Those familiar with Indian culture aren’t surprised why India is touted as the “Diabetes Capital of the World,” since eating sweets often, is an Indian lifestyle. People in the country eat sweets not only after a meal, but any time and most of the time. But does frequent consumption of sugar-rich food the only reason why Type 2 diabetes has become a prevalent disease in India?
About The Significance of Sweet Treats in India’s Culture
The Indian people’s great liking for sweet treats date as far back as 8,000 years ago, during the age of the Indus Valley Civilisation. It was the period when the art of sugar refinement was invented. Sweets in traditional Hindustan lifestyle identify with happiness, good omen and prosperity, which often gives Hindustans a reason for celebration or festivity.
Sweets are a common fare in India not only in households and shops but also as street foods. That is why in every district, state and region in India, there are special variations or concoctions for local sweets. Here, the people make sweet treats out of nearly everything using a combination of sugar, milk and ghee. Ghee by the way, refers to butter that’s been heated until water content has dissipated.
The mixture can be used when baking, cooking, boiling, steaming roasting or frying fruits, vegetables, meat, root crops, or tubers, sometimes with wheat, eggs and.or cheese.
Is Love for Sweets the Reason Why India has High Incidences of Diabetes?
While we know that sugar-rich diet is a primary cause of diabetes, researchers have since observed that Indians, regardless of their love for sweet treats, are genetically, more susceptible to diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes commonly happens to Indians whose pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. It’s a hormone that helps body cells absorb glucose derived from sugar-rich carbohydrates. Glucose is also called blood sugar, until it is absorbed by thermogenic cells that convert blood sugar into heat or energy. Blood sugar or glucose nutrients are also absorbed by fat storage cells.
That being the case, insulin deficiency results to high levels of unconverted or unabsorbed blood sugar known as hyperglycemia, a condition associated with Type 2 diabetes
Insulin Deficiency a Genetic Condition Common to Hindustanis
Although hyperglycemia is common to people with excessive weight, most Hindustanies, regardless of their weight, have increased risks of having hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels. Genetically, their body does not produce enough insulin as needed in the proper absorption of glucose; either by the thermogenic cells or the fat storage cells.
However, those who habitually engage in physical activities, burn or use most of the blood sugar as energy. Such conditions help preclude the occurrence of hyperglycemia. If the blood sugar is low, the body will simply use the fats stored in cells as sources of energy. In which case, the reduction of fat cells also prevent excessive weight gain or obesity.
India’s Generic Medicines Help Indians Reduce Spending on Diabetes Medicines
One way the government of India helps its citizens manage their diabetic conditions is by making it mandatory for physicians to prescribe only generic medicines. Doing so results in cost-savings of between 30 to 80% as an alternative to buying branded medicines.
Moreover, private pharma companies like Vivaceutical Private Limited, help control the distribution and sale of generic medicines by mediating the pharma franchise deals between drug manufacturers and generic drugstore operators.
In a pharma franchise deal, the latter has the right to monopolize the selling of generic brands in a specific Indian district or region to avoid unnecessary competition that often leads to price wars.