13 November 2023


Preventing diabetes - 7 useful tips


Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a widespread, chronic disease. Diabetes can have serious consequences: If left untreated or poorly controlled, it can lead to cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, eye disease and other serious health complications, including premature death. The good news is that targeted lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This is because diet, exercise habits and stress management play a major role in this.




The risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus increases with obesity, physical inactivity, and age, among other factors. Offspring or siblings of type 2 diabetics and women with gestational diabetes also have an increased risk.


The essential steps to prevent diabetes


1. lose the excess kilos


Being overweight - especially in combination with an excessively large waist circumference - is one of the most relevant risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes. When losing weight, it is best to set yourself realistic and long-term goals - even a weight loss of five percent (that would be 5 kilograms for an initial weight of 100 kilograms, for example) is a great success and improves your state of health. To avoid the yo-yo effect, it is best to lose weight slowly - losing 0.5 to 1 kilogram per week is healthier and more successful in the long term than losing weight quickly.


2. get moving


Adequate exercise is an essential cornerstone of diabetes prevention. It should be at least 150 minutes per week at medium intensity (you can still talk but no longer sing) or 75 minutes per week at high intensity (continuous conversation is no longer possible during physical activity). Suitable sports include brisk walking, Nordic walking and hiking. You can of course also include everyday exercise (e.g. cycling to work). If you want to do even more for your health, plan additional muscle-strengthening exercises two to three times a week, taking into account all major muscle groups


3. put more fiber on your plate


Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fiber from wholegrain products, vegetables, pulses (such as beans, peas and lentils), nuts and seeds (e.g. linseed) and raw fruit such as apples and berries. When it comes to fruit, it is important to choose the whole apple and not the pureed smoothie version. A fiber intake of 30 grams per day is recommended. It is also important to drink enough - preferably water or unsweetened tea.


4. reduce sugar


Try to avoid added sugar as much as possible. And it's not just about cookies and the like: people often forget that soft drinks and fruit juices are real sugar bombs.


5. Mediterranean diet instead of convenience food


The traditional Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes the consumption of seasonal and fresh meals, is also highly recommended for the prevention of type 2 diabetes. In addition to the above-mentioned good fiber bombs such as vegetables, legumes and nuts as well as fresh fruit, olive oil, fish and chicken are part of the Mediterranean diet. Some unsweetened yogurt, cheese and eggs as well as little red meat complete the diet.

Fast food and highly processed foods should be avoided as far as possible. This is because they usually contain large amounts of added sugar, little fiber and unhealthy fatty acids. The best way to recognize highly processed foods is to apply the following rule of thumb: The longer the food's ingredients list is and the more ingredients it contains that you wouldn't use in recipes at home - such as fructose syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, emulsifiers and preservatives - the more highly processed the product is.


6. avoid alcohol and smoking as much as possible


Conscious alcohol consumption is also important in terms of preventing diabetes. This is because heavy alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of diabetes. To keep the risk low, it is recommended to drink a maximum of one (women and men aged 65 and over) to two (men under 65) standard glasses a day on a maximum of five days a week. A standard glass is equivalent to about 0.25 liters of beer or 0.1 liters of wine.

Smoking is a less well-known but influential risk factor for diabetes.


 7 Strengthen mental health and get enough sleep


Alongside sufficient exercise and a healthy diet, stress management is the third pillar in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Stress can be a real hunger driver and can also rob you of a good night's sleep - which in turn can affect your weight and diabetes risk. A lack of sleep is also associated with an increased risk of obesity and has a negative effect on blood sugar levels.

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