NOV 14 is World Diabetes Day, which falls right on the Hindu festival of Deepavali, a celebration that will have all types of sweets and savouries that are too good to resist.
And with that, the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has an advice — cut down on sugar during the festival and help reduce the increasing number of diabetics in the country.
CAP education officer N.V. Subbarow said 3.6 million Malaysians suffered from diabetes and someone in the world is dying every eight seconds from the disease.
“Indians who celebrate Deepavali should cut down on their sugar intake and increase their ‘smile’ on this auspicious day.
“Malaysians on an average consume 20 teaspoons or 100gm of sugar per day, and 75% of Indian sweets made for Deepavali contain high amounts of white sugar.
“Processed white sugar can lead to 60 types of diseases and addiction to sweetness can lead to high number of people with sugar- related diseases such as obesity and hypertension, ” he said.
Subbarow said sugar is like a hidden drug in food that could lead to debilitating diseases.
He said cakes could be made using original palmrock sugar (pannam kalkandu), jaggery (vellam), which is original sugar from sugar cane and karupatti made from palm trees.
“These alternatives can be used in place of sugar as they are more healthy although they should not be consumed in high amounts.
“However, there is no substitute for exercise to reduce obesity.
“We must reduce our intake of sugar daily and maintain a healthy lifestyle with daily exercise, ” he added.
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