Keeping Diabetes At Bay for The Little Ones

November 14th, 2017


Diabetes, once thought to be an age-related condition, is now casting its net at a younger demographic. A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that rates of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have increased significantly among American children, with an increase of 21 percent in the incidence of type 1 diabetes in children aged up to nine years between 2001 and 2009.

Dr Daphne Gardner, consultant at the Department of Endocrinology at Singapore General Hospital, says Type 2 diabetes affects up to 90 percent of those with diabetes, while Type 1 diabetes is more often seen in childhood. Type 1 happens when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin, causing high blood sugar levels when it cannot travel from the blood to the cells.

With diabetes figures expected to rise, prevention is better than cure. As much as our little ones enjoy decadent chocolate fondant cakes, cotton candy, and milo dinosaur, diabetes can lead to other life-threatening ailments as they grow up. It’s time to declare war on diabetes for your little one’s health!

Purposefully cutting sugar from our meals may not be difficult, but snacks and beverages may contain excessive amounts of sugar that may inadvertently increase our sugar intake. Help your kids make informed choices by going for food options that have reduced sugar. Need a snack? Replace those sugary Maltesers with dark chocolate-coated fruits like bananas and blueberries. Coating strawberries with your favourite yoghurt and freezing them also makes for a yummy morsel – your little ones are also taking their daily serving of fibre in the process.

Let’s face it – we’ve been so used to eating sugary foods with reckless abandon that making a switch to a diet with less sugar takes time and effort. Start from the source by developing a habit to read food labels. Teach your little ones to be smart about what goes into their bodies based on the chunk of text at the back of all food products. In the long run, they will become savvy sugar sleuths. The Health Promotion Board recommends that snacks should contain sugar content equal to or less than one tablespoon per serving. For sweetened drinks and desserts, sugar content should be equal to or less than 6g per 100ml.

Dr Gardner advises that the whole family should be involved in making the lifestyle changes necessary to controlling diabetes. She says, “Food choices would be better done in a family context rather than singling out the individual for an ‘exclusion diet'”. Our children deserve a bright and healthy future, one that does not include diabetes in the picture.

Today, which is World Diabetes Day (14 Nov), Bosch has also prepared a simple lifestyle guide for us to help ourselves and our children keep Diabetes at bay.

Step #1: Know HOW to cook, not just WHAT to cook
Healthy eating always gets unfairly labelled as being boring or bland. Don’t just boil your food and call it a (healthy) day. Roasting, baking and steaming are recommended cooking methods for diabetics, as they require minimal fat to make food tasty. A product of German ingenuity, the Bosch Series 8 Ovens were designed to maximise the nutrients retained in roasted, grilled, baked and even steamed food. These ovens are also capable of enhancing the natural flavours of food by achieving the perfect crisp and the perfect succulence without using added oil.

Step #2: Take advantage of short-cuts
To overcome the lack of time to eat healthy, Bosch is here to set the record straight – healthy eating does not require slaving over a stove. Invest in multi-functional gadgets designed to help save time and lives. With the Bosch Series 8 Ovens, all the diabetic-friendly cooking methods of roasting, baking and steaming are now achievable in one oven. Better yet, the oven can also take care of the whole cooking process without any monitoring needed, thanks to its intuitive sensor technology.

Step #3: Don’t avoid the enemy, conquer it
It’s a common myth that the only way to beat Diabetes is by cutting out carbs entirely. In reality, it’s all about eating in moderation. Don’t be tempted to skip meals. Doing so will only increase the risk of overeating and overindulging in unhealthy treats when hunger takes over. To fight Diabetes effectively, it is absolutely critical to keep your blood sugar levels steady. You can easily achieve this with a well-balanced meal plan. Space out smaller portion of meals evenly throughout the day, which can help with stabilising your appetite and blood glucose levels.

Step #4: Fill up with greens and proteins
How to consume carbs more moderately, you say? Reducing your intake of carbs shouldn’t leave you hungry, as long as you prioritise non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins, which can keep you full for longer. Even if your new diet leaves your tummy rumbling, you’re absolutely allowed to keep snacks on hand. Nuts and seeds like almonds are great low-carb snacks that are high in protein, healthy fat and fibre.

Step #5: Substitute like a pro
We often make the wrong trade-off when attempting to swap out unhealthy food for better alternatives. For instance, low-fat food can actually contain higher sugar content to make up for the taste. Check the ingredient list just to be sure. If you have trouble decoding the sugar content, simply avoid packaged food and choose real, natural ingredients instead. A simple starting point would be to substitute regular meal starches, like having cauliflower rice instead of Chinese fried rice, or zucchini ribbons instead of pasta.

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