Diabetes the new epidemic in India
“DIABETES is fast gaining the status of a potential epidemic in India with more than 62 million diabetic individuals currently diagnosed with the disease.1,2 In 2000, India (31.7 million) topped the world with the highest number of people with DIABETES mellitus followed by China (20.8 million) with the United States (17.7 million) in second and third place respectively. According to Wild et al.3 the prevalence of DIABETES is predicted to double globally from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030 with a maximum increase in India. It is predicted that by 2030 diabetes mellitus may afflict up to 79.4 million individuals in India, while China (42.3 million) and the United States (30.3 million) will also see significant increases in those affected by the disease.3,4 India currently faces an uncertain future in relation to the potential burden that diabetes may impose upon the country. Many influences affect the prevalence of disease throughout a country, and identification of those factors is necessary to facilitate change when facing health challenges. So what are the factors currently affecting diabetes in India that are making this problem so extreme?” – Australian Medial Journal (AMJ, V7 (1); 2014
One is bound to feel disarrayed by the staggering numbers indicated above. Diabetes is the new bitch of a son-in-law in the country, asking for attention and lots of it. Also, the question at the end of the paragraph makes one think of a lot of issues and areas at a time, trying to tease out the cause-effect implications of many things – our food habits, our rituals, our philosophy (for crying out loud), expansion of the neo-rich class, our sedentary life styles and stress. Nevertheless, the medical fraternity assures, with medication, exercise and minor changes to food habits; one could lead a normal life.
I curb the urge to question “Oh, normal life is it? Like how one sees better after one get’s the first pair bi-focal glasses?”
Let me be honest. Nothing is the same again.
But, not to worry; there is lot of understanding on the malicious workings of the disease and how patients could maneuver their lives around it, to beat diabetics at its game. Just, a little understanding is warranted.
Every freshly diagnosed diabetic goes through three stages – Denial, acceptance and action.
I call it the Chindi-chor phase. Where you convince yourself that that one piece of laddu won’t harm you or missing your medication once is not fatal – so chill, demanding every one stop eating sweets in the house, and sneaky midnight runs to your favorite food joints. Hells yeah, even become a thief sneaking into the kitchen, scooping into the pudding, when no one is watching. You struggle to accept the facts of your ‘new’ life and the new demands made by the disease.
I call this the Pinjari phase. (Pinjari is a snake that lies un-moving after it is hit by an opponent giving the impression it is dead, before it attacks). Extract the ‘sweet tooth’ doctor advices phase, everyone knows your secret phase, you are weighed down by a deep craving for a chocolate sundae, walking out of the doctor’s office phase after your first routine checkup. That is how deep the change is, you realize.
Also, in this phase, there is no denying that exercise and diet gain new significance and meaning in your life. Something that you resisted watching your sides bulge out, when you sat in a chair. This is hard work not fat that is bursting out, you rationalize. You resist exercise but accept the fact that you are diabetic and come to terms with the disease and peace with yourself.
But, troubles come in threes they say, right? Calories become your new nagging wife, constantly reminding you of the debilitating predicament and the fact that you know nothing about them or the significance of their role in your life. And that takes you to third stage.
I call this the teri-toh phase. Reading up every web page, flaunting your misinformation to friends and family like an authority on the subject, trying to convince everyone that your information is correct with a perpetual tag line – I know, I have it too and I tried it, I know what I am doing phase with exercise and cutting down on food intake. This is the phase that most people are muddling in not knowing how to understand the information out there or what to make of all the research.
I don’t blame them. With tons of contradicting research and views, many find it confusing, time consuming and taxing to grapple with all things diabetics, especially what to eat and drink.
I sympathize with you guys. It is difficult to keep the chains clasped around the enemy.
While what one eats and drinks becomes paramount in keeping tabs on your blood sugar levels, knowing the quantity to intake becomes even more important.
I plan to write a series on the topic with lots of cool research and tips along with some awesome recipes.
And here is a recipe to get you started on the adventure of new recipes and new ways of cooking and eating. There is lot more to come.
Before we go further, here is one of my favorite drinks, my Amma’s very own, just for you.
4- 5 12” long fresh carrots (150 gms)
½ liter skimmed milk
2 table spoons honey
2” long cinnamon stick
2 cups water
Peel the carrots and steam them in a cooker until blows one whistle and allow them to cool.
Grind the cinnamon stick to fine power and set aside.
Boil milk and set aside to cool.
Make a fine paste of the carrots in the blender. Add water and milk and give it a quick blend, one more time. Make sure all the ingredients are mixed well. Mix the cinnamon power and honey. Stir well and serve chilled.
Here are some fun, cool facts:
** Cinnamon helps release the sugars at a slower rate. So it is advised to be used in all your cooking.
** Honey is sweeter than granulated sugar and so you use less; Pure honey is a healthier choice in a diabetic diet plan, research says (If you are surprised, follow the series).
Enjoy your summer with calorie free drinks.
Finally, before I sign off here are two tables.
Table 1: Nutritional Chart for the recipe above
The recipe serves 4 – 5 people. And the best part, it comes to about 100 calories per serving Not bad for a good nutritious drink made at home, eh?
Here are some cool comparisons for drinks, calories wise.