INDIA, 7th November 2022: World Diabetes Day is celebrated across the globe on 14th of November to spread awareness around this health condition. The prevalence of diabetes is proliferating in the country and has posed a serious health concern. As per a report by International Diabetes Federation in 2021, over 74 million adults in India are living with diabetes. Based on the Indian Council of Medical Research – INdiaDIABetes (ICMR-INDIAB) study conducted in 15 states, the overall prevalence of prediabetes was 10.3% & diabetes was 7.3%, which makes it imperative to increase our awareness around this condition.
Preventing prediabetes is the key to control progression of Type 2 Diabetes. Making small and mindful changes in our lifestyle such as staying active, eating healthy can go a long way in preventing as well as reversing prediabetes. Studies show that increasing protein intake and lowering the consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods can have altering effects in blood sugar levels in human body. One such food is nuts like almonds. Almonds are a low glycemic index food and pack a host of nutrients like plant protein, dietary fiber, good fats and important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, magnesium and potassium making them a smart snack for those with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. When eaten daily as a part of a healthy meal plan, almonds offer a wide range of health benefits ranging from weight management to heart health and beyond.
Leading Bollywood Actress and Celebrity, Soha Ali Khan mentioned, “Diabetes has become common and is a result of our sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits apart from other factors. This makes it intrinsic to make adequate changes to our lifestyles to nip this in the bud. On this World Diabetes Day, I would urge everyone to check their blood sugar levels. But most importantly, eat nutritious foods in the right quantities, cut out on high fat foods and exercise regularly. Making mindful eating choices such as substituting deep-fried snacks with something nutritious like a handful of almonds can make a difference to our health in the long run. Almonds also make for a healthy snacking option as they offer 15 essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron amongst others.”
According to Fitness and Celebrity instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala, “Conditions like diabetes are an outcome of an unhealthy lifestyle, including poor eating habits and other factors. However, it is possible to control it if one can follow some simple things regularly along with the physician’s instructions. For instance, if one is trying to sustain a workout plan, choosing a form of exercise you enjoy will help keep you fit and motivated. My suggestion is, if you enjoy a particular dance form, like to run, or prefer to swim, or enjoy aerobics – do exactly that. Having said that, do consult a physician regarding your body’s endurance and requirements before opting for any fitness plan. Along with this, I also recommend supplementing one’s fitness regime by substituting unhealthy snacks with healthier options like almonds which make for crunchy and delicious pre or post workout meals. Not only will this keep you satiated, but consuming almonds regularly will also help in maintaining muscle.”
Speaking about the dietary measures for diabetics, Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi, said “With a diet plan for diabetes, one should essentially go up on healthy nutrients like protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates and cut down on refined carbs, unhealthy fats and total calories. Therefore, a balanced diet comprising of pulses, dals, fruits, vegetables and whole grains can be beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes. Along with this, eating in moderate quantities and at regular intervals is crucial to manage blood sugar levels. One can also opt for foods with high glycemic index like a handful of almonds as they can help in controlling blood glucose spike. The nutritional profile of almonds also makes them a great snack since they are a source of fats, vitamin E, protein, dietary fiber, calcium etc. Moreover, almonds have satiating properties which can keep hunger at bay for a long time and reduce craving for unhealthy foods.”
Laying special focus on prediabetes amongst adolescents, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy, said, “According to a study published in 2018, the estimated prevalence of prediabetes in India is 14%. Indians have the highest annual progression to type 2 diabetes from pre-diabetes (about 14-18%), which calls for lifestyle interventions to help reverse this trend. Snacking on almonds can be a good change to begin with as it may help improve glucose metabolism in adolescents and young adults with prediabetes. In fact, as per a recent study, snacking on almonds as part of a healthy diet has been shown to be a beneficial food-based strategy to help prevent or delay the development of prediabetes in younger people.”
Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach Neha Ranglani said, “Diabetics are more susceptible to developing cardiovascular disease or having a stroke. Research suggests that incorporating almonds in the diet can help improve CVD risk factors for people with type-2 diabetes. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a daily snack of almonds, consumed as part of an overall healthy diet, maintained HDL cholesterol, and reduced central adiposity (belly fat) and LDL cholesterol, which are heart disease risk factors.”
Renowned Kannada actress, Pranitha Subhash said, “Having an active lifestyle and good eating habits can help to ward off several diseases including diabetes. So, I ensure that everyone in my family and I remain healthy by exercising daily and eating nutritious foods. Starting my day with a handful of almonds has been effective in maintaining my weight as it keeps me full for a long time. Almonds are also a source of plant-based protein and fat, which adds to the energy requirement through the day.”
Renowned Indian television & film actress, Nisha Ganesh said, “As an actor it is important that you stay fit, and because of the widespread lifestyle disorders that are plaguing us today, you need to strive towards fitness and good health. It is imperative to avoid unhealthy foods and favor nutritious foods instead. I personally focus on eating right overall, whether it is my meals or my snacks. Also, I have elders at home who have diabetes and am making it as a conscious everyday routine to keep me and family members healthy. I avoid eating unwholesome foods and always carry a small box of almonds. I have a handful of almonds and even pair the nuts with fruits or include them in other snacks to avoid monotony. Eating almonds everyday helps me to obtain some amount of essential nutrients such as vitamin E, protein, calcium, iron etc. which are beneficial for maintaining good health.”