The number of people with diabetes is rising globally. India itself experienced the greatest increase in numbers over the past few years. The most prevalent type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes mellitus. According to Diabetes Atlas 2021 of the International Diabetes Federation, the estimated number of persons with diabetes in India in the age group of 20-79 was 74.2 mn in 2021 and is likely to increase to 124.9 mn by 2045.
Experts say that aside from genetics and family history, the risk factors for diabetes include ethnicity, age, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and behavioural habits. The onset of diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by good control of blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels. It is crucial to carefully sort through the burgeoning information on food and nutrients to determine what each recommendation means for you, and which one is helpful. Here are 3 snacks that you could add to your diet to manage type-2 diabetes better:
Almonds aid in managing blood sugar levels for people with uncomplicated type-2 diabetes; a daily serving of almonds (30 grams/23 almonds) may improve both short-term and long-term markers of blood sugar control. Eating almonds as part of a healthy diet has been shown to improve glycemic and cardiovascular risk factors in Indians with Type 2 diabetes, according to a study led by Dr. Seema Gulati, PhD. There are several ways to include almonds in your diet: having a handful of almonds as a snack, sprinkling oven-toasted almonds on top of salads or chopping almonds and adding them to sauteed vegetables for extra crunch.
Channa or chickpeas is a staple of the Indian kitchen. According to a research study, consumption of chickpeas helps to improve post prandial blood glucose control, suppress appetite, and reduce the quantity of food consumption in the subsequent meal. In another study, 19 adults who ate a meal made of chickpeas every day for six weeks experienced lower blood sugar and insulin levels than those who ate a meal made of wheat. Roasting chickpeas makes them convenient and crunchy, making them a good snack option. Alternatively, you could boil them and add them to your salads as well. Boiled chickpeas with seasoning is a popular snack in southern parts of India.
Dahi made at home has long been a staple of Indian cuisine. Yogurt has become very popular recently due to its many health advantages. A study found that yogurt consumption as a part of a healthy diet, may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults who are healthy and at high cardiovascular risk. When comparing yogurt consumption of 80-125 g/d to no yogurt consumption, there was a 14% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Yogurt’s high protein and favourable effects on gut health make it a potential aid in the management of diabetes. Buy plain yogurt without added sugar instead of flavoured yogurt. You could top it with nutritious ingredients like strawberries or banana slices or sliced almonds to make a delicious dessert.
(Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition & Wellness Consultant)