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It is a common notion that fats are the major culprits that lead to all the weight problems and that cutting them off entirely from the diet can be a helpful solution. There’s no need to freak out with this information because there is more explanation to it. The truth is we actually cannot live without fats. This is because fats play an important role in a healthy diet. Fatty acids from fats are essential for a healthy skin. Fats also deliver fat-soluble vitamins and are great sources of energy. This is where the part about good fats and bad fats is important, and it is essential to know which fats should be avoided and which are the ones that should be included as a part of your diet. It is also important to know the amount of fat consumption and ways to avoid trans-fats (bad fats) that cause artery clogging. Let’s make a clear classification of the good and the bad fats.
The unsaturated fats are basically the good guys and these include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids. Both, when eaten in moderation, can help in lowering the risk of heart diseases as the cholesterol levels are reduced.
Polyunsaturated fats can be found mostly in vegetable oils and when substituted for saturated fats, these help in lowering the triglycerides and cholesterol levels in the blood. One such type of polyunsaturated fat with potential heart benefits is omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 is present in fish like trout, salmon, catfish etc. They are also found in walnuts and flaxseeds.
Monounsaturated fats also help in reducing heart diseases and a lot of these are consumed by Mediterranean people. These are found in olives, almonds, cashews, avocados, hazelnuts, peanut oil, canola, sesame seeds etc.
There are essentially two kinds of bad fats, saturated fats and trans fatty acids. Both can cause artery clogs and heart risks because they increase cholesterol content in the blood.
Saturated fats can be found in animal products like high-fat dairy, eggs, meat, poultry skin, vegetable fats like coconut and palm oils etc. There are a number of evidences, which suggest that saturated fats increase the risk of colon and prostate cancer. It is better to consume these in limited quantities to keep your cholesterol levels under check.
Trans fatty acids or trans fats may be naturally occurring fats, which are found in dairy and meat or the artificial ones, which are found in liquid oils that have been hardened into partially hydrogenated fats. The actual worry here are the artificial trans fats. These are used extensively in all sorts of junk food.
This is just the basic understanding about the fats, the ones which are unhealthy and the ones that are healthy for the body.
Diabetes is a very common lifestyle disease, which happens when your body is not able to produce the insulin hormone or does not know how to use it in the right way. In such a scenario the glucose remains in the blood, and causes your blood sugar level to shoot up. It is a common knowledge that diabetes is a home for other diseases. Therefore managing it or preventing it is of utmost importance and in order to the same, one has to focus on the overall health and fitness of your body.
But managing diabetes is a challenge that most patients face every day. This is because there are so many aspects to be kept in mind right from workout to food to stress and general health, all of which work together to help you maintain the right blood sugar levels.
Here goes a holistic approach to support you in managing diabetes:
- Keep a record of the food you consume: When you are learning to control the level of blood sugar in your body, it would be very helpful if you maintain a journal of what food items you are eating every day. This will make it easier for you to monitor your diet and even if you indulge in some delicious savory, you can easily bring about a balance by eating the right amount of healthy fruits & vegetables for the following days.
- Exercise daily: Make exercise a part of your daily routine and empower yourself to fight diabetes. Types of exercises you can follow are brisk walking, basic weight training to boost your strength, swimming and yoga. Yoga postures which are highly beneficial in managing diabetes are Pranayam (deep breathing exercises), vajrasana, chakrasana, etc. which either enhance the insulin secretion or glucose utilisation.
- Be careful about your feet: Diabetes can lead to neuropathy and in the worst case, it may cause injuries in feet that go in-noticed because low pain sensation. Therefore, proper foot care is critical. You should wash your feet regularly with cold water and pat dry with a clean, dry towel & do make it a point to inspect the feet in front of a mirror. If there is a nerve damage along with numbness, you may notice blisters, sores, bruising, swelling, calluses or skin breakage. Thus, you will have to be very careful while inspecting your feet every day.
- Get rid of extra belly fat to reduce insulin resistance: It is a vicious circle, as extra belly fat can eventually lead to insulin resistance and insulin resistance can eventually lead to weight gain, but in order to manage and control diabetes it is important that this chain must be broken. Therefore, daily exercise of minimum 20 - 30 mins is very much required. to help you get rid of belly fat and control diabetes.
- Control Blood Pressure & Cholesterol if high: Diabetes is a host of diseases and diabetic people will eventually suffer from high blood pressure and cholesterol problem. Diabetes is a major reason of artery damage, which in turn leads to high blood pressure. In order to, maintain a healthy heart and to prevent yourself against any cardiovascular diseases it is important that you keep you cholesterol and blood pressure in check.
- Get the right treatment for sleep apnea and sleepiness during the day: Sleep apnea refers to a condition that causes breathing interruptions numerous times in a day. It is triggered by faulty signals coming from your brain or due to blocking of the airway by soft tissues present in your throat. People affected with sleep apnea are more likely to have this disorder, which leads to insulin resistance and may also be called a roadblock for controlling diabetes.
- Brush and floss on a daily basis: When you are not able to control your diabetes level, it can lead to high level of glucose in the blood. Also, it can increase the level of glucose in the saliva, which in turn paves the way for a surge in tooth decay. Also, having diabetes makes it difficult for an infection to heal and thus, if you develop a gum disease, it may become very hard for you to get rid of it. So, if you make a habit of brushing and flossing regularly, you would be able to maintain good oral hygiene and save your teeth and gums from developing any disease.
For more information on maintaining your blood sugar levels, consult a medical practitioner near you.
Allopathic medicines are usually chemical formulations that are used to treat diseases. However, alternative medicine, sometimes referred to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is gaining acceptable slowly to cure many diseases, for which allopathy does not offer a definitive remedy.
Read on to know some of the most common forms of CAM and how they can contribute to fitness and nutrition:
- Ayurveda: Ayurveda, which translates to the science of life, believes that health is when there is a balance between the 3 components in the body – Vata, pitta, and Kapha. The imbalance between these three leads to specific diseases. So, all Ayurvedic remedies are aimed at restoring the balance between these three elements. Be it the asanas, the food prescriptions, or the lifestyle changes, Ayurveda is aimed at restoring this balance for holistic health and fitness.
- Acupuncture: This system believes that the energy needs to flow in specific patterns, and altered patterns of flow lead to disease. Therefore, the treatment is aimed at restoring this path of energy flow, which is done through the use of metallic needles.
- Homeopathy: Homeopathy believes in the philosophy of “like cures like”. The same chemicals that induce the disease are used in very small dilutions to treat the disease. It also believes that the clinical presentation of a disease is just one aspect, and there are many other symptoms which are hidden and need to be identified before arriving at a prescription. This again suggests changes in diet and lifestyle achieve complete cure.
- Naturopathy: This again uses a combination of natural remedies including Ayurveda, yoga, and counselling. The person also is put through a different lifestyle, allowing for more self-evaluation, following a simpler lifestyle, which makes them value health and fitness more.
- Meditation: The body has its own healing power, and focusing all the strength leads to mental and physical well-being. From anxiety and depression to breathing issues, meditation can help cure a variety of diseases. Also, because it focuses and improves breathing, body function is improved from a molecular level.
- Herbalism: A number of herbs and spices are widely used in many ancient medicine systems, including Ayurveda. The belief is that these herbs have inherent medicinal values and are therefore widely used in curing various diseases. The fact that they have been used for centuries makes them more acceptable. Further, there is almost no side-effect from any of these.
- Biofeedback: This is another technique that is gaining popularity. While functions like heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure are generally considered involuntary, biofeedback believes that they can be controlled. Dietary changes are also introduced, which are nutritious. The fitness of a person is drastically improved by natural techniques.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!