Most Indians can relate when we say that if the thali is not ghee clad, a meal is not a meal. But eating such a carb-rich diet does come with its concerns.
Today, 11.2% of Indians have diabetes, and 14% are pre-diabetics. So does this mean we are eating wrong?
How do Indians consume carbs?
- A staple vegetarian Indian meal derives maximum calories from carbohydrates and fats. That includes pulses and polished grains. Hence, an Indian diet can be called a high-carb diet.
- Your body breaks down the carbohydrates you consume into glucose. This glucose is responsible for raising your blood glucose levels.
Does increased carbohydrate intake cause diabetes?
- Yes! A high carbohydrate intake and a high Glycemic Load cause an increase in the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
- The frequency of people affected by diabetes in metropolitan cities increases 30% every four years.
- The prime cause of this is the consumption of rice. Yeesh! Having too much rice in a meal is not good for diabetes.
What does fibre have to do with it?
- A health study for women concluded that starch intake increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes whereas consuming fibres lowers it.
- A minimum of 10:1 ratio of carbohydrate-to-fibre must be maintained to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
- It is also recommended that carbohydrate intake be reduced from >65% to 50-57% to lower the risk of diabetes.
- Each serving of white rice results in an 11% increase in the risk of diabetes. Time to cut down on carbs!
- A low carbohydrate diet (LCD) is your solution to reducing the risk of diabetes. An LCD is associated with a significant improvement in Body Mass Index, weight loss, and insulin sensitivity.
- Always keep calories in check. Eating excess calories could negate the effects of a low-carb diet.
- Toss in some fibres and a low-carb diet is a stairway to diabetes prevention!
- Very frequently, diabetes comes with cardiovascular complications that could go unchecked if a diet is not maintained.
- Consuming lower GI foods and reducing carbohydrate intake allows your kidneys to function at a better rate and significantly decreases the chances of kidney failure.
- Eating fewer carbohydrates also protects your cardiovascular health by keeping your blood pressure stable.
As an Indian, consuming about 50-55% carbs helps prevent the risk of diabetes. Include lots of protein in your diets such as pulses, legumes, nuts, and seeds. And finally, replace all fats with healthy fats like groundnut or mustard oil.
The importance of consuming a balanced diet has proven to be the critical health advice repeatedly. Particularly for an Asian lifestyle, cutting down on carbohydrates and increasing protein intake will make your meals diabetes friendly.
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