Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar busts some popular myths about diabetes, as she shares the right thing to do in her audiobook 'Eating in the Age of Dieting', available on Audible.
Myth 1: Avoid Bananas, But Apple is Okay!
"All fruits contain natural sugars, mostly fructose, which has a low glycaemic index," says Rujuta in her audiobook on Audible. Bursting this common myth among people, she says,"Banana is even approved by the American Diabetes Association but shunned by doctors and dietitians in the country of its origin. Banana is not just safe but recommended for people with diabetes as it is mineral-rich and helps prevent high BP too."
Myth 2: Avoid Sugar in Chai/Coffee, But Biscuits Like Marie and Digestive Are Okay
"That teaspoon or even two of sugar in your chai is much better than the low-grade sugar, trans-fat, and emulsifier-rich biscuit/cracker," says Rujuta. Instead, she suggests, "If you must beat diabetes, then you must see that the real risk comes from the unregulated intake of food and misinformation about what is good or bad for you. So have the chai with sugar but limit it to a max of two to three cups a day, and don't touch biscuits and the likes."
Myth 3: Ghee Specifically and Fat in General, Must Be Avoided
Nothing could be further away from the truth. "Ghee and coconut both have the essential fatty acids that further support insulin, protect the heart, and help maintain the intestinal mucosa. So if you are diabetic, the one thing that you can't afford to miss out on is fat, and more specifically, ghee. Eat loads of it!" says Rujuta in her audiobook on Audible.
Myth 4: Walking is The Best Exercise. The Cardio is Good
While most of us believe walking daily is enough, Rujuta recommends "Lift weights and join a gym. Train your big muscles and develop strength in them, as loss of strength from the body is directly linked to insulin resistance and the incidence of diabetes. If you are diabetic, gymming is the best exercise for you."
Myth 5: Once You Are Diabetic, You Stay Diabetic
"Not true! It's easy to regulate blood sugars and support insulin function through the right approach to diet, exercise, and lifestyle" says Rujuta Diwekar in her audiobook on Audible. Forever an advocate for local and traditional food, she adds,"Eating traditional, local and seasonal is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to stay healthy. We have been systematically taken away from our native eating habits and introduced to new ones to live healthier lives. But in the bargain, we have gotten fatter, sicker, and diabetic."
PS: It's never too late to change though. Start small, start with the basics: work out, eat the way your grandmom taught you to and regulate your bedtime. Your stress and sugar both will climb down and your confidence will climb up. (Agency)
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We've all learned over the last two years how important it is to strengthen the body's natural defence system. If there's one thing we've learned from the pandemic, it's not to take our health for granted and that the best way to fight sickness is to strengthen our defence, i.e., our immune system.
The age-old Vedic Kadha, the mystical combination that has been a well-known part of history, is a fantastic place to start when adding immunity-boosting foods and beverages to our normal diet even if our immune system is skilled at fighting off infectious diseases.
What is Kadha?
Created by ancient sages with profound knowledge of herbs and spices, this decoction is used all over India as a general precaution to prevent colds and boost immunity. It is made using simple ingredients available in every kitchen.
Kadha is being re-discovered by the world as yet another powerfully potent superfood from the timeless tradition of ancient Indian wellness as it improves the body's natural ability to fight common ailments. Before discussing the preparations and proportions of Kadha, let's take a quick look at a few important benefits.
Benefits of Kadha
Highly effective against common cold and cough
Anti-viral and anti-inflammation
Natural adaptogen that helps in all eviating stress
Throat decongestant and soother
Fights internal infection
Reduces blood pressure
Regulates blood sugar
Aids digestion and acidity
Recipe of Kadha
In terms of preparation, it is generally made by boiling herbs and spices like cardamom, dry ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, ajwain (carom seeds), fennel, amla (Indian gooseberry), tulsi (holy basil), licorice, etc.
This liquid is then strained and consumed.
It tastes mildly a stringent with highly soothing flavours, a perfect homemade beverage to cozy upto. It has pungent notes from cardamom and hints of earthy sweetness from cinnamon and fennel. The unmistakable hit of black pepper and dry ginger immediately clears the throat.
There is no single recipe for Kadha. Everyone has their own combination of spices and herbs. That are used, depending on availability. However, generally, all Kadha recipes will include cloves, cinnamon, dry ginger, licorice, and tulsi. While making your own Kadha at home, it is important to understand why you should use certain ingredients and how they will benefit your health.
Turmeric is a well-known spice that contains curcumin. Full of antioxidants, curcumin has high anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric also helps in fighting the free radicals in the body.
Black pepper is a powerful spice with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The piperine in black pepper increases the bio-availability (absorption of nutrients by the body) of curcumin and other compounds, making it the magical ingredient in Kadha.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Also called Indian Basil, Tulsi is loaded with Vitamins A and C. As a natural adaptogen, tulsi helps the body adapt to stress and anxiety. It has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties that help fight infections internally. Tulsi helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
Ginger is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps in relieving nausea and aids digestion. Ginger is also said to help in lowering blood sugar.
Made from the inner bark of cinnamon trees, this sweet spice is a powerhouse of antioxidants that boost immunity by negating the effect of free radicals in the body. It is also thought to be effective in fighting bacterial and fungal infections.
These tiny flower buds have a strong, minty taste. Cloves are loaded with vitamins, and candles have anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties, and they help to improve respiration, stress relief, dental health, and blood circulation.
You can make your own version of Kadha at home using these ingredients in appropriate quantities. While it is recommended to have it daily, you can start building the habit by having 2-3 cups a week.
We all have hectic schedules and little time to spare, making it difficult to take care of our health. On such days, we all look for something more convenient, so if you prefer easy-to-brew teas that are made from 100% high-quality natural ingredients. (Bala Sarda, Founder & CEO, VAHDAM India)
Read More► These Super Fruits Will Help You Recover Faster From Dengue
Dengue fever is rampant and its incidents have grown over time. Each year, mosquito bites cause dengue fever to strike millions of people around the world. With the arrival of monsoon, cases in India begin to climb and experience a dramatic increase in the months that follow. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi reported around 900 dengue cases in the city in October, based on its statistics.
In order to promote speedy healing and strengthen immunity, it's critical to keep a mindful diet and consume foods that are strong in vitamins and nutrients.
"While patients are advised to take proper rest and drink plenty of fluids in order to recover fast and prevent dehydration, there are some super foods that help regain one's strength. Varun Khurana, Founder & CEO Otipy shares below the list of superfruits that help one recover faster from the illness and support overall health.
As per various studies Kiwi fruit has been found to have a strong therapeutic effect on dengue fever and other concomitant symptoms. It contains copper, which is particularly important for the production of healthy red blood cells and enhancing resistance to infection. It is also a rich source of potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin A which maintains the body's electrolyte balance. We can talk about immunity also since Kiwi has good amount of Vitamin C & natural immunity is important in fighting against Dengue etc.
Pomegranate stands out for its high iron content. It aids in preserving a healthy blood platelet count, which is necessary for recovering from dengue. Its consumption has an overall positive impact on the body; It combats fatigue and exhaustion, which is common in dengue and persists for several weeks after recovery in the acute stage.
Citrus fruits are proven to be beneficial for dengue patients. Malta has a high concentration of antioxidants and vitamin C. Patients with dengue infection are susceptible to dehydration and Malta helps the body stay hydrated along with fighting fatigue, and boosting immunity. A simple cup of Malta juice added to the patient's daily meal can significantly strengthen their immune system.
Papaya extract is a good source of the digestive enzymes papain and chymopapain, which help with digestion, stop bloating, and treat other digestive issues. Papaya leaves are the highly recommended remedy to fight dengue and consumed widely. 30ml of freshly squeezed papaya leaf juice aids in the treatment of dengue by boosting platelet count.
It is a natural source of water which provides essential minerals and electrolytes. In most cases, dehydration follows dengue and coconut water has adequate minerals and salts which keeps the body hydrated. A Lot of fluid intake is recommended for quick recovery and coconut water is one of the essential and readily available fluids that helps the body heal faster.
Along with being packed with potent antioxidants, high fibre and iron content, it is also a rich source of vitamin C. It boosts cellular immunity of the patients and protects against dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue fever often causes acute pain in the bones and dragon fruit helps in restoring bone strength and increases hemoglobin due to its powerful antioxidant properties.
Bananas come under the category of easily digestible fruits. In order to recover fast from dengue's consequences, the patients are advised to consume food that is easy to digest and has sufficient amounts of nutrients and maintain a balanced diet. In addition to being one of the best foods that help with digestion, they are rich in Potassium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C which acts as a booster in recovering from the disease.
While the primary need is to get the necessary medical care, the aforementioned superfoods being a rich source of vital vitamins and minerals are highly recommended as they act as a booster for a quick recovery. (Varun Khurana, Founder & CEO of Otipy)
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Consistency is among the most underappreciated aspects of fitness. We frequently place a lot of emphasis on the most efficient kind of exercise or what's popular right now, but consistency-building is typically given less attention. The best fitness programme in the world won't help you if you don't stick to it. Because of this, adherence is regarded as the most important component of any workout programme.
A number of aspects, including nutrition, the correct activity programming, and motivation, go into making progress; if any one of these factors fails, it will have a domino effect that will cause you to fail or stagnate. To maintain the proper frame of mind and sufficient drive, one must adhere to and be consistent with their actions.
With fitness goals, consistency helps to motivate people and fosters a sense of accomplishment. Consistency maintenance becomes crucial because of this. This implies that not every session will be fantastic, but what counts is that you showed up, made an effort to move toward your objective, and maintained the momentum.
Everybody experiences days when exercising or working out is completely out of the question, and it's these days that can make or break the momentum. We must make sure that these days are worthwhile. This does not imply that you should work out intensely. Simply put, this means that at the conclusion of days like this, we need to know that we exerted every effort to engage in activities and that we made progress toward our goal.
In order to keep up with our routine on days when we lack motivation, we must engage in enjoyable or simple activities. Here, there are a few straightforward things that can be done.
Some of the easiest things to keep up momentum when you are having a rough day are as follows:
This is a seamless way to ensure that activity gets done without dedicating a separate time to work out. On busy days or days of poor motivation having a step target of something like 10k steps helps you get some activity done without hitting the gym. This can be spread across the day and can be done at your own pace
You do not need an intense workout all the time to reach your goals. Some days backing off and going on a nice long walk can serve as an activity to make sure that you keep up your consistency while also ensuring you clear your mind from a tough day's work. It is very important to not have a black-or-white mindset with exercise and understand that not all days have to be intense.
Not all days have to be intense gym workouts with plenty of machines and weights. Home workouts are a simple and effective way to get done with the activity of the day while still getting in an effective session. The following is a quick and simple way to do a super simple home workout
Upper body warm-up (e.g. arm swings or Shoulder rotations) - 10 reps
Lower body warm-up (e.g. leg swings or High knees) - 10 reps
Primary Workout circuit (Repeat them one after another for 5 rounds)
Exercise 1 - Core (Eg, Crunches or Tall plank sh taps) - 15 reps
Lower-body exercise 1 (Eg, Bodyweight Squats or lunges) - 15 reps
Upper body exercise 1 (Eg Wall push-ups or push-ups) - 10 reps
High-intensity exercise 1 (Eg Inchworms or burpees) - 10 reps
Shoulder stretch - 30 seconds/side
Hamstring stretch - 30 seconds/side
The above is just an example and please be sure to consult your doctor before starting any physical activity or exercise routine.
These days there are so many apps that can help us to quickly be a part of nearby sports and game activities like football, cricket, badminton, tennis, etc. This is a great way to keep it interesting while getting a good high-intensity session in. The great part is that you'll be able to socialize and gain some new friends too in the process.
These are a few strategies you can use to maintain your momentum when things get challenging or when you're lacking motivation. Always keep in mind that any improvement is better than none at all.
Read More► The importance of a workout regime to check diabetes
Back pain today and especially lower back pain have become a chronic ailment in India. The disease is no longer limited to the elderly but is also increasing among the youth. Long working hours along with a sedentary lifestyle is putting too much strain on our spinal discs and back muscles and has highlighted the need for us to take steps and prevent any long-term complications.
Several reasons like sports injuries, excessive stress over flexible joints and congenital spinal problems can cause chronic back pain among children and teenagers. Additionally, substance abuse too can cause adolescents to experience back pain. According to several recent studies, it has been found that adolescents who smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and are suffering from mental health conditions like depression and anxiety are likely to suffer from back pain more frequently. For instance, 14-15-year-olds who consume alcohol and smoke tobacco experience back pain more than once a week than those who rarely or never had pain.
This combination of back pain along with unhealthy habits also creates long-term complications in adulthood. The use of toxic substances in early adolescence increases the risk of substance abuse and mental health problems in adulthood and makes the developing brain more susceptible to the negative influences of these substances which also has consequences on our spine.
Chronically poor posture during adolescence in rare cases can stretch the ligaments and can give rise to curved or slightly humped back called kyphosis. In a few cases, back pain can also indicate the emergence of unrelated problems to the spine such as Kidney problems that can cause lower back pain problems on either side of the spine. In certain rare cases, back pain can also be caused by a tumour. Therefore, on this world spine day, we share a few tips that can help you maintain spinal health and can prevent back pain.
Maintain a good posture
People who work long hours on their computers usually slouch a lot which puts pressure on their back muscles, spine and neck and causes pain. Similarly, the ones who are on their mobile phones, often lie on their stomachs with their necks arched upwards which can lead to spine damage. Hence, maintaining an upright posture in alignment with the neck and the lower back and following the correct desktop monitor or laptop level can prevent damage to their spines.
Taking short breaks
Taking short and frequent breaks can help in reducing both work-related mental stress, as well as the physical stress on our spines. Sitting in one position for extended hours is unhealthy and can worsen back pain. Thus, movement while working for longer periods is recommended as it can strengthen the muscles and nerves.
Our sedentary jobs weaken our trunk, core and lumbar muscles, and spine and cause back pain. Exercises like partial crunches, bridge, hamstring stretches, knee-to-chest, cat stretch, and shoulder and neck rolls can help restore the fluidity of our muscles, joints, and spinal discs and can alleviate the pain.
Regular brisk walking too is an easy-to-do and effective way to relieve back and spine pain. Walking and exercising can also help in reducing weight, increasing blood flow to the muscles of the spine and raising the oxygen and nutrient levels in the blood which rejuvenates the muscles and relieves pain.
Adopting a balanced diet
Avoid fatty foods and consuming plenty of water can also help you avoid back and spine problems. Consuming low-fat, calcium and protein-rich diets that are filled with essential minerals can help you in keeping your weight in check and can reduce the overall pressure on your spine.
Our spine is a marvel of engineering that consists of a series of vertebrae which extend from the skull to the small back, enclosing the spinal cord and providing support for our thorax and abdomen. It comprises basic structures such as vertebrae, disks, cervical spine, thoracic spine, lumbar spine and coccyx which are held erect to provide balance to our body. Living in constant pain for a longer period can have a debilitating impact on the quality of life for many patients. Even the simple daily chores will seem like a huge task When the pain becomes persistent even after months of conventional treatments. So, let us pledge this world spine day, that we will take care of our spine and take steps that can help us in leading a healthy life.
(Dr. Umesh Srikantha, Consultant - Neurosurgery, Head of Spine Services, Aster CMI Hospital)
Physical activity or a regular workout regime is a key element in managing type 2 diabetes. Until recently studies showing the significance of exercise to manage diabetes were very less. However, now we can see that there is plenty of research highlighting the importance of exercise to manage blood glucose levels effectively.
The research indicates that participation in a regular workout regime improves blood glucose control, preventing or delaying the onset of type 2 diabetes, and boosts your body's sensitivity to insulin, countering insulin resistance.
Also, regular physical activity positively affects blood pressure, and cardiovascular health, lower harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides raise healthy HDL cholesterol, strengthens muscles and bones, reduces anxiety, and improves your general well-being.
How does exercise affect blood glucose levels?
Early in the exercise, the glycogen stores are utilized as fuel. Further when the glycogen stores are depleted, the muscles increase the uptake of blood glucose along with the free fatty acids released from the adipose tissues.
Muscles can utilize your blood glucose without insulin intervention when you're doing physical activity.
What type of activity helps in diabetes management?
All forms of exercise such as aerobic, resistance, or doing both in a structured workout regime has shown to lower HbA1c values in people with diabetes.
Resistance training and aerobic exercise both help to lower insulin resistance, however, combining the two types of exercise proved more beneficial than doing either one alone. In a recent meta-analysis, aerobic, resistance, and combined exercise training were found to be associated with HbA1c reductions of 0.67 per cent following 12 or more weeks of training.
Hence people with diabetes need to maintain a healthy workout regime.
Resistance training for diabetes
70-80 per cent of the glucose in your body after a meal goes into the muscles. Maintaining a good muscle mass is essential for better glucose uptake. Hence adding resistance training to the workout regime becomes highly important.
Emerging research suggests that resistance training has the power to combat metabolic dysfunction in patients with Type 2 Diabetes and seems to be an effective measure to improve lower metabolic risk factors in diabetes individuals and improve overall metabolic health. A meta-analysis of 10 included supervised resistance exercise studies, RT reduced HbA1c by 0.48 per cent.
Resistance exercise further increases excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC after exercise is related to the utilization of fat as fuel which is beneficial for weight loss.
Resistance training appears to be a useful strategy to enhance overall metabolic health and lower metabolic risk factors in diabetic patients since it appears to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
Aerobic training for diabetes
In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, moderate to high levels of aerobic activity are significantly linked to decrease cardiovascular and total mortality risks.
In type 2 diabetes, therapies using aerobic exercise have dominated the research about the impact of exercise on glycemic indices. Large muscular groups are moved continuously and rhythmically during aerobic activity, which includes activities like cycling, jogging, and walking. According to the most recent ADA recommendations, individual aerobic activity sessions should preferably last at least 30 minutes each day and be carried out 3 to 7 days a week.
Moderate to vigorous (65 per cent-90 per cent of maximum heart rate) aerobic exercise training improves VO2max cardiac output, which is associated with substantially reduced cardiovascular and overall mortality risk in patients with type 2 diabetes.
In individuals with type 2 diabetes, regular training reduces hbA1c and insulin resistance Alternatively, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) promotes insulin sensitivity and glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes.
Aerobic exercise boosts the number of mitochondria, insulin sensitivity, oxidative enzymes, blood vessel compliance and responsiveness, immune system activity, lung function, and cardiac output.
While aerobic exercises are good on their account, it is important to make sure there is a combined activity of both aerobic and resistance training for better benefits.
What precautionary measures should I take before exercising?
Checking your blood sugars before your workouts can help you understand your body better and start taking necessary precautions.
When your blood sugars are lower than 100 mg/dL, it may be too low to exercise safely. Eat a small snack containing 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates, such as a fruit (banana or apple- they digest quickly and give you better energy) before you begin your workout.
When your blood sugars are 100 to 250 mg/dL You're good to go. This is a safe blood sugar range before exercise for the majority of people. If you feel like you need extra energy, you can still eat fruit before working out.
When your blood sugars are 250 mg/dL or higher, then it's not safe to exercise as the blood sugars are too high. Consult with your physician for controlling the blood sugars and then follow their instructions before doing any activity because exercise can sometimes raise blood sugar even higher.
Exercise plays a critical role in the prevention and treatment of insulin resistance, prediabetes, GDM, type 2 diabetes, and diabetes-related health issues. Hence, it's ideal to follow a regular workout regime to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and thereby manage diabetes.
(Chandni Haldurai is a Lead Nutritionist of Cult.fit)