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Ask Komal: Can I AVOID Diabetes?

June 29, 2021 08:18 IST
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Dietician Komal Jethmalani provides the answers.

Eating sweets

IMAGE: Kindly note this image has only been posted for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Oleg Magni/

Dear readers, are you worried about your health as we battle COVID-19?

Concerned about what you and your family are eating as you cope with staying indoors?

Struggling with weight gain?

Or are you facing other heath issues like diabetes, blood pressure, joint pain or heart problems?

Please mail your questions to Nutritionist Komal Jethmalani (Subject: Ask Komal) for her advice.


Dear Madam,
I am 26 years old, height 176 cm=5.8 feet, weight 85 kgs.
I used to weigh 73 kgs in March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns and rise of the work from home culture reduced the hustle-bustle of office.
I have bread and butter in the morning; a small quantity of rice, two chapatis and a small fish along with lentils and curry in the afternoon; and again bread with a curry or lentils at night.
After reading your previous answers, I have realised I am missing complex carbohydrates and proteins in my diet.
Could you suggest some examples of these sources of food that can help me reduce weight yet not keep me lost for energy as I also do workout. 
Prayash Shirodkar

Your interpretation is correct. Your diet is lacking in the essential nutrients protein and fibre.

You need to include protein foods like milk and milk products, eggs, lentils/legumes, nuts, soya, chicken and, fish in your diet.

Fibre-rich foods include vegetables, salads, fruits, whole grain cereals, millets, oats, etc.

Dear Komal
In the last year, I have developed high BP and am on medication for the same.
I am 45 years old and overweight but not obese.
Can this be controlled by diet and exercise?
Please suggest how.
Chitra Salian

Obesity is the prime cause of lifestyle diseases like BP.

You need to control your carbohydrate and fat intake in your diet.

Make healthy choices by including high protein and fibre-rich foods.

Reduce overall salt intake in your diet to reduce BP and include more high potassium foods like fruits.

Weight loss can be achieved by body fat burning with a balanced diet and a fitness regimen.

Dear Komal
I am 24 years old.
My grandparents on both sides had diabetes and both my parents have diabetes, which means both my younger sister and I have a good chance of getting it.
How can we protect ourselves from now itself?
Sujay Surapkar

Hereditary is one of the pivotal factors in manifestation of a health disorder.

Being alert of your health parameters and having a healthy lifestyle will keep these disorders at bay.

The best way to protect yourself from diabetes is to maintain normal blood parameters of sugar, cholesterol, etc.

To do so, you need to follow a balanced diet with more complex carbohydrates, low fat, high fibre, adequate protein and a fitness regimen.

Ensure inclusion of immunity boosters and anti-inflammatory foods like cinnamon, methi seeds, etc, with a focus on lowering your glycemic index.

Sound sleep of at least 7-8 hours and being consistent in maintaining a healthy weight will go a long way in keeping you free of diabetes.

Dear Komal
I am prone to colds and sneezing.
I have allergy to dust and this happens when the season changes to.
Can diet and exercise help me?
Can you please suggest?
Shivani Mayekar

Allergy can be due to multiple reasons. You need to increase your immunity in order to reduce the frequent attacks of allergic reactions.

Have a healthy weight based on your BMI, follow a balanced diet with low fat and low simple carbs and include a fitness schedule.

Include immunity boosters like lemon, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, etc. Remain well hydrated.

Focus on increasing muscle mass and lower body fat percentage. Maintain normal levels of important blood parameters.

Dear Komal
My knees and hips hurt a lot.
This has increased after WFH.
I have gained weight too, from 65 kgs to 73 kgs in the last year.
How can I reduce the knee pain and get back to my original weight.
I don’t eat too much junk but I have a sweet tooth.
Amit Patel

Lack of movement can cause stiffness in the joints and thus pain on movement.

You need to include strengthening exercises, build bone density and include Calcium and vitamin D rich foods in your diet.

Being overweight is the prime cause of pressure on the knees which may lead to osteoarthritis, so maintain a healthy weight.

Include more protein foods, high fibre and low fat in your diet.

Make an effort to be physically active and reduce body fat percentage.

Komal Jethmalani is a dietician with over 25 years of experience in food, nutrition and dietetics, with an MSc in food science and nutrition.

A certified diabetes educator and lifestyle coach, specialising in diabetic, cardiovascular, weight loss and various therapeutic diets, she consults under the brand, The Diet Mantra.

And she will try and help you achieve your dietary and fitness goals through healthy lifestyle changes.

Do share your complete health details including age, weight, height and health issues if any.

Write to (Subject: Ask Komal), along with your name. You are most welcome to share your photograph as well.

This column is an advisory. Please do consult your doctor as well.

Disclaimer: All content and media herein is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be relied on as your only source for advice.

Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, please call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.

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