Look good, feel good

Wellness and beauty

Paradise - - Contents -

Di­a­betes is one of the big­gest health prob­lems fac­ing not only Pa­pua New Guinea, but many South Pa­cific na­tions, as well as South-East Asia. Vir­tu­ally un­heard of across these re­gions just over 50 years ago, type 2 di­a­betes, the form caused by life­style fac­tors, is now rife.

In Tonga, for in­stance, di­a­betes has dou­bled since 1973. Among the 22 na­tions that make up the Pa­cific is­lands, one in ev­ery four peo­ple has di­a­betes. And across South-East Asia, 25 mil­lion peo­ple have been di­ag­nosed with the dis­ease, an af­flic­tion that can lead to ma­jor health com­pli­ca­tions such as blind­ness and heart fail­ure when left un­man­aged.

In PNG, the In­ter­na­tional Di­a­betes As­so­ci­a­tion pre­dicts that be­tween 2010 and 2030 type 2 di­a­betes will in­crease by as much as 140 per cent, (from 76,709 in 2010 to 172,000 in 2030).

The in­flux of West­ern-style pro­cessed food and de­clin­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity are largely to blame.

Lo­cal di­ets, once based on fresh fish, veg­eta­bles and fruit, have steadily been usurped by West­ern con­ve­nience foods. The prob­lem is that the high fat, sugar and salt in these foods play havoc with the body and con­trib­ute di­rectly to type 2 di­a­betes.

That’s why it makes so much sense to get back to food ba­sics.

The key to avoid­ing type 2 di­a­betes is fol­low­ing a diet based on veg­eta­bles, legumes, fruit, low-fat dairy prod­ucts and whole grains while es­chew­ing sat­u­rated fats and pro­cessed goods for healthy oils from nat­u­ral foods such as av­o­ca­dos and nuts.

Just a few tweaks to your diet can make a huge dif­fer­ence, as can find­ing a few recipes such as this one to make the tran­si­tion to health­ier eat­ing as sim­ple as pos­si­ble.

This nu­tri­tion-packed recipe is from the Fi­jian Min­istry of Health’s Wellness Unit.

It can be made with sea­sonal veg­eta­bles from the lo­cal mar­ket and is ideal for a tasty break­fast or lunch.

Vegetable and egg bake Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Pre­heat oven to 200°C. Grease a dish with a lit­tle oil/but­ter. Place onion, gar­lic and other veg­eta­bles into dish. Sprin­kle over cheese. Lightly beat eggs and milk to­gether with a fork. Add self-rais­ing flour and mix well (making sure there are no lumps). Pour egg mix­ture over veg­eta­bles. Sprin­kle over black pep­per. Bake for about 30 min­utes, or un­til golden brown, and set in the mid­dle. Serve hot or cold. Serves 8 In­gre­di­ents 1 onion, finely chopped; 3 cloves gar­lic, finely chopped; 2 cups sea­sonal veg­eta­bles, finely sliced or chopped; ½ cup low-fat cheese, grated; 4 eggs; 1½ cups low-fat milk; ¾ cup self-rais­ing flour; freshly ground black pep­per (to taste); ½ tsp cook­ing oil (enough to lightly grease pie dish).

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