If type 2 diabetes were a person and not a lifelong disease, you could accuse it of cultural injustice.
This is because the risk of type 2 diabetes is not evenly distributed among populations across the world, as people from developing countries. South Asia – like India – have a innate biological susceptibility to the development of the disease.
“Indians are genetically susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes,” says Raji jayadev, a licensed practicing dietitian who immigrated to Australia from India in 1973 before accumulating over 25 years of hospital experience.
“The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the Indian community living in Australia is also much higher than in the Caucasian community. They develop diabetes five to 10 years earlier than Caucasians.
“Indians are genetically susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes.”
Diet, migration and risk of type 2 diabetes
Jayadev, who has retired from clinical practice but remains a diabetes advocate in Sydney Indian communities, suggests another influencing risk factor: migration.
“Experts say that when migrants from [countries with a genetic prevalence for type 2 diabetes] moving to Australia, their risk may increase as their lifestyle changes to incorporate less physical activity and their diet includes more Western-style [discretionary] food.”
She says it’s common for Indian migrants living in Australia, who work hard to make ends meet, run out of time and consume more highly processed, high-calorie foods from take-out stores and prepackaged foods. in Indian stores. This type of diet can increase belly fat and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
“If you work long hours, you may not have a lot of time to buy fruit and vegetables and cook at home. So you tend to grab the available food on the go and get by. “
Jayadev calls on Indians living in Australia to return to a more traditional diet to reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.
“The traditional Indian diet that existed before the 1970s is very different from the diet we see today in India and Australia,” she told SBS. “It was healthy, contained lots of legumes, whole grains and high-fiber vegetables, and contained little fish or meat.”
Diet tips to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes
There are many ways to eat better and be healthy. But, reducing it to five, here are Jayadev’s top tips for boosting your blood sugar with delicious Indian food.
1. Avoid added fats
Jayadev cautions against adding extra fat – like cream – to traditional recipes.
“Don’t use ghee in cooking,” she also told SBS. “Instead, use monounsaturated fats like olive oil or peanut oil. Always opt for skimmed milk and yogurt and limit your consumption of paneer (Indian cheese).
2. Address basic foods: rice and chapati
“I encourage Indians to use brown rice, which is nutritionally superior to white rice, or basmati rice (has a low glycemic index). Add nuts and vegetables to spicy dishes to increase nutritional quality and control blood sugar after a meal.
Chapati, she adds, is usually made from “att” (wheat flour). The problem here is that the fiber content of “attack” can vary widely from product to product. So look for whole “attack” with a high fiber content.
“Fiber keeps you full longer and helps prevent overeating. “
3. Enhance your curries and dahl with vegetables
Add tomatoes and green leafy vegetables like spinach to legume dishes to increase the number of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals in your meal.
4. Add spice
“Condiments like coriander, cumin and pepper and spices like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon are commonly used in Indian cuisine. They are incredibly high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, but the amount used is insignificant, ”she explains.
5. Spice up a dish with soy
“Indians use most types of legumes in dishes, but soybeans do not. Soy contains high quality protein and unsaturated fat, which is healthier than saturated fat.
Jayadev’s recommends adding soybeans (edamame or canned soybeans) to lentil curries as Sambar (a lentil and vegetable curry from South India).