How is diabetes effectively treated

Prevent diabetes through a healthy lifestyle

Did you know that you can postpone or even prevent type 2 diabetes by following a healthy lifestyle? A conscious, balanced diet and exercise are the most important measures you can take to prevent diabetes. This applies in particular to you if you have achieved a higher score (from 7-11 points) in the diabetes test.


Self-check body weight: what is healthy?

A kilo or two too much is usually nothing to worry about. But particularly high overweight or obesity (obesity) can be a decisive factor in the development of type 2 diabetes. Because being overweight can reduce insulin sensitivity in muscles, liver and adipose tissue. This means that insulin can no longer work so well that the sugar in the blood can no longer be broken down sufficiently.
A normal body weight can lower the risk of diabetes. You can use your body mass index (BMI) to determine whether your body weight is within the normal range or whether you weigh too much. The BMI describes the ratio of height to weight. You can easily determine this value yourself: The BMI is calculated from the body weight divided by the square of the body height using the following formula:

Weight (kg)
BMI = ----------------------------
Size² (m)

The following BMI table helps to evaluate the result:

 BMI maleBMI female
Underweightunder 20under 19
Normal weight20-2519-24
severe obesitygreater than 40greater than 40

As you can see in the Diabetes Risk Test, another factor is important in determining your diabetes risk: your waist size. An increased waist circumference, in women over 80 cm, in men over 94 cm, is an important risk factor for the occurrence of diabetes, but also for coronary heart disease or a stroke. A significantly increased risk is greater than 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men. The abdominal circumference is an indirect measure of the internal abdominal fat (visceral fat), which emits considerably more inflammatory messengers than fat on the thighs and buttocks and thus promotes type 2 diabetes and arteriosclerosis. How to measure your abdominal circumference: While standing, place the measuring tape around your belly at the level of your belly button, exhale gently and read the value at navel level.


Act instead of waiting to prevent diabetes

If you find that you are overweight, try to lose a few pounds in consultation with your GP. A healthy weight can help prevent diabetes from developing. Basically, you can achieve weight loss by consuming less energy - that is, fewer calories - than you consume. Or vice versa: By burning more energy or calories than you consume. In other words, the two crucial levers that you can adjust yourself are diet and exercise.

Please note that the determination of the BMI and the waist circumference are only used as a rough guide. Factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, genetic predisposition and your own lifestyle also play a decisive role in your state of health. If in doubt, you should discuss weight loss or increased exercise with your doctor.

Balanced diet for a healthy weight

There is no special “diabetes diet”. But in the long term, the most sensible way to maintain a healthy body weight seems to be a varied, balanced mixed diet. The essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals are in a balanced relationship to one another. This is achieved through a high proportion of plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables and cereals or whole grain products. Milk and dairy products as well as fish should be eaten as part of a balanced mixed diet in a moderate setting. In contrast, meat, oils and fats, as well as sweets and snacks, make up only a small part of the mixed diet. And the more fiber the diet has, the longer you'll stay full. Dietary fibers are z. B. in abundance in whole grain products as well as vegetables and fruits.

Twice as good: regular exercise

Exercise and sport support your health. A lack of exercise, on the other hand, is also a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes.
When you move, it has two effects on your blood sugar: movement makes insulin work better and the sugar gets better from the blood to the cells. This lowers the blood sugar level and the cells are better supplied with energy. In addition, through exercise you increase the muscle mass in the body in the long term. Muscle cells require more energy than fat cells, so more muscles also use more calories. This will help you lose extra pounds faster.
Therefore the motto applies: Do sport regularly and get exercise in everyday life! It should be at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day - although this can also be divided into ten-minute bites. In any case, have your family doctor examine you beforehand to determine whether and which sport is an option for you.
When it comes to movement, top performance is not important. You don't necessarily have to work up a sweat. And you should definitely not force yourself to do sports that are considered to be particularly effective. The exercise should definitely be fun.
So try out what suits you. Endurance-oriented sports such as cycling, walking, Nordic walking, jogging or swimming are recommended. In other words, sports in which you activate many muscles of the body at the same time to a moderate extent - and that over a longer period of 30 minutes. Training in the gym or weight training is also considered a healthy physical activity.
Before starting a new sport, get individual advice from a doctor about which sport is best for you, or how long and how often you should exercise. Jogging, for example, puts a lot of strain on the joints, while cycling may not be suitable for back problems. In addition, avoid too intense and too frequent exertion during the first sports units. Especially when you start a new sport, two units a week for about the first two to three months are enough to get the body used to the strain. You can then gradually increase the training volume, every two to three months.

A training partner is motivational: ideal is of course someone with experience in the relevant sport, who can also control the scope, intensity and regularity together with you. But fun and motivation are decisive - and experience has shown that social contacts significantly promote fun in sport.
But even without exercise, you can achieve a lot for your health: Build exercise into your everyday life wherever possible. Use z. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, leave the car for short distances and walk instead, or take a walk after lunch on your lunch break.


10 tips to prevent diabetes

  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. It is best to start each meal with a salad, fruit or vegetable.
  • Prefer low-fat foods, for example milk or cheese products. Also pay attention to the least possible fat in meat and sausages.
  • Make sure you have healthy, low-calorie drinks. Instead of sodas or alcohol, it is better to prefer mineral water, water or unsweetened tea.
  • Avoid high-calorie snacks such as chocolate bars, sweets and fast food. Apples, pears, tomatoes or carrots are better suited for occasional hunger pangs.
  • Make sure you use as little fat as possible when cooking. Braising, steaming and foil cooking are better than roasting. Use olive or canola oil instead of solid fats such as clarified butter, coconut oil or palm oil.
  • When choosing foods, give preference to foods that are high in fiber, as they fill you up longer. Examples are whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, legumes, brown rice, muesli.
  • Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day. It is ideal if you can incorporate exercise into your everyday life, for example when commuting to work.
  • For short trips or short errands, use the bike or walk instead of taking the car. In this way you not only save fuel, but also do something for your weight.
  • Exercise in a group if you enjoy being with others. Fixed training times and group training support motivation.
  • Choose a sport with light to medium intensity, for example cycling, Nordic walking or swimming. If you sweat easily and have a good time while exercising, then the load is right.

More about nutrition and exercise in type 2 diabetes