Start Loving Your Heart Before it's Too Late


Sujith Vasudevan, Managing EditorOver the years, lifestyle diseases have become a time bomb with an alarming rise, sparing no part of the world. With an estimated 8.7 percent diabetic population aged 20 and 70, India is home to the world’s second-largest adult diabetes population. Indeed, every sixth person with diabetes in the world is an Indian. It’s a disturbing truth that the past three decades witnessed a 150 percent increase in the number of people with diabetes in the country.

Multifarious factors significantly drive the explosion of diabetes and other noncommunicable diseases in the country, including, but not limited to, rapid urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, tobacco use, and increasing life expectancy. On the other hand, it is said that three out of 10 Indians have abnormal cholesterol levels in their bloodstream, and the highest prevalence was spotted in those in the 31-40 age group. It also found that 36 percent of Indians in the 40-60 age group reported abnormal cholesterol levels.

However, we now have an opportunity to delay or even prevent much of the burden of this deadly disease through behavioral and lifestyle changes favoring a healthy diet. According to ICMR guidelines, Indian (especially South Indian and East Indian) diets are rich in simple carbohydrates. The intake of complex carbohydrates should be encouraged to constitute at least 70 percent of the total carbohydrates. Additionally, regular physical activity increases the feeling of general well-being and helps prevent obesity, and mitigates increased cardiovascular risk.

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