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World Diabetes Day (Nov 14, 2020) – Time to Revisit Diabetes Management

The diagnosis of diabetes brings with it many questions, doubts and anxiety. In simple terms, it is a metabolic disorder which causes increase in blood sugar levels.

Insulin, a hormone produced in Beta cells of pancreas is managing the glucose levels in blood. In case of diabetes, the insulin production is either inadequate or the human body is unable to use the insulin effectively. In either case, dietary changes along with the life style changes play a pivotal role in controlling the blood sugars and preventing the complications in the later years.

 

Accepting the disease and understanding the disease process is very important before you begin making the life style changes. Once you have understood why you need to make those changes, the journey becomes easier. The following three key changes are advisable in this regard.

  1. A regular exercise routine for at least 30 min/per day. It could be a brisk walk or jogging or cycling or a sport that you enjoy. While choosing an activity, make sure you enjoy it, and are able to be able to maintain it.
  2. Work towards achieving an ideal body weight. Weight loss in obese individuals could help make the diabetes take a U turn towards a non diabetic side.
  3. Understanding your food and its effect on your glucose levels. 
  • Choose complex carbohydrates (e.g. whole grains and pulses). Restrict refined and processed foods (e.g. all purpose flour, polished rice, white bread) as these add very less nutritional value to your diet. Choose foods low in glycemic index (e.g. vegetables, whole pulses).
  • Fibre or roughage is important for not only in controlling sugars but also provide with satiety. Eating variety of vegetables and whole fruits, whole grains and pulses and lentils help in incorporating fibre. 
  • Protein is the new key nutrient in management of diabetes and weight loss. It is available to us in the form of beans, whole pulses, poultry, fish and meat.  Proteins have minimal effect on glucose levels and provide good satiety. Hence, beginning a meal with a protein source not only helps in cutting down amount of carbohydrate eaten but also aids in weight reduction. Further, it improves insulin sensitivity and offers better health.
  • Ensure good hydration by drinking water to keep your health in good shape.
  • Portion size control is the key to enjoy variety foods and maintain good blood glucose level.

 

These basic tips can give us a broader picture about the life style changes that we are required to make. However, we have to consider individual preferences, level of activity, health condition, medication being used, and the goal to be achieved. So, there is no one size that fits all plan; diet in diabetes has to be individualised or tailor made.

 

We at Chinmayi Research and Consulting will assist you to to reverse the progression of diabetes by devising a good diet and modifying your lifestyle. You may please get in touch with us to have a thorough virtual consultation while enjoying the luxury of your home!

Mamata A H 

Consultant Dietitian & Nutritionist

 Chinmayi Research and Consulting

DIETARY TIPS FOR QUARANTINED / WORK-FROM-HOME PROFESSIONALS

Last few days the world has been a different place to live. There are many of us working day and night to help contain the virus and some of us have not much to do.  Busy life, as we have known it for so many years, has come to a standstill. The current situation, I am sure most will agree with me has been a boon and bane.

 

At one end, while maintaining social distancing, it has brought members of the family much closer than ever, whereas at the other end, many people may be left clueless with how to spend the time productively. The reason being, we have been so busy with our 24/7 work, we never took out time to explore additional avenues for keeping ourselves engaged.

 

The quarantine, as is happening now has influenced our dietary habits significantly. It is no doubt bringing members of the family together, but it is also affecting our food habits in more than one way. This is high time to reflect and make necessary changes in our diet. While working relentlessly hours together, we never paid much attention to what we ate and now with the time on our hand, we may be indulging in overeating.

 

Since the day, work-from-home and / or quarantine began, I have been observing on many social media platforms (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook) people posting pictures and videos of their culinary skills! Unfortunately, most of it is found unhealthy. It is good to see that we are cooking and eating at home more than before. So take time to learn quick and healthy recipes, which could be used even after this crisis ends. This is the right time to straighten our timetable, to ensure good health for years to come.

 

Boredom, locked down, work-from-home gives an easy access to unhealthy foods and most of the time leads to binge eating. During these difficult times, food is increasingly being used as a soother. For many of us hunger for food is just a need to fill the gap and boredom. Suddenly, our health and lifestyle have become least priorities for many people.  Nevertheless, overeating needs restraining to help us stay fit and healthy, and improve our immune system.

 

The following simple tips may be useful for the people struggling with diet related issues of quarantine / work-from-home.

  1. Pay attention to your physical activity (e.g. balcony/terrace walks, floor exercises, yoga, and treadmill).
  2. Keep handy healthy munchies as nuts, veggies and fruits, and all time favourite yogurts.
  3. Learn recipes that will help curb your cravings and at the same time add no burden to health.
  4. Plan your meal and snack times (fixed time and quantity).
  5. Find ways to curtail boredom while identifying the triggers for cravings.
  6. Limit on intake of beverages containing sugar.
  7. Make sure you stay well hydrated – drink plenty of water, and other low calorie – low sugar fluids.
  8. Ensure your kitchen is devoid of any kind of junk or unhealthy foods. Instead, stock on nuts, seeds, roasted chickpeas, cheese, smoothies, yogurt, and other relevant food items.

You may try the following healthy and tasty recipe.

 

SMOOTHIE

  1. Banana or Apple    1 large
  2. Almonds                 5-6
  3. Yogurt/ Curd           1 cup
  4. Ice                          4-5 cubes
  5. Coconut milk          ½ cup

Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth, and your smoothie is ready to relish! Remember, smoothie is a good alternative for breakfast.

 

I will keep sharing other recipes regularly on this digital platform. Therefore, you may please keep a watch for the latest information.  

 

We at Chinmayi Research and Consulting would be happy to assist all those who want to be free from obesity and its consequences. We regularly conduct supermarket tours to cut through confusing health claims, fad diets and misleading nutrition advice. Discover how to make best choices. Please get in touch with us to have a thorough virtual consultation while enjoying the luxury of your home!

 

Stay Healthy, Stay Safe….

 

                                                                                                                                Mamata A H 

                                                                                                                                Consultant Dietitian & Nutritionist

                                                                                                                                Chinmayi Research and Consulting

OBESITY- THE NEW GLOBAL EPIDEMIC

Food, food, everywhere with loads of carbs (carbohydrates) to eat!!! Yes, this is the main culprit causing increasing rates of obesity globally, not only in adults, but also in children. Excessive consumption of easily available low-cost convenience foods (mainly, fats and sugars) that are laden with high levels of carbs, lack of exercise and/or physical activity makes the body store excess energy as fats. This fat accumulation hinders the work of multiple organs in the body such as pancreas and liver while causing serious health problems.

Obesity cascades down to many health issues such as insulin resistance – leading to pre-diabetes and later stages diabetes, hypertension, and certain types of cancers, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, and infertility. In addition, difficulty in performing day-to-day activities, low self-esteem, and depression are few psychological issues associated with obesity.    

According to World Health Organisation (WHO, 2018), the problem of “worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975”. Interestingly, the new epidemic is not seen in economically developed countries as thought, but found in underdeveloped countries where higher cost for healthy food and food shortage are major contributory factors (World Population Review, 2019).  Pacific-island nations such as Nauru, Samoa and Tonga have got the tag of “most obese nations” (World Population Review, 2019). For example, Nauru has nearly 60% of its population in obese category.

India is fast catching up with China as the most populous country. India is expected to overtake China as the most populous nation by 2050. The obesity rates too are on rise. On a global scale, India is in the top five fattest nations with US leading the race followed by Australia (World Population Review, 2019). However, industrialisation (industrial revolution 4.0), sedentary life-style, and access to quicker and cheaper but unhealthy foods are expected to push India to first position!

The measure to recognise abdominal obesity is waist to hip ratio (that is, waist measurement / hip measurement). A healthy ratio for women is 0.8 or less whereas for men it is 0.9 or less (WHO, 2019). The most common measure, BMI (Body Mass Index) global cut off is 25, but for Asian countries the cut off is 23. The reason quoted is Asians have weight related disease risks at even lower BMI value. Asians tend to store more abdominal fat compared to European counterparts. Even with BMI in the normal range, people who carry more fat around abdomen (called as apple shaped obesity) are at higher risk of diabetes and heart related ailments.

The obesity scenario is no different in children and is on rise at alarming rates. The awareness and education has to start early in life, if at all this problem has to be tackled effectively.  The World Obesity Day campaign was started in the year 2015 to tackle this global epidemic in terms of creating awareness, prevention and finding solutions to help minimise the ill effects.  The World Obesity Day is observed on 11th of October every year across the globe. Let us not forget the famous themes of World Obesity Federation, that is, “Treat obesity now, and avoid consequences later” (2017), and “End Weight Stigma” (2018).

As the saying goes “we are, what we eat”, one needs to understand that the steering wheel is in our hands and there is no better time to take control of our health.

We at Chinmayi Research and Consulting would be happy to assist all those who want to be free from obesity and its consequences. We regularly conduct supermarket tours to cut through confusing health claims, fad diets and misleading nutrition advice. Discover how to make best choices. Please get in touch with us to have a thorough consultation.

 

Ms Mamata A H

Consultant Dietitian & Nutritionist 

Chinmayi Research and Consulting

CONSULTING WITH INDIAN HEIs: DO ETHICS HAVE ANY RELEVANCE???

In the last five years, my professional consulting journey has taken me to different places while introducing me to competent and incompetent academic leaders in India and elsewhere. It has offered me a new perspective in the administration and management of teaching-learning processes, the way how HEIs are managed unscientifically by unscrupulous academicians. It is unnerving experience for me whenever I think about our future graduates and budding professionals in a culturally diverse global village. 

As a transnational professional consultant, I am really shocked to hear the kind of demands made by the directors, deans, principals, chairpersons of self-financing HEIs in India. To KISS (Keep It Simple and Short), all that I can conclude is ethics has become irrelevant for Indian HEIs. Data falsification to gain accreditation or any industry certifications, indulging in plagiarism to get PhDs, and publishing crap articles in predatory journals have become norms rather than exceptions in India.

However, my positivism and optimism gives me a hope in the collapsing higher education system in India or elsewhere. If there are any few Indian HEIs’ leaders who wish to conduct themselves ethically, we would be very glad to help them in their sincere endeavours. Please get in touch with us to discuss ethical challenges.

 

Dr Santosh B M

Founder, Organisational Change Facilitator & Research Consultant

Chinmayi Research and Consulting