Diet and Lifestyle in Diabetes, A Kerala Perspective
When prescribing diet and lifestyle to diabetic patients, cultural and family preferences should be considered for better compliance. In Kerala, the quantity of rice consumed per meal needs to be curbed. Whole grains should replace refined grains. Repeat servings must be discouraged to ensure portion control. Fruit juices, sweets and sweetened beverages need to be limited or avoided, and healthy snacks promoted. Trans-fats are to be avoided, and the overall use of oil, no matter how healthy it is claimed to be, must be minimised. Saturated fats raise LDL levels and are considered unhealthy at this time. Structured diet and exercise programs work better than plain advice. At least 2.5 hours of exercise is recommended per week, and has multiple benefits. Reducing work-related stress levels, and getting adequate sleep must be given due importance while recommending lifestyle modifications.