle:
A lifestyle disease is caused by an individual’s daily habits. They are different from others because they can be tackled with changes in diet, lifestyle, environment, and the right kinds of supplementations. Here are a few measures that women should initiate:
Taking supplements can provide additional nutrients to your diet or when certain health conditions cause you to develop an insufficiency or deficiency.
With years of scientific research to the manufacturing and packaging processes, quality is ensured in supplements provided by companies such as GNC.
Supplements are tailored to women, men, and specific age groups. The right amounts of a vitamin or mineral ensure that you are healthy and stay well-nourished.
It is important for women to understand that they can take better care of their families if they are healthy themselves. As the American author, Joyce Meyer had once rightly stated, “I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.”
The author is CEO, GNC India
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