Sweet talk: Protecting future generations from diabetes

Sweet talk: Protecting future generations from diabetes
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Sweet talk: Protecting future generations from diabetes

Highlights

“Diwali comes once a year” is probably how you justified feeding your kids sweets and savouries unaware of its consequences.

"Diwali comes once a year" is probably how you justified feeding your kids sweets and savouries unaware of its consequences. Unfortunately, these are devoured the year around. World Diabetes Day and Children's Day fall on the same day. I want to commemorate the day by spreading awareness on preventing diabetes as it's frightening to see how rampantly children are getting diabetes in India.

I want to begin by improving the food choices made by parents as nutrition from both form the genetic code of the child. Nutritionally rich food consumed by both will set a foundation of good nutrition for the child avoiding the silent killer Diabetes.

Prevention is better than cure. After seeing elevated blood sugar levels in so many children,the following are my suggestions that can be easilyincorporated:

Parental influence

Your children eat what you eat. Poor food choices by parents influence children to make poor choices themselves. Providing kids with fresh, unprocessed, home cooked meals is not enough. You too must follow a healthy lifestyle as children ape adults.

Eating on time

Eating at fixed times, within a set routine is very essential. This prevents extreme highs and lows of blood sugars, keeping in check insulin levels too.

Fiber-first

I cannot stress enough on the importance of fibre in any diet. Fiber from seasonal vegetables helps lower the glycaemic load of a meal, thereby preventing a rise in sugar levels.

Food combinations

Before you cut out all carbohydrates, let me tell you, they are required. Children, just like adults, require a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats at any given meal. Choose good quality carbohydrates like whole grains, millets, unpolished rice and combine with vegetables and a protein. Add in the good quality fat like from cow's ghee, coconut, seeds and nuts. Translated in simple terms it is vegetables and roti or rice or dosa or wholegrain bread and daal or pulses or curd or sea food, egg or chicken.

Instant sugar: the taste that kills– In-between meals one reaches out to foods high in white sugar and processed flours. The most common are your fruit juices, flavoured sweetened beverages, sweets, chocolates, aerated drinks, sugared biscuits and processed snacks. Instead, incorporate whole or cut fruits, nuts, a glass of unsweetened milk, yoghurt, sandwich, roasted, sauteed and steamed snacks like poha, idli, upma.

Exercise: Educate your child the importance of moving the body. Let them run, skip, jump, dance, cycle and play sports.

Adequate sleep, reducing screen timealong with the above will assure good grades, good mood and overall apressure-free lifestyle.

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