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World Diabetes Day: Healthy Lifestyle to Defeat the Disease

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By: Mr Anuj Gulati
Diabetes is a lifestyle illness and its onset warrants an individual to adopt certain changes in their daily lives such as improved diet, regular exercise and strict monitoring of blood glucose level. With over 72 million currently ailing individuals, and the possibility of this number reaching approx. 130 million by 2025, India is considered to be the diabetic capital of the world.
Since diabetics are considered to be more prone to various chronic conditions related to heart, kidney, retina etc. as compared to a non-diabetics/healthy individuals, therefore it is recommended that they must opt for a specialized and enhanced Health Insurance Cover that adequately meets their requirements. While most insurers consider diabetes a high-risk category ailment and only offer coverage for Type 2 diabetes, some insurers now also offer specialized plans that cater to individuals who are suffering from Type 1 diabetes and are dependent on insulin.
The common belief that diabetes is hereditary or is induced by the intake of a high-sugar diet, highlights the lack of awareness among people at large about the illness. This also prevents them from being able to manage the problem in the early stages of detection. Some easy lifestyle changes can go a long way in reducing the vulnerability to diabetes.

Make food your medicine

One of the best ways to combat diabetes is to maintain a healthy diet that includes fibre-rich foods, nuts and nutrients. One must avoid excessive indulgence in carbs and sweets. Following a Keto or very-low-carb and high fibre diet can help avoid the disease.

Regular Exercise

Indulging in physical activity helps increase our insulin sensitivity. So when you exercise, less insulin is required to keep your blood sugar level under control.

Water – a primary beverage

Sugary drinks significantly increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Studies have found that eliminating one sugary drink from the daily diet could reduce the risk of the disease by 25%.

Say no to Smoking

It has been observed that smoking increases the risk of diabetes by 44% on average smokers and 61% in heavy smokers (~20 cigarettes a day). Another study that followed the risk of diabetes in middle-aged male smokers after they quit – concluded that after five years their risk had reduced by 13%, and after 20 years they were at the same risk as people who had never smoked.

This health advisory is written by Mr Anuj Gulati, MD & CEO, Religare Health Insurance, on the occasion of World Diabetes Day.