Metabolic syndrome is a term given for the risk factors that can increase your chances of developing health problems like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. There are five specific factors in the syndrome, and if any three are present, you could be at risk.
The five factors are:
1. A waistline of more than 35-inch circumference for women and more than 40 for men.
2. Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol
3. High triglyceride levels
4. High levels of blood sugar
The best ways to avoid metabolic syndrome are maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and eating a plant-centric diet. Your risks for metabolic syndrome increases with age.
Here are some important factors of metabolic syndrome:
· If anyone of your relatives has diabetes or heart disease, you could be a candidate for metabolic syndrome. These issues can be hereditary.
· If you have developed a gut, your risk of developing metabolic syndrome is greater. Excess fat that settles in your belly boosts health risks. Even a drop of 8 to 10 pounds could improve your test results and decrease or eliminate your need for medications.
· Eating whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and seafood and skipping meat, cheese, sugars, and sweets lowers your risk. Adding foods rich in soluble fiber, like oats and beans help process foods through your gastrointestinal tract while keeping you feeling full. This will also help you to cut back on calorie intake.
· Avoid fruit juices, beverages with added refined sugars and alcohol. They will make your blood sugar and triglyceride levels rise. Water is the best beverage for healthy hydration. Other foods to avoid include all processed foods, artificial sweeteners, sodas – both regular and diet and trans fats.
· Start or rev-up your exercise routine. Do something at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, even if it’s just a brisk walk. Exercise boosts your metabolism and burns calories that can help you keep your weight down. For quick results, try Interval training. This consists of exercising at 100 percent of your maximum effort for 30 to 60 seconds, slowing it down to low-impact for a recovery period of just 30 to 60 seconds, and then repeating.
· Taking supplements like ginseng, berberine & bitter melon help regulate glucose and lipid metabolism. Holy basil improves blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Spirulina contains phycocyanin which lowers blood pressure. Maca root increases the glutathione levels in the body that improves your immune system and also helps balance cholesterol levels and lowers glucose levels in the blood. You doctor can help with determining the supplements you may need.
· If you smoke. Stop.
If you suspect that you may have metabolic syndrome, work with your healthcare provider and a nutritionist to develop an individualized treatment plan and to monitor its effectiveness.