THE DESIGNER DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETES PATIENTS!Module 8

Kuttanlifeissues

THE DESIGNER DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETICS! Module 8

WARM UP:

What I have been always aggrieved about in connection with India’s tentative patchy and incompetently implemented from State to state  is that every ministry tends to approach ill health from the curative compensatory angle rather than from a far less expensive one–the prophylactic preventive angle!

It’s almost as if every State ministry is not only hell-bent upon but also finds bliss in letting drain vast amounts of taxpayer money!
(The dull reality remains that diabetes, like many NCDs, is a disease that CAN be easily prevented with a few changes!)

Kerala is no exception to this I am sad to say; recently the Heath minister announced the establishment of new cath labs, organ transplant hubs and dialysis facilities besides a health insurance scheme to appease those with NCDs.

The Public health Protection Agency (PHPA) is launching an “NCD risk factor…

View original post 1,905 more words

THE DESIGNER DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETES PATIENTS!Module 8

THE DESIGNER DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETICS! Module 8

WARM UP:

What I have been always aggrieved about in connection with India’s tentative patchy and incompetently implemented from State to state  is that every ministry tends to approach ill health from the curative compensatory angle rather than from a far less expensive one–the prophylactic preventive angle!

It’s almost as if every State ministry is not only hell-bent upon but also finds bliss in letting drain vast amounts of taxpayer money!
(The dull reality remains that diabetes, like many NCDs, is a disease that CAN be easily prevented with a few changes!)

Kerala is no exception to this I am sad to say; recently the Heath minister announced the establishment of new cath labs, organ transplant hubs and dialysis facilities besides a health insurance scheme to appease those with NCDs.

The Public health Protection Agency (PHPA) is launching an “NCD risk factor Survey” too as per ICMR guidelines” alongside in an effort to control the incidence of NCDS including diabetes. The survey is hoped to impart a massive IEC (Information, Education and Communication) in all schools and implementation of control strategies through local panchayats.

It pinpoints the following key factors behind diabetes too no less such as:

  • Salt intake per day
  • Physical inactivity
  • Physical measurements and BMI
  • Tobacco or alcohol use
  • Fasting blood sugar
  • Spot urine samples
  • Demographic variables!

Excellent of course but why don’t we think of pre-empting the very occurrence of diabetes or hypertension too? Isn’t prevention healthier and less expensive than treatment please?

This blog is devoted to re-designing our food consumption habits so that you and I NEVER get a chance to fall prey to diabetes at all!

Some recent healthy changes:

Some of the few healthy changes I happened to note in recent times, certainly in response to all the efforts of health magazines and medical programs on the TV on all the 365 days of the year have been:

  • The long-time habit of offering extra salt on the plantain leaves used for wedding lunches has quietly disappeared.
  • Malayali wives at least nowadays let their kids eat ONLY according to their actual need.
  • In recent recipes published in the media the final section is set apart for giving health related tips about the dangers of excess consumption of the item too. However this is not uniformly seen.

First of all let me make it clear that occasional fasting—or ending the day on a salad of vegetables and a fruit—is a health-giving habit, lest you should link this with Ramadan observed by Muslims. Incidentally they use this month for getting micronutrients through consumption of dry fruits at the end of each day.

Periodic fasts have been prescribed in all religions under one pretext or another. They actually pep up the efficacy of the metabolism. The Hindus have their Navaratri fast too to match this—a season when they can taste such exotic items as potato-tomato salad, or sabudana khichdi.

If you are a sports or games enthusiast or just a healthy conscious householder/homemaker, some 100 grams—never more– of whey protein also is good for you to increase your muscle and lessen fat.

Anyway, if you wish to get back to health from a pre diabetic state, some form of regular body movement is crucial—the kind of movement you get from a game from football or table tennis for beginners and wushu and soccer for the slightly advanced. Our aim must be NOT to let the Pre-diabetes advance to full blown diabetes.

REDESIGNING THE INDIAN FOOD PLATE!

Across centuries and probably across millennia too, we Indians have been rice eaters by far. This led to the co0nmventional design of the food plate as a single section with no sub divisions at all. It’s become imperative that we design the food plate afresh along scientific lines in the light of the thousands of research findings  we now possess as desired and needed by modern generation~!

For starters let’s think of the Benz Star—the star in front of all Benz cars with three spokes clearly dividing the 360 degrees into three equal parts covering 120 degrees each. Let’s insert a small circle right in its middle, covering one sixth of the total area.

The three major sections are earmarked for:

  • Carbohydrates like boiled rice or chapatis (wheat pancakes) plus fats of the PUFA/MUFA kind(e.g. extra virgin olive oil).Or take 4 capsules of fish oil with Omega3
  • Raw Vegetables like bell peppers, salad cucumber and/or slightly blanched spinach leaf
  • Proteins like fish and chicken, and
  • The central room for nuts (groundnuts/walnuts/dried fruits) or whole grains like bajra or oats.

The only condition is that he must not heap any of these major components except in special circumstances like doing manual labor all through the day when he may need two servings of protein!

The Indian Food Plate Version 2.0—which is guaranteed to prevent lifestyle diseases of most kinds- is ready. It’s as simple as that! To a layman, both illiterate and ignorant like the millions in this country, this design is as far as he can approach a plate of balanced food. He can’t understand the concept of Food Pyramid, need for macro-/ micro-nutrients or succeed in abiding by the many suggestions that doctors and dietitians may give him!

Thank God a few firms in NW—Haryana/Ludhiana area– are really turning out such Bhojan Plates but most of us tend to think of these as suitable only for gifts!

COMMON INDIAN MISCONCEPTIONS:

Some misconceptions need to be corrected at this stage. Earlier it was believed that eggs were dangerous for BP patients but today this fallacy has been disproved.

Again milk was thought of as harmful to grown-ups with a genetic tendency for diabetes but this also stands exposed today. Ghee (or clarified butter) is good for growing kids, but the quantity must be reduced once you cross 50.

The most popular fallacy is that you and I NEED sugary food items to get energy. This is simply not true. Our own body knows how to generate needed glucose from any starch food that we consume.

To put it simply you can be 100% healthy and strong without sugary snacks!

Again a “medical walk” is a brisk walking style; you must walk as fast as you can without running or jogging. If the method is right, you must feel a mild sweat at the end of the session.

This way your heart gets a good session of exercise for 30 minutes daily! Bear in mind that your heart ticks away in its characteristic LUBB-dub fashion one hundred thousand times every single day of your life on Earth!

Avoidable Diabetes-friendly factors in Indian life:

  1. Solo consumption habit:

Indian life is generally stressful from dawn till dusk partly thanks to the congestion, overpopulation and consequent competition for survival. Thuis anything that helps bring down stress will resist NCDs like BP or DM. Sharing food along with the rest of the family—instead of eating food alone– is one such de-stressful factor.

  1. Emotional Stress:

Urban India bristles with married bachelors/spinsters, ruptured/re-bounced marital ties, litigations, noisy arguments, mutual recriminations, and the stress linked to finding income enough to meet rising expenses. This leads to too much emotional stress and to personal vices like tobacco or booze consumption-both helpful for bringing diabetes.

The general uncertainty of leading a peaceful life is often remote what with unpredictable accidents on the roads, the ramshackle infrastructure, unpredictable traffic snarls, the bleak prognosis of getting hospitalized or treated by ill qualified physicians, shoestring family budgets vying with more impulsive purchases than rational ones, the spiraling expenses linked to education and schooling—all this take a heavy toll on the health of a person in India.

Such persons must at least practice daily meditation/socialization or travel to escape from the harm.

  1. Food/Drink orgies at the drop of a feather:

India is a land of too many hartals, bandhs, holidays, commemoration days and events – all of which get conventionally packed with occasional munching, film viewing, snacks, and sumptuous meals at home or at some hotel in company etc. The person coolly forgets how many extra calories are going into his or her body as a result and of course shies away from burning those calories away.

Visiting the local clinical lab without some medical emergency or a physician recommendation is entirely foreign to Indian ways of living (since almost all Indians take it as a fait accompli that their bodies are healthy enough and shall stand by their side in spite of personal vices).

An NGO here conducted a survey on a sample urban population and was horrified to discover that over 60% homes had stopped home cooking completely. In other words the parents and children preferred to consume breakfast, lunch and often supper too from stray junk food outlets on the roadsides of our towns and cities!

Red meat orgies are common in all cities and this woos diabetes on our behalf!

What a frightening parental crime to commit against one’s own kids!

Hence cholesterol shoots up and lipid profile turns diabetes friendly too. Almost 70 to 80% of the time the Metabolic Syndrome gets diagnosed only at a late stage when full blown diabetes has begun its fatal journey within the man’s systems!

  1. Tendency to go the extra mile in any One component:

One common scene in Indian homes when a guest arrives is to offer him mostly deep-fried oily items like banana/jackfruit chips or mixture or local sugary preparations—that is in place of a cooling salad.

And the naïve hostess goes on encouraging us to take in more and more of the same item in a happy spirit! This convention does more harm than good to the guest than to the host or hostess.

So this needs to be avoided and replaced by a couple of fresh ripe bananas. Or a bowl of fresh vegetables from the garden! Steamed food items are always to be preferred over fried foods and frying raw food in oil itself needs to be replaced with grilling the food.

When it comes to a disease like diabetes it’s never good to take excess protein or excess carbohydrates at any time.

  1. Preference for taking life easy :

Almost all Indians love to play hooky in order to make more money than they deserve when they are in office or in power of some kind and also erect homes far too spacious for their actual need.

They love to “retire with comfort” they tell us.

Such a sedentary lifestyle is by itself helpful for inviting an NCD like diabetes because superfluous food intake results in high triglycerides and fats stored in the body as adipose tissue. In fact the traditional hearsay has it that diabetes is a “royal” disease because only the wealthy would get it, but the reality is that they did get this illness because they led a sedentary lifestyle!

  1. Kitchen gadgets as demons:

Time was when our parents –usually it was the women that did these–used to grind pulses on a grinding stone, de-husk paddy in a mortar and with pestle,  and make a batter on another granite contraption through manual labor that made them sweat. This way, without their own being aware of it, they burnt away the extra calories that had got stored into their bodies from the food they ate.

Today, on the contrary, kitchen gadgets powered by electricity have made kitchen tasks a breeze, but in another sense they have flung our women to illnesses like diabetes also at the same time!

Of course it would be impractical if I were to suggest a “Return to Nature” or Paleo lifestyle, but its healthier to minimize over-dependence on these gadgets while compensating for the harm they do by doing daily sweat sessions!

Lifestyle Modification:

Daily exercise or at least ensuring 5 hours of physical exercise a week is absolutely needed once you cross 40.This must be integrated into your daily lifestyle at some convenient timing.

Food modification also must parallel this as I have suggested.

A stress-avoiding lifestyle—with no noisy arguments or needless bickering at home– also must be cultivated.

Summing Up:

I hope I have succeeded in helping you to some extent through this series of blogs! For your information more than 200 write-ups by experts and research findings at universities have gone into these blogs!

Bye!

TOWARDS A FOSTER MOM GOVERNMENT!

Kuttanlifeissues

GOVERNMENTS MUST BE FULLY RESPONSIBLE!

Most governments in the West are keeping watch 24/7/365 over the food items produced by small or big industries across their nations, and ordering the recall or alerting of the citizenry against certain products if they detect anything harmful in them.

This implies that these nations maintain a quite competent food and drug administration and center for disease control well in advance of any disease outbreak even in a SINGLE individual citizen for whatever reason.

Please don’t hide from the truth by saying that if India doesn’t have such a frighteningly efficient system at work it’s because we are still “developing” it’s basically linked to HOW we view government obligations on the one hand and HOW we think of the food that we consume on the other!

Kindly don’t hide your incompetence behind “tradition”.

Spineless cowardice is no excuse at all when it comes to…

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TOWARDS A FOSTER MOM GOVERNMENT!

GOVERNMENTS MUST BE FULLY RESPONSIBLE!

Most governments in the West are keeping watch 24/7/365 over the food items produced by small or big industries across their nations, and ordering the recall or alerting of the citizenry against certain products if they detect anything harmful in them.

This implies that these nations maintain a quite competent food and drug administration and center for disease control well in advance of any disease outbreak even in a SINGLE individual citizen for whatever reason.

Please don’t hide from the truth by saying that if India doesn’t have such a frighteningly efficient system at work it’s because we are still “developing” it’s basically linked to HOW we view government obligations on the one hand and HOW we think of the food that we consume on the other!

Kindly don’t hide your incompetence behind “tradition”.

Spineless cowardice is no excuse at all when it comes to taking care of the citizenry in a nation!

India also is in bad need of such a department machinery to ensure that our people are safe from harm. Dozens of food products—including RTD beverages—are available across supermarkets in this country.

Food poisoning is common in many States and many regions too. Not only food outlets like restaurants or hotels are indifferent to this one cause but also many homes where no housewife is willing to take extra pains to ensure her own family’s health at all times.

For instance how many of our women keep TWO cutting trays spick and span –and free from germs at home?

How few home makers ensure that the fruits or vegetables that they bring home get properly washed in vinegar or tamarind water and then get stored in the home fridge within two hours?

Slightly contaminated food is often offered to customers at a heavy discount too. No one puts a stop to this heinous practice.

I am no unreasonable worshipper of the West but I feel that we must give credit where it is due and well deserved.

So here are these snippets of information, of immediate benefit to all our brethren settled in the US!

These are picked from http://www.foodrecallsandalerts.gov.

“To avoid cross contamination use 2 separate cutting boards: 1 for produce & bread and 1 for raw meat, poultry, & seafood. Remember to keep all cutting boards clean. Wash them with hot, soapy water after each use; then rinse with clear water & air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels.”

“Follow the 2 hour rule: Fruit, veggies, milk, eggs and meats should go into the refrigerator within 2 hours”.

“Food safety education is especially important for pregnant women. Your immune system changes during pregnancy & your unborn child has an under-developed immune system. This puts you & your unborn child at higher risk for illnesses, such as Listeria. Take a look at these important food safety tips or tag an expecting mom to share!”

“Tyson Foods Inc. is recalling more than 132,000 pounds of fully cooked chicken nugget products that may contain plastic material. According to Tyson Foods, the hard plastic material ranged in size from 21mm in length and 6.5mm in diameter and may have come from a round, hard plastic rod used to connect a plastic transfer belt.”

“Hands-on activities are the best ways to get children in on food safety education! Share this video in classrooms or at home to show children how fun food safety is with Alvin & the gang”

“People are still getting sick from eating raw dough that contains flour contaminated with E. coli. Check your flour and baking mixes against our list of recalled items and don’t use recalled ones. Can’t tell if your flour is included in the recall? Toss it!”

“CDC estimates there are about 48 million cases of food poisoning each year in the US. Last week we told you about 8 of the most common organisms that cause food poisoning. Here are the other 8! Happy Food Safety Education Month!

In India we may have to apply pressure on both State ministries and the Union government to establish such a system.

Or if we do have such an office, it needs to be equipped with a 24 hour operating laboratory and a year-long food and drink products monitoring system too!

In the best interests of the nation!

TOWARDS A DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETICS!

Kuttanlifeissues

TOWARDS A  DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETICS!

WARM UP:

Ms. Chandrika Krishnan (chandrika1306@gmail.com) uses the metaphor of playing with various glass balls and keeping them in the air in order to elucidate what you and I do most of our lives till we are too sick-these balls being work, family, friends, health and personal integrity.

We strain our level best to keep all of them in the air especially since all balls except for one—work– are glass balls which will easily break into pieces for all time to come if they fall, , while work is a rubber ball that can bounce  back.

Whichever balls we tend to prioritize, the other balls suffer as a result. Those that prioritize moneymaking find their relationship waning and dying away, while those that prioritize friends don’t make much money too!

Work and career, if you top-list them for immediately visible rewards in your life…

View original post 1,485 more words

TOWARDS A DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETICS!

TOWARDS A  DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETICS!

WARM UP:

Ms. Chandrika Krishnan (chandrika1306@gmail.com) uses the metaphor of playing with various glass balls and keeping them in the air in order to elucidate what you and I do most of our lives till we are too sick-these balls being work, family, friends, health and personal integrity.

We strain our level best to keep all of them in the air especially since all balls except for one—work– are glass balls which will easily break into pieces for all time to come if they fall, , while work is a rubber ball that can bounce  back.

Whichever balls we tend to prioritize, the other balls suffer as a result. Those that prioritize moneymaking find their relationship waning and dying away, while those that prioritize friends don’t make much money too!

Work and career, if you top-list them for immediately visible rewards in your life, ruins your family life and the number of friends whose benefits are strictly over the long term! Health is one of these 5 balls and once it’s lost through your getting addicted to family, friends or work, it won’t return!

Diabetes is one such risk you run by being negligent with your toy ball called health, and thus let it fall and break into pieces.

Yes, diabetes is triggered by the habitual intake of high-calorie diets that you take, and especially your supper at a late hour, but the various diets that you and I have discussed are only ONE part of the Diabetes Story!

Vide a Gina Kolata write-up in NYT (New York Times), Dr Richard Kahn, till recently the Chief Scientific Officer of the American Diabetic Association (ADA) was charged with organizing a committee to prescribe a diet plan for all Americans with diabetes.

Like I did online recently, he surveyed the various diets available on the Net, and got frustrated at the weak diets that had been publicized earlier; almost all of them had been formulated on the basis of short-term studies, were unsustainable, and had clinically insignificant differences between any two except on one point on which almost all of them agreed-weight loss!

TOWARDS AN OPTIMAL DIET:

But Dr Kahn realized that diet advice—based on the food pyramid that provided for both fruits and veggies– was really what people rooted for in lieu of such formulae and blends.

After much study and research he tended to agree with Dr Sarah Hallberg (an osteopath at a weight loss clinic in Indiana) that severely restricting the intake of carbohydrates held the secret of keeping diabetes at the end of a barge pole!” if the goal is to get patients off their medications, including insulin, and resolve rather than just control their diabetes, significant car restriction is the by far the best nutrition plan” she suggested  and added, “This would include the elimination of grains potatoes and sugars and ALL processed foods.”

But doctors differ among themselves as to what is meant by low carb intake. Can we retain the fats, proteins and minerals in the meal while curtailing carbs alone?

During Dr Kevin Hall’s applied study of Dr Hallberg’s suggested diet, he found that very little insulin was enough to deal with the low carbs that went in, while the energy level remained constant in the sample population thanks to proteins, fats, minerals and nutrients. The trick worked over the short term but not over the long term and its only deficiency was ability to go on with this diet all through life.

What are the long term effects of low carb diets on lipoproteins and vascular biology? Do they deteriorate?

Can’t heart attacks occur in that condition? To what effect do various diets influence weight loss? Isn’t weight loss the real master key to keeping diabetes in check?

Isn’t the eventual goal of all diets that we have so far discussed to bring about weight loss as a tool to eliminate diabetes?

  • A Diet that prevents Obesity:

One estimate—a comprehensive LANCET-funded one based on 198 individual studies involving 19.2 million adults from 186 countries encompassing 99% of the world population–has it that by 2025 AD, keeping to the nation’s doubling pattern over the last 40 years, almost 30 crore Indians shall be obese, i.e. sitting ducks with high cholesterol, BP, etc. and immediate prey for killer diseases and thus a huge liability on the nation’s revenues. The study goes onto describe it as a major epidemic.

80% of India’s revenue will be needed to treat these persons, leaving but 20% for the rest of the public services.

In my eye, India simply can’t afford this. Thus we must find an exit route fast. In other words we must base our life on a diet that resists obesity and a simultaneous lifestyle modification that provides for expenditure of the calories that we consume!

  • A Diet that builds on Normal Immunity:

How many million Indian mothers don’t have breast milk enough to feed their babies with? Perhaps they don’t know that the baby’s immune system benefits most from it apart from breast milk being supportive of the baby’s dire need for nutrients.

Literally mother’s milk alone is eligible for being called Liquid Gold.

If our governments are sincere about strengthening the Indian population, say for helping them lead successful healthy lives, they must think on a war footing about instituting a nationwide Milk Bank Network—something along the lines of Amaara, a milk bank managed by Dr Raghuram Mallaiah, and on the premises of Fortis La Femme Hospital.

Such an initiative will instantly bring down the nation’s infant mortality rates obviously, but then it will also give a solid footing to the immunity of the population for the future.

Your height squared divided by your weight gives you your BMI or Body Mass Index, which must be ideally below 25 across life. Once you exceed BMI 30, you risk contracting stroke, heart diseases (CAD/CVD), some cancers and diabetes.

Across the period 1975-2014, men and women registered a threefold rise in BMI (i.e. 3.2% to 10.8 among men, and 6.4 to 14.9 among women). At this rate women will be severely obese with BMI>35, and fall like autumn leaves on the wayside faster than men do.

We want a diet that doesn’t help with BMI rise—a diet without colored burgers, and abhors oil, and grilled rather than fried food items and raw vegetables and low carbs.

  • A Diet that includes Raw Veggies:

All health studies that I referred to this far hint in various ways at the little known pluses of raw veggies over cooked ones though there are but a dozen vegetables in the ‘approved’ list. The rest –unless they are blanched first in boiling water for about 3 minutes–contain oxalate which causes itching on the tongue when eaten or hydrocyanic acid which triggers fainting if the item is eaten raw.

  • A Diet that cuts down on Sugar:

Colossal and deplorable lack of awareness across the nation—especially among the children as was discovered in a recent research study in Delhi schools– about the real harm that sugary foods and sweetened drinks do inside the human body is the major reason these go on getting sold at all stores and eagerly bought up by ‘loving’ mothers for their kids. Sugar is white poison and smothers all natural immunity and conditions the growing human body early in life for being prey to killer illnesses!

No other reason—in high corridors of power– can be found for grant of permits to manufacturers for uploading and displaying a large number of infomercials on such sugary foods and drinks the TV channels too.

Thus it’s urgent and immediate that such awareness be imparted to one and all- especially to parents of growing kids— so that we can save at least one generation from leading sickly unproductive lives.

The research study found out that in our kids’ eyes, such foods and drinks were a route to relaxation, happiness and positive energy, they were easily available from outside all schools along with junk foods, and that SSBs(sugary and sweetened beverages) were particularly apt for parties ,after sports/games at home on holidays and at school for quenching thirst.

  • A Life Changing Diet Companion:

Diabetes rots you from the inside and deforms you beyond recognition, if given half a chance. Naturally you can’t halt its onward march toward you with diet alone but shall have to strengthen your diet with an escort- lifestyle modification.

A light snack some 30 minutes before you go out to train or do workout, which needs to be not less than 30 mutes, is a healthy practice, unless the da happens to be hot and sultry, when it can be bad for you! Exercising on an empty stomach can be too tiring and can cause hypoglycemia in some persons. This recommendation emanates from Ms Sandy Nair Head, Department of Physical Education at a College near here.

A brisk 30 minute walk—when you start sweating on your head at the 15th minute and all over by 30 –is a good start but I passionately advocate some jump-rope too to bring down the calories!

Staying hydrated with buttermilk, raw mango buttermilk, coconut water or homemade zero-sugar fruit juices is OK, according to Dr Niranajan Raj( dermatologist), Gangadharan (of Pathaayam Naturopathic Organic Restaurant fame) and Salini L.S of Saatwika,. But that alone is not enough; munching vegetables like carrots and tomatoes or snacking on sprouts and salads also help. Lunch on pounded flakes –rice, maize or millets (ragi) will do—and cut down on both wheat and refined flour.

Never divorce Omega-3 foods like fatty fish at any time because of their obvious and proven benefits, like being able to keep your skin dewy!

Thank you for reading this.

My next blog shall be THE DESIGNER DIET FOR INDIAN DIABETICS!