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Medicine & Health Education
Essential Therapeutic Life Style Changes
For a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit
Some Simple Steps to Uplift the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health
Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.
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Part - 01
 
 
PART - 01: REASONS NEEDED FOR THESE ESSENTIAL CHANGES
 
 
 
 
01.01: Some special In-born qualities of all Indians around the world

Persons of Indian origin and ancestry, wherever they are, not to talk of their ilk, share some unique features associated with their genes. In most of the Indian families, academic excellence prevails, especially in the areas of mathematics, computers and medicine, which makes them stand-out in comparison with citizens of other nationalities. We are always proud of our genes and our ancestry and our achievements. The culture and traditions of Indians, from every state in India, have stood the grounds over several millennia. Their food habits inherited from the ancient times, such as Vegetarian foods with milk and dairy products and limited amounts of few meat products for people of some vocations, have served them well - a matter of pride and happiness for them.

01.02: Now let us consider our ailments associated with genes.

While we are proud of our genes, at the same time, we should remember that our ethnic group suffers from some genetic disorders - both mental and physical. It becomes necessary to understand why our community suffers much more from some types of diseases compared to people from other lineages. We should think over why Western culture, traditions and food habits affect our population. There is a common refrain, we often hear: "I am only 35 now. This is the time for me to enjoy myself with the variety of foods available. If anything goes wrong, I can always control my diet at that time" What blights may affect us and with what consequences is really a matter for deep consideration along with what preventive steps are necessary. While political factors may try to divide the Indian community into different groups, genetically we, from every part of India, are all one and the same. Quite some years back, a statistical study revealed that Indian descendants of these special genetic make-ups suffer much more from Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Attacks. The incidence is much higher and occurs five years earlier in age compared to people of other nationalities. Artery blocks in the brain and legs also are found to be more prevalent among our community.

The basic reason can be attributed to what is called Metabolic Syndrome - a defect that prevents proper utilization of the food in the body. This problem is caused by certain genetic factors peculiar to Indians and is a gender-neutral danger. The major diseases associated with this are: Diabetes Mellitus (blood sugar), Hypertension (high blood pressure) and obesity (over-weight). While these afflictions are common to the human race in general, people of Indian origin have a greater share of their incidence. We should see what could be done to change or control this adverse situation.

01.03: These problems were not there earlier - then, why now?

The food habits of different groups of the human race have an ancient historical background to them. While the Mongolian race - the Chinese foods mainly - lacks milk, cheese and other dairy products in their intake, the Caucasians of Italy, gobble them in a large measure. The diet is suitable for their genes which is age-old in its inheritance. For reasons unknown as yet, the ancient cultural traditions, have governed the dietary habits very well to a large extent. Such a legacy has made us, adopt vegetarian food for most of the society with allowance for a small amount of meat for the working class engaged in physical chores. During the Middle Ages and in the past century, the economic situation led to non-availability of food materials and absence of Western food habits had suppressed occurrence of major diseases of the type described above.

However, with the arrival of visitors and tourists from the West and Indians travelling and settling abroad, working all over the world, food materials of different cultures became available. Social and political changes allowed multi-national companies and foreign workers arriving in India who had western food items served in the restaurants. Indians clamored for these new items as a fashion and status symbol. With advance of science and technology, and international interaction among societies, the consumption of starch, carbohydrates, and sweets by Indians has increased to a large extent.

Even Indian sweet dishes that were prepared for festival occasions are now served on a daily basis in large quantities for the people with sweet addiction. The splurge in the consumption of oil, butter, ghee, cheese and other such dairy products, apart from various meat products and alcoholic beverages, has also been occasioned by traditions of other religions and countries. The number of obese people has increased all over the world. While such waistline bulges may be acceptable to citizens of other countries who are genetically better disposed, our race should be more careful in controlling their obesity through proper dietary habits and physical exercise to reduce fat in their bodies.

 
   
 
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-- This is called Behavior Modification --
Essential Lifestyle Changes -- for a healthy Body, Mind and Spirit 0
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