Diabetes Check

Indians & Diabetes: where are we going wrong?

India is home to almost 77 million individuals with diabetes and 1 in every 6 individuals with diabetes across the world are from India. Blame it on our genes, urbanization, modern eating patterns, stressful lifestyle, lack of exercise, etc but fact remains that we need to fight this out, together!

Diabetes In India

The world has witnessed the highest deaths in people with comorbidities during the Covid-19 pandemic; major comorbidities being diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, etc. Where are we going wrong? The simple answer is — in our country, the entire focus is only on the management of these diseases but there is no focus on prevention. This is the sad truth.

It is very righteously said, “Eating well is a form of self-respect” and when we obey it in the right form, we can prevent several comorbidities including diabetes.

5 key points that highlight where we are going wrong:

  1. Too many carbs: Indians mainly prefer eating too many carbohydrates (mainly wheat & rice) maybe because they are widely grown, are cheap, and easily available and at the same time they give a feeling of fullness. However, this high carbohydrate burden is difficult for the body to manage and adds extra calories resulting in extra body weight.
Solution: Reduce dense carbs (cereals)and replace them with lighter carbs (vegetables & fruits). Replace your meals from 5–6 chapatis and 1 bowl veg to 2-3 multigrain chapatis, 2 bowls veg, salad (1 raw cucumber/ carrot), and 1 small apple. Replace dal-chawal with dal-dalia/ dalia khichdi.


Also, prefer a variety of cereals, rather than just wheat for making rotis. We Indians have been known to develop a reduced response to insulin mainly due to too much dependency on wheat. Hence, it is advisable to use multigrain roti/ jowar bhakhris/ bajra bhakhris/ nachni bhakhris, instead of plain wheat.

Milk And Cereals


2. Too little proteins: Our diet is mainly less in proteins and we barely eat the recommended amount of proteins. But that’s not only because proteins are expensive, it is even because we don’t know how to use available resources.

Solution: Non-vegetarians can gain excellent quality proteins by including 2 eggs daily in their diet. Vegetarians can use recipes made of cereal-pulse or cereal-milk combination — for eg idli, dosa, uttapam, khichdi, etc. Curd — roti, milk — roti too are excellent sources of proteins. Doodh-roti is usually considered poor mans breakfast but it is much beneficial than urban breakfast which includes toast/ bread/ sandwiches, etc.




3. Attitude towards exercise: Unfortunately, exercise still remains an understated and underrecognized activity for scores of people. This leads to loss of lean muscle during adulthood. Also, a sedentary lifestyle coupled with extra calorie consumption leads to overweight which further leads to obesity and then into diabetes.

Solution: WALK, WALK, WALK! One cannot underestimate the numerous benefits of simple walking. It is estimated that the addition of 25- 30 mins walking daily can help in reducing the risk of several comorbidities including diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, etc.



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