A lot of articles have appeared in recent months on the rapid rise of diabetes among Indians  . The latest is an article from Rediff which has given India the unwanted honor of being  the diabetic capital of the world

So now that all of us are scared and terrified about this modern day killer, how do we take care to prevent diabetes.

Diabetes cannot be completely prevented since the primary cause for diabetes is genetic susceptibility due to our “thrifty” gene.  (Our ancestors developed this “thrifty” gene as a survival mechanism to store fat and tide them over famines – but unfortunately for us today the gene seems to have survived even though most of us have more than enough to eat ( )

Lifestyle changes do help – Eating healthy, exercising regularly and maintaining close to ideal body weight will help tremendously but is not a “magic bullet answer” that works for everyone.

Rosiglitazone – a newer oral glucose lowering drug has been suggested as a miracle drug that could slash diabetes cases.

But Rosiglitazone being a newer drug, there is no data on the possible side effects due long term usage of the drug. Also since it’s a more expensive drug I don’t think a lot of Indians would be able to afford it even if it was readily available

OK – so diet and exercise should help but any other miracle cure that we can actually use?

Yes – something really simple and something that’s a regular part of most Indian traditional diets.

Just eat atleast two cups of home made yoghurt (curd)

According to this article in the Hindustan Times , curd can slow down the progression of diabetes and lower bad cholesterol. A diet supplemented with curd can also delay the onset of glucose intolerance, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia. Eating curd slows down the progression of diabetes, lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol.

For most South Indians, a meal is never complete till they’ve had curd rice at the end of the meal. I’m glad of this tradition now because it’s gotten me into a habit of eating yoghurt daily

Definitely some good news for the three crore diabetics in India.