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04 Dec 2023, Edition - 3065, Monday

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Diabetic food festivals: A step in the right direction

Indrani Thakurata


Bengaluru: A country that is known as the diabetes capital of the world and ranks second in the world after China with 69 million people living with diabetes, it is only fair that we have a diabetic menu in restaurants. Given the sheer numbers, it is inappropriate to exclude them from a space that essentially should embrace all.

Indians love their food, they love going out, and therefore celebrations are food centric.So, how can we ignore people who are diabetic from celebrations? And a day or month of inclusion isn’t enough.

Echoing the same sentiment, Seema Pinto, Founder of Diabetic Food Trail, a diabetic herself, says, “I am very passionate about food.I hope that in the years to come Diabetic Food Trails not restricted to just three weeks in a year. My vision is to see all restaurants serving a healthy and diabetic-friendly menu as part of the regular fare, thereby giving people a choice to eat healthy throughout the year.” She adds, “With the current lifestyle being what it is, it isn’t uncommon for people to get diabetes at an early age. Most people are not aware that they are pre-diabetic and can postpone the onset of diabetes with a well-managed diet and fitness programme.”

Keeping this vision in mind she has started Diabetic food Trail that offers diabetics, pre-diabetics and health conscious individuals a wonderful culinary experience at over 200 restaurants across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune.

Buzzword ‘Food’

Bangalore saw many food festivals and food trails on the 14th of this month, World Diabetes Day, some which are on till the 30th of this month. “It is a great initiative to raise awareness about diabetes. At the end of the day, it is a lifestyle disease that needs to be controlled through diet and your activities. To bring forth recipes that are diabetic-friendly, to give scope to diabetics to choose food items from a menu that has been specially designed for them is itself a huge change. It isn’t enough, but a step towards it,” says Dr MukutBhowmik.

Apollo Sugar organised a food festival,live cooking sessions along with a health camp, “We aim to provide world class diabetes and endocrine care at affordable prices across tier 1 and tier 2 cities. As diabetes is a lifestyle disease, maintaining quality of life is essential and food constitutes a major part in the lives of Indians. According to recent clinical research conducted by Apollo Sugar, it was found that 65% patients who had enrolled in sugar 360 had managed their diabetes by taking small meals. Therefore, with an aim to create awareness, we have launched ‘eye on diabetes’as part of which we are conducting a diabetes food festival,” says GaganBhalla, CEO, Apollo Sugar.

It is a normal belief that your fun ends when you get diabetes. “We think diabetes and we think the end of the world. Most restaurants don’t cater to us and our life is insipid, to say the least. There are very few snacking choices for us and we are not allowed to crave for sweet nothings. Gharkakhana is the only option. This may sound boring, but you choose life over food, in this case. But not anymore with such awareness around us on food, dessert and other edibles,” says MandiraBhowmik, a teacher.

Sweet nothings

Diabetic desserts may sound like an oxymoron to many, but not for the ones who have enjoyed it. Ritz Carlton and many more restaurants in town participated in a Diabetic Dessert Trail, where chefs churned out some delicious desserts without using any processed sugar. “Since balance is the new watchword in the culinary arts, our chefs have curated a menu that has been vetted by a nutritionist empanelled for this initiative and each item has been measured in terms of calorie and nutrition. The menu has some delectable desserts like Pot De Crème with fresh fruit and rasmalai,” concludes GargiGuha, Director of Public Relations, Ritz Carlton.

Many restaurants across India have a special menu for diabetics till 30 November. Go and enjoy!

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