Type 2 diabetes is widespread, has serious consequences and – mostly preventable. Those who turn the right screws in everyday life protect themselves against diabetes and become fitter and more attractive.

+ Good sleep reduces the risk of diabetes +

Rüdiger Landgraf lists the most important risk factors for type 2 diabetes as being older than 45 years, familial predisposition, obesity, lipid metabolism disorders, coronary heart disease, gestational diabetes .

The factors age and genetic predisposition cannot be shaken. “Metabolic disorders generally increase with age, and that also means that the sugar metabolism can derail more easily,” explains the chairman of the German Diabetes Foundation.

“The inherited predisposition to diabetes makes a disease more likely, but does not mean that it will inevitably occur.”

Change your lifestyle and have fun with it

On the other hand, everyone can defuse the other sources of danger of diabetes individually. This rarely works without a change in lifestyle. But if diabetes prevention is associated with a better attitude towards life, the change can even be fun.

1. Protection factor “slim waist”

Most people at high risk of diabetes have been carrying too many pounds for years. The path to diabetes often begins with obesity in childhood . The proverbial hip gold is less risky than the fat deposits in the stomach. A high waist is an indicator that fat has also accumulated around internal organs. This threatens not only the sugar metabolism, but also the cardiovascular system.

Unfortunately, belly fat melts particularly stubbornly – but if you resolutely declare war on it, you gain a new body feeling and a slim silhouette in addition to more health.

2. Protection factor “keep moving”

In addition to being overweight, lack of exercise is the most important self-inflicted diabetes risk. Both usually go hand in hand.

“30 minutes a day is the minimum of physical activity, if necessary in ten-minute bites,” recommends diabetologist Rüdiger Landgraf.

“You don’t necessarily have to work up a sweat. And you shouldn’t force yourself to do any sport because it is considered particularly effective. The movement has to be fun. “

Endurance sports such as walking, jogging, swimming or cycling are effective. But weight training is also recognized today as a healthy physical activity. The regular exercise has a positive effect on the effectiveness of insulin from. It contributes to the fact that the sugar is consumed directly from the blood in the muscle cells with a low need for insulin.

3. Protection factor “light cuisine”

“There is no special diabetes diet,” says Rüdiger Landgraf. “Everything that is part of a sensible, healthy diet today is suitable both for diabetes patients and for prevention .” Anyone who has a problem with blood sugar should only pay particular attention to fruit consumption.

“Ripe fruits contain a lot of fructose. For example, eating a pound of cherries at a time in summer is unfavorable. ”

Various studies suggest that a diet with an emphasis on plant-based foods helps prevent diabetes. Dietary fiber in particular improves the insulin effect and thus helps the disturbed sugar metabolism on the jumps.

In addition, a fiber-rich diet causes the blood sugar level to rise only slowly, so that blood sugar peaks are avoided. Plenty of vegetables and fruit contribute to the daily recommended dietary fiber ration of around 30 grams.

Because of the sometimes very high fructose content in many types of fruit, the emphasis should be on vegetables. Pulses and preferably whole grain bread, rice and noodles several times a week also increase the fiber balance.

4. Protection factor “soft drink stop”

Cola, lemonades or fruit juice drinks are mountains of liquid sugar and as such have become the focus of diabetes prevention in recent years.

In many families, they are used as a thirst quencher and drink to accompany every meal, and they also provide the amount of calories in a meal – a liter of cola, for example, 450 calories. A French study has also only just unmasked the “light” versions with sweeteners as a diabetes risk .

Because the artificial sweetness probably also drives up the blood sugar level and can initially lead to insulin resistance and ultimately to diabetes.

Sugar-sweet drinks should be an occasional exception, just like enjoying a glass of wine . “The healthiest thirst quencher is still fresh water,” says the diabetes expert.

5. Protection factor “good sleep”

Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep are considered independent risk factors for type 2 diabetes . Too little sleep not only increases body weight, but also upsets your metabolism. A lack of sleep has a negative effect on insulin release and blood sugar levels after a short time .

The reason for this is that when you don’t sleep enough, the body releases stress hormones that intervene in the sugar metabolism.

Short-term sleep deprivation has no lasting effects, but persistently poor sleep does: “People with nocturnal breathing pauses get diabetes more than average, on the other hand diabetes patients often suffer from the so-called sleep apnea syndrome,” says Rüdiger Landgraf.

6. Protection factor “relaxed vessels”

There is a link between high blood pressure and diabetes. The causes for both ailments are comparable: overweight, poor diet, lack of exercise. Almost 90 percent of type 2 diabetics also suffer from high blood pressure.

The risk of suffering cardiovascular disease is four times higher for them than for people without diabetes. If you lower your blood pressure to a normal level, you primarily reduce your risk of dangerous long-term effects of diabetes.

Since diabetes attacks the blood vessels, high blood pressure accelerates the development of damage to the small blood vessels, for example in the retina or the kidneys.

7. Protection factor “nicotine renunciation”

Smokers have a 30 to 50 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes than non-smokers. The question of why has not been clearly clarified.

Smokers may have an overall unhealthy lifestyle that encourages diabetes.

However, nicotine, carbon monoxide or other substances from tobacco smoke may also have a direct harmful effect on the pancreas and fatty tissue.

Subliminal inflammation occurs, combined with reduced insulin activity, which severely affects the metabolism.

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