Put those ladoos down!
“He thinks that his food is so sweet, O Beloved, but it makes his body ill”
Guru Arjan Dev Ji, Sri Guru Granth Sahib Jee, Ang 640
Most Sikhs are born into a South Asian family and we have drawn the short straw as we are 6 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. So mums, lets sharpen up, with the weapon of education, access to information and empowerment we can make a positive change not just for ourselves but our families too.
Preventing type 2 diabetes onset for you and your family is an important conversation to be had. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that alters your body’s reaction to sugar. It can be greatly affected by lifestyle choices. It is estimated that in 20 years diabetes could bankrupt the NHS! The onset of diabetes will double by the year 2025 to 5 million.
The Nation Institute of Clinical excellence (NICE) is a health body who evaluate research to come up with health guidance for the UK. Their document outlines the most effective strategies to help prevent type 2 diabetes. Their recent document looked at new evidence and their findings were:
- A combination of local strategies i.e. within communities and national strategies i.e. food taxes on high sugar foods and targeting people that at high risk is most effective
- Whilst working with the South Asian community it is important to consider a number of things i.e. language, ensuring community are supportive, educating people so that they feel that they can make difference to their own health. Because they certainly can!
Steps for your child
- Breastfeeding: studies have shown that this reduces the risk of obesity in adult life and this is a main risk factor of diabetes.
- Introducing healthy food habits from day one: make your own weaning food out
of fresh vegetables, use cooking methods such as steaming to retain vitamins, limit amount of sugary and salty foods, be firm with other family members. Watch this space for healthy vegetarian weaning recipes!
- Be active: a recent UK study suggests that how active you are directly affect how active your child is and will be. So run around, play a sport look after your body
Steps for you
- Are you above 25 of age and is your BMI over 23? GO TO YOUR DOCTOR. The
NICE guide suggests we should be proactive rather than reactive if you fall in this bracket you qualify for a risk assessment for diabetes and a blood test.
- Increase physical activity: 150 minutes of moderate activity (so whilst doing the activity you should be out of breath but can still speak) is what is recommended. So lets get our heart pumping
- Decrease saturated fat i.e. butter, cheese full fat dairy foods.
- Reduce the consumption of processed foods. Why not challenge yourself to go
unprocessed for a week
- Increase fibre i.e. more fruit and veg and complex carbohydrates (google it)
- Reduce sugar intake so rather than a full ladoo maybe half will do
Now you have been bombarded with all that information, take a moment to step back and come up with a personal plan for your and your family. Small steps can make a massive difference, park your car a bit further away, get off a bus stop early, swap your snacks and bake those chips. Try and make a difference.
Useful Links & Papers
Here are a few useful link and papers:
- NICE guidance
- How to work out BMI
- Info on diabetes
- Article regarding link between mother and child physical activity
- Weaning recipes
- Ideas on making changes and great resource packs for you and family