• Mitun De Sarkar

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

As if living with diabetes was not stressful and cumbersome enough, now the Covid 19 pandemic has increased the stakes even higher.

It has been known for a while that having diabetes (both type 1, which is an auto immune disorder and type 2, which is lifestyle based) raises the risk of influenza and related secondary infections, such as bacterial pneumonia. Poor glycaemic (blood sugar level) control impairs several aspects of the immune response to viral infection and also to the potential bacterial secondary infection in the lungs.

Researches around the world are showing that having diabetes increases the chances of Covid 19 complications.

Majority of the patients with diabetes, particularily type 2, are also either overweight or obese. Obesity increases the risk of infection via abnormal secretion of adipokines and cytokines.

Stress also has an adverse effect of raising blood sugars and although in these times stress can seem unavoidable, we have to remind ourselves of the most valuable commodity that needs protecting - your health.

My take on diabetes and pandemics is this

  • Both type 1 and type 2 diabetics must follow their doctor's advice and ensure they take adequate precautions (hygiene practices and social distancing) to avoid Covid 19 infection in the first place. If symptoms are present, contact your healthcare providers immediately.

  • Type 2 diabetics can additionally take measures to ensure their glycaemic response to food and drink is managed.

  • Get plenty of non alcoholic, low sugar fluids (unless there are kidney complications, if so, contact your specialist for further advice on fluid consumption). Plain water with a bit of lemon and mint is best.

  • Practice meaningful stress reduction by your favourite means. It could be meditation, yoga, playing music, dancing, painting..the list is yours to make.

  • Get exercise in whichever form that suits your residence and maintains social distancing.

  • As always and more so during the pandemic, maintain a sensible healthy eating regimen. Ensure your diet consists of foods with low GI (glycaemic Index), e.g. Oats, most vegetables, some fruits like blueberries and oranges.

  • Avoid high sugar content foods, simple refined carbohydrates and sugary drinks.

Diabetes has been managed well through medical advancements and lifestyle adjustments for a while now. The pandemic has exposed it as a weak link in our immune response. I cannot stress enough the importance of following social distance guidelines and the hygeine practices recommended by WHO and other governmental agencies.

Till next time,

Stay Healthy

Stay Happy

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  • Mitun De Sarkar

SIRT what?

It is supposedly the new trend in the ever growing fad diet world. Recently this form of dieting has been thrust in the limelight due to it being rumored for the singer Adele's incredible weight loss. (Although neither the singer or her publicist have confirmed this).

So what is this latest trend?

SIRT is short form for sirtuins, which are a group of seven proteins found in the body that have been shown to regulate a variety of functions, including metabolism, inflammation and lifespan.

Certain natural compounds found in plants and fruits may be able to boost the levels of sirtuins in the body.

The foods that contain these compounds have been named Sirtfoods by the founders of this diet, hence the name the Sirtfood diet.

The authors claim that eating these sirtfoods will in turn activate the 'skinny gene', which in turn will help result in weight loss. At the time of writing, there is no scientific research or proof to support this claim.

The diet, if followed as per recommendations, combines sirtfoods with calorie restrictions. Both, supposedly, increase the levels of sirtuins in the body.

Foods that are rich in Sirtuins include

  • Kale

  • Red wine

  • Strawberries

  • Onions

  • Soy

  • Parsley

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Dark chocolate (85% cocoa)

  • Matcha green tea

  • Buckwheat

  • Turmeric

  • Walnuts

  • Arugula (rocket)

  • Bird’s eye chili

  • Medjool dates

  • Red chicory

  • Blueberries

  • Capers

  • Coffee

My take on the Sirtfood diet is this:

- Calorie restriction will almost always result in weight loss, although initially most weight loss is water weight, which tends to be regained when the said diet is finished.

- Overall, the foods included are generally healthy if taken in the right portions (e.g. mejdool dates if over consumed will cause needless insulin spikes, due to their high sugar content).

- If the diet is not sustainable, due to whichever reasons (geographic, economic or otherwise) it is not sustainable.

- Short term very low calorie diet (VLCD) tends to disrupt the hormonal balance and affects metabolic rate.

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Till next time,

Stay Healthy

Stay Happy

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  • Mitun De Sarkar

In these Covid times, we are getting to see most celebrities stuck in their home like the rest of us and giving us a glimpse of their 'normal' life . Perhaps more so than usual they are sharing their personal homes. Celebrities, after all, are people too and are also possibly going through ups and downs on their weighing scales.

Recently, what caught my eye was the appearance of noticeably slimmer Adele, whilst she put up a post to honor and thank the front line workers in this long battle against Covid. A noble thought indeed, but what left most of her fans and observers gasping was the significant weight loss she displayed in that picture.

For those who have been following Adele, she has been on this weight loss journey for over 4 years. Rumors are that she followed a SIRT diet, though as she has not spoken about it, hence at this point it is unfair to comment on the diet. I will post about the diet in another blog soon, so watch this space.

A significant drop in weight and a slimmer appearance is certainly possible if one stays committed to their personal journey of better health for a period of time.

The fact that Adele took her time and also worked out regularly shows a constant weight loss. Which in my opinion, is a healthier and sustainable approach.

There are many instances of some celebrity dramatically losing weight following some fad diet, but again and again what we see is either the weight coming back or the person undergoing some health issues due to that.

One thing we must remember is for some celebrities it is essential to lose weight rapidly due to their work requirements, it may not necessarily be a healthier approach but they do it to fulfill their requirements, temporarily at least. For the rest of us ( the ones who do not have paparazzi chasing them all the time) we can look at a more balanced long term approach.

In a nut shell, am I impressed by Adele's weight loss journey? I most certainly am. I will, however, refrain from commenting on her methods until there is more information forthcoming from her camp.

Till next time,

Stay Healthy

Stay Happy

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