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Think Type 2 diabetes is an old persons disease? think again.
Diabetes UK states that Type 2 diabetes is up to six times more common in people of South Asian descent and at risk from the age of 25, opposed to 40 in the White population. Sounds scary doesn’t it? The Asian culture is colourful to say the least, we love celebrations and we love to eat. And while our food is delicious, lifestyles have changed and convenience has become paramount in our stressful busy lives. Things have changed whilst our diets are littered with elements from the past. Sometimes its habit, sometimes its about ease and behaviour is harder to change with the older generation. But it might be time to take a long hard look at our lifestyles and what they are doing to our bodies.
There are a number of reasons why South Asians are at greater risk of Type 2 Diabetes:
- Traditional Indian diets are higher in bad fats, carbohydrates and sugar. And even though we get a lot of freshly prepared meals at home, the vegetables are often overcooked and have lost much of their nutritional value.
- Our culture has a big part to play. Think about every party, religious ceremony or gift you’ve received; the food is often fried and/or sweet! When was the last time you saw a healthy platter of vegetables or fruit? Also hosts will often be offended if you refuse these sweet or savoury fried delicacies. Just try saying no, it will pretty much be forced down your throat.
- Generally Indians are less physically active and this is not helped by genetics as we also burn less fat during exercise than our European counterparts.
Now, diabetes comes with a lot of complications. Diabetes wont kill you (usually) but the complications of the disease will. You’re 5 times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke. Prolonged and poorly controlled glucose levels will lead to damaged blood vessels which can lead to:
- heart attacks and strokes (as mentioned)
- Vision problems
- Kidney damage and sometimes kidney failure
- Burning pain, numbness and ulceration
- Erection problems
- At an increased risk of miscarriage and still birth
You can imagine what life with diabetes would mean – a lifetime of pills/injections, monitoring, numerous trips to the doctors, potential surgery, serious complications and not forgetting the pain and the worry of what diabetes means for you and your family’s future. We all wish to live a full healthy life, free from disease, aches and pains and it all boils down to one thing, the one change that you can make that will change your life for the better – your diet. Your body is a complex machine and how can you expect it to perform optimally if you nourish it sub-optimally? Its time to make a change NOW.
Our recipe section contains a whole host of alternative healthy Indian meal and tweaks you can make to your own and your family’s diet.