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Understanding diabetes

Deepika Rathod

People have said to me that they have binged on too many sweets during Diwali and think they will get diabetes now. This is because we think diabetes is caused due to increased sugar intake in food which the body isn’t able to handle. This is partially correct but we also need to understand that diabetes is not just about high sugar intake during short periods, sugar levels and insulin, it’s a cumulative effect of everything and if not taken care of it gradually takes over all the vital organs and their functioning. We need to make sure to be mindful when we are eating. Enjoying Diwali or any other festival is important but one should never over eat foods that aren’t digested well by the body (processed sugar in this case).

As I’ve mentioned several times before, there are many people with type 1 diabetes. They are born with this disorder and so we can’t claim it to be reversible. But in cases where lifestyle is the root cause of diabetes, it can be reversed and sugar levels can be kept in control. This is possible if we have faith in the human body to heal itself.

Diabetes involves a hormone called insulin. We think that insulin’s only function in our body is to lower sugars but it has many functions right from storing fat to using it the right way, etc. What causes the increased sugar levels or diabetes if the focus is shifted from insulin?

It’s said that white bread causes diabetes, but is that true? Goans grew up eating white bread like pao or poee. Many elderly persons still eat these breads and do not have diabetes. It’s not the bread but the lifestyle that needs to be blamed. We have become sedentary when compared to our parents or elders and we reach out for more comfort food, processed food and junk food. We should focus on a complete lifestyle makeover and get back to the foods that we have all eaten while growing up.

So we need to understand that it’s not the poee or pao that’s making us sick. The way flours are processed is a hoax these days. Maida comes from wheat – the kernel, bran and wheat germ are lost during processing and these contain fibre, minerals and vitamins. Wheat flour is further processed with chemicals like bleach which mess up pancreatic functions. The pancreas produces insulin in the body and if it’s not functioning well the insulin production is hampered and we end up with high sugar levels.

You can take medicines or insulin to keep it under control, but what’s going to help more than anything else is avoiding the foods that are destroying the pancreas.

Avoid white processed bread, processed sugar and processed salt because their processing uses chemicals similar to chlorine bleach.

It’s high time that we understand the functions of our own body and choose a healthy lifestyle.

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