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According to the World Health Organization, around 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, with the majority living in low- and middle-income countries, and diabetes is directly responsible for 1.5 million fatalities each year. Diabetes has been progressively increasing in both the number of cases and the prevalence during the last few decades.
“Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually in adults, occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin.
“In the past three decades the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels. Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself. For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival. There is a globally agreed target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025.” – WHO
“Lifestyle is an all-encompassing term that has the power to transform your life within weeks,” says Khushboo Jain Tibrewala, founder of The Health Pantry, Nutritionist, and Diabetes Educator. IANSlife spoke to Khushboo, author of ‘Everyday recipes for Diabetes,’ to better understand the disease and how to deal in order to achieve the global objective of ending the chronic disease by 2025.
What prompted you to create a free ebook?
Khushboo: If you actually see each of the recipes, you’ll notice that most of them are normal everyday dishes that we all eat at our homes. I may have tweaked them here and there but it is more a curation of Indian home food than recipes written by me. I made this book free for all because I wanted people to see at the end of the day all they need is normal home-style meals.
Our traditional foods have everything we need to stay healthy, we just need to learn how to tweak the basic recipes as per our health goals. This book will find itself useful in almost every Indian household no matter where in India they are from or where in the world they live today. This one had to be free.
What are the most prevalent issues that your association with Diabetic patients has revealed?
Khushbo: There are quite a few! But one of the most common ones is the role the rest of the family plays. In some homes, the remaining family members identify that these are lifestyle disorders and they may all be at risk as a family. They make dietary and lifestyle changes as a family.
Such patients see an almost magical response. Because there is no stress around their food at home. In homes where the remaining family members refuse to support the patient, results are slower and there are higher chances of dropouts.
How does your book help individuals suffering from conditions such as Hypertension, PCOS, High Cholesterol, Weight Lose, and Type 2 diabetes?
Khushboo: This book is perfect for anyone who has these lifestyle disorders. Each recipe is gluten-free, low glycemic index, is high in fibre, rich in phytonutrients and is plant-based. These simple traits make sure that your glucose levels are more stable and stabilising blood glucose levels is the one trick that helps each and every lifestyle disorder including the ones mentioned here.
How does your book differ from the numerous others on the market that discuss Diabetes and other topics?
Khushboo: As mentioned before, this book is a simple curation of recipes from Indian homes. What makes it unique is the addition of a Nutritionist’s perspective. I have labelled each recipe as per its glycemic index, the culinary skill required and whether it can be used as part of weekly meal prep. Also, I have created some simple formulas to help the reader personalise the recipe and use locally available ingredients. For eg., there is a cheela recipe that can be made with literally whatever you have at home, you just need to stick to my proportions. Similarly, there is a mixed greens saag recipe that is again just a formula that can be used to make a saag out of whatever greens you have at home.
Share one recipe with an interesting backstory?
Khushboo: What makes this book so special to me is that literally, every recipe has a special story and a special person to thank. The Sattu recipe comes from my Nani, the Kanji from my Dadi, there is a salad that comes from all the lunches at my best friend’s home. Mangodi pulao is my mother’s recipe. One that I am most excited about is the Methi ki Chutney. Growing up, Aloo Bedmi and this Chutney was the standard Sunday breakfast at home. Back then we would buy this one special brand from Delhi that we would never find in Mumbai.
Cut to my life as an adult, when I learn that methi seeds are actually fantastic for type 2 diabetics. So while most nutritionists ask you to soak the seeds and eat them every morning, I wanted to find a tastier way of incorporating methi seeds. That’s when I recreated the recipe for that chutney and now, this simple recipe has become part of all my clients’ lives.