Over 64 million Americans suffer from a condition defined as metabolic syndrome – a combination of risk factors, which makes one more susceptible to serious health complications. Four in ten Americans will get metabolic syndrome by the time they reach 70 years old.
Contrary to what people may think, this condition shows up in sufferers who are not obese but may have recently gained a lot of weight around their midsection and have an “apple” shaped figure. The common understanding about this condition is that it is caused by a malfunctioning of the body’s energy storing and burning system.
There are several things that contribute to the severity of the syndrome including genetics, a highly processed diet, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and weight gain.
Metabolic syndrome encompasses risk factors that, when taken alone, are damaging but when together are devastating to health. The most notable consequences of metabolic syndrome are heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
There is some data that point to consumption of both regular as well as diet soda or other products made with high-fructose corn syrup such as jams, ice cream, salad dressings or other processed foods, increases the risk of developing insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Assessing Your Risk
To assess your risk of metabolic syndrome check to see if you have three or more of the following:
- A waist size greater than 40 inches for males and greater than 35 inches for females
- Elevated blood pressure – greater than 130/85
- High fasting glucose, or blood sugar of at least 110 mg/dl of blood
- Serum triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dl
- High-density lipoproteins less than 40 mg for males and less than 50 mg for females
Remember, that obesity is not the only risk factor with metabolic syndrome and that allowing the condition to prevail only makes it worse. If you have three or more of the symptoms above, it is a good idea to discuss metabolic syndrome with your physician.
Reversing the Problem
The good news is that as with other lifestyle illnesses, metabolic syndrome can be attacked by making some changes to diet and exercise including the following.
Lose weight – Even a 5% drop in body weight can have an incredible impact on insulin resistance.
Increase activity – Aim for a 30-minute daily walk.
Eat whole and superfoods – Consume foods that are nutrient dense and full of health promoting phytochemicals such as organic fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and healthy fats. Stay clear of processed, fast or packaged foods as much as possible, especially foods high in sugar.
Avoid a low fat diet – Consume healthy fat such as organic grass-fed butter and coconut oil.
Manage stress – Deal with stress in a positive manner; learn to meditate and focus on deep breathing to calm the mind and body.
-The Alternative Daily
Super Foods Health Style; Steven G. Pratt MD