In recent times, Diabetes Mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, has turned out as the largest prevalent chronic disease across the world. Global statistics show that approximately 382 million people all over the world were suffering from diabetes in the year 2013. While the basic causes of diabetes are genetic susceptibility or insulin resistance, the modern day sedentary lifestyle, physical inactivity and obesity can also play a dominant role in causing diabetes. Diabetes should not be ignored at any cost because once intensified, this disease can lead to heart disease, stroke, foot ulcers, kidney failure, and eye damage.
Diabetes can be caused due to many reasons, but there are two chief reasons that commonly cause this disorder. First one is when, the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar level. The second most common reason is the failure of your body cells to utilize the insulin in a proper way. There are three types of diabetes:
Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes is a kind of auto-immune disease, caused when the immune system turns against the body. This destroys the insulin producing cells of the pancreas, thereby increasing the glucose level in blood and urine. Type 1 diabetes is more common among children and young adults and is also known as juvenile diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body cells fail to use the insulin that is produced by the pancreas. It is the most common form of diabetes and comprises 90% of the cases. Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes occurs in women during pregnancy when the insulin receptors fail to function properly. It is diagnosed through screening during pregnancy and in most cases recovers after pregnancy.
The early signs of diabetes should not be ignored because it can lead to serious complications in future. The following are some common symptoms:
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, the worst thing you can do is worrying and stressing about the matter. It will make your condition more complicated. You have a control over your health and you can always make it better by taking charge of it. Following these easy and simple steps can help you control diabetes in an effective and healthy way.
Research shows that a low calorie vegetarian diet helps in controlling diabetes and regulating the glucose level in blood. A diet rich in vegetables and whole grains has much higher levels of soluble and insoluble fibers and much lower cholesterol and saturated fat compared to a non-vegetarian diet. Fiber helps in keeping us satiated for a longer period of time as it takes time to break down thus keeping blood sugar level under control. Eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables like green beans, bean sprouts, beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower cucumber, mushrooms, green peas, radishes, onions, tomatoes, turnips, etc.
Overweight or obese people have a greater risk of developing diabetes compared to people with normal weight. Be active and do regular exercise like brisk walking, stretching and yoga for 1 hour. People suffering from diabetes are suggested to lose weight through exercise because intense workouts burn the stored glucose in the body. When this stored glucose is exhausted, the body uses the glucose from the blood stream, thereby reducing the glucose level in blood. Regular workouts will keep diabetes under control.
Coffee has various health benefiting aspects and new research show that having more than one cup of coffee per day can have a positive effect in reducing blood glucose. Although in the short term one might experience an increase in blood glucose level, but prolonged consumption of coffee increases insulin sensitivity thereby lowering glucose levels. Of course you must let go of the sugar, milk and cream if you want to keep diabetes under control.
Inflammation and free radical damage are two of the most harmful side effects of type 2 diabetes. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruit and berries have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps in fighting and preventing free radical damage and inflammation. Moreover, the naringin and neohesperidin present in citrus fruits increases insulin sensitivity of cells in a natural way. Include citrus fruits in your daily diet for fighting diabetes in a more effective manner. In addition, fruit juices are great for youthful and younger looking skin.
The polyphenols and polysaccharides present in green tea help in reducing blood glucose level effectively by increasing insulin activity. The enzyme amylase converts starch into glucose in our body and the polyphenols reduces the production of amylase, thereby keeping blood sugar level under control. Research shows that people who drink 4 cups of green tea per day are at 16% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who don’t drink green tea.
One devastating aspect of the modern fast paced life is stress and anxiety. Stress in both emotional and physical forms can have a detrimental effect on health. A stressful situation increases the release of stress hormones, called epinephrine and cortisol. These hormones raise blood glucose levels in order to supply energy to the body which disrupts the sugar balance. It is very difficult to shut yourself from problems and anxiety, but try to soothe and relax by practicing yoga, meditation and having enough sleep.
Try to include more whole grains like oats in the diet. Although, oat is rich in carbohydrate but it is also a great source of soluble fiber that takes time to digest and keep us satiated for a longer period of time. This prevents blood sugar from increasing or fluctuating. Moreover, oats help in reducing weight and is a great source of energy. Therefore, begin your day with a bowl full of yummy oats.
Soda in any form- diet or plain is extremely harmful for diabetics because it promotes weight gain and reduces the body’s ability of absorbing glucose. It leads to a sudden increase in blood sugar that completely disrupts the sugar balance. One glass of soda contains 16 teaspoons of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Substitute soda with lemon and mint infused water.
Water is an integral part of life and it also helps in regulating blood glucose levels. Drinking at least 10-12 glasses of water daily can help in balancing blood sugar. Water consumption and blood sugar are related to the hormone vasopressin that controls the water level in the body. When our body is dehydrated, vasopressin signals the liver to increase the production of glucose, which in turn increases the glucose level in blood. Thus, drink plenty of water to keep blood sugar under control.
Type 2 diabetes can also be controlled effectively by using natural home remedies like methi or fenugreek seeds, karela or bitter gourd and cinnamon. You must, however consult with a physician and don’t stop your medication while trying these remedies. Soak fenugreek seeds in a glass of water over night and drink this water while chewing the seeds in the morning after you get out of bed. Make juice of one green bitter gourd in the blender and drink in the morning. Take ½ tablespoon of cinnamon daily in the morning.
Diabetes and desserts don’t go together and people suffering from diabetes are cruelly deprived of delicious and mouthwatering sweet dishes. But worry no more, we have listed a selection of easy to make and healthy dessert recipes ideal for diabetics.
Treat yourself with a vanilla ice cream this summer with this recipe that is ideal for diabetics. Ingredients:
Direction: Mix milk powder and corn flour with 2 tablespoons of milk. Boil the rest of the milk in a pan and add the mixture while stirring the milk, boil for another 5 minutes and set aside. Let it cool, now add cream, sugar substitute and vanilla powder, pour it in a flat box, cover and freeze for 4 hours, bring it out and blend the ice cream till has a smooth creamy texture, add the walnuts and pour it back in the same box and freeze till it is set. Serve with chopped nuts.
Kheer is a traditional sweet dish of India that has an amazingly rich taste and intense flavors. Ingredients:
Direction: Soak the saffron threads in 2 tablespoon or rose water. Boil the milk with sugar substitute and cardamom till the milk thickens. Now add cashew nuts and dates and remove from flame. Set it in two bowls and sprinkle the rose water from above, let it freeze for 1 hour and serve.
Firni is an extremely popular and delicious Indian delicacy prepared by boiling rice paste in milk. Now enjoy the diabetic version of this amazing dessert. Ingredients:
Direction: Soak the rice in water for an hour, drain and grind in a grinder. Make a paste with the rice and 1/2 cup milk and keep aside. Boil the rest of the milk in a pan and add the rice paste with stirring continuously. Boil the mixture for 15 minutes, add sugar substitute, rose essence and cream and boil for another 5 minutes. Remove from flame and let it cool, keep in the refrigerator for 1 hour, garnish with chopped pistachios and serve.
Enjoy refreshing and zesty taste of strawberries with this yummy dessert that is sure to steal your heart away. Ingredients:
Direction: Boil the water and mix gelatin in it. Let it cool for 10 minutes. In a blender, add the gelatin, ice cubes, 1/2 cup water and blend till it acquires a smooth texture. Pour in small glass bowls and refrigerate until set. Garnish with banana slices, strawberry slices and whipped cream.
This is yet another traditional Indian cold dessert that has a rich flavorful taste and buttery smooth texture. Ingredients:
Direction: Soak saffron strands in 2 tablespoons of water and keep aside. Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed vessel for 10 Minutes, lower the flame and let it simmer till it thickens and becomes concentrated considerably, keep stirring continuously, add the saffron to the milk and simmer it for 1 hour. Now add the sugar substitute, raisins and cardamom pods and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from flame and let it cool completely. Pour it in the moulds and freeze of 6-8 hours. Enjoy with rose syrup. Enjoy these amazingly delicious recipes and stay healthy. Now your blood sugar level is under your control and so is your health.