Metabolic syndrome, also called syndrome X is a cluster of health disorders that increases the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. According to the American Heart Foundation, metabolic syndrome is when a person has three or more of the following health conditions:
- Obesity or excess abdominal fat, with a waistline more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men
- Blood pressure over 130/85 mm Hg
- Triglyceride level above 150 mg/dL
- High density lipoprotein (HDL) less than 50 mg/dL for women and 40 mg/dL for men
- Fasting blood sugar levels higher than 100mg/dL
Well, the good news is that one can lower the risk and even reverse metabolic syndrome by adopting a disciplined lifestyle. The goal is to ensure these changes are something one should be doing for the rest of life and not just short-term.
A few modifications to the diet can greatly help you to:
- Shed weight
- Manage blood pressure
- Maintain cholesterol levels
- Control blood glucose levels
Moreover, healthcare provider highly recommends following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise as the main call to action for managing metabolic syndrome. These simple lifestyle modifications are important for optimising overall health and well-being.
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Read through this article to get an overview of what foods to include and avoid for averting metabolic syndrome.
Incorporating fibre-rich foods into the diet can greatly help a person lower the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Dietary fibre reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, control unwanted hunger pangs, help lose weight and stabilize blood sugar levels. Women should aim to have at least 25 grams of fibre per day and men should eat at least 38 grams of fibre per day.
Some of the food sources abundant in dietary fibre include:
Whole-Grain Bread And Cereals
Potassium Rich Foods
Foods loaded with potassium support to control blood pressure, this heart-healthy nutrient works to counter the effects of sodium that raises blood pressure. It also helps to ease tension in the blood vessel walls, which further aids to bring down blood pressure. Add some of these high potassium sources to the diet.
Lentils And Beans
Potato With Skin
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids help to raise HDL good cholesterol levels and support keeping the heart and blood vessel healthy. Regular addition of foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by averting blood platelets from clogging together. These healthy fats are found in some fish and other plant foods sources like
Foods To Avoid
Sugar Loaded Foods
Sugary foods such as simple, refined carbs are heaped with calories that can make you gain weight and eventually increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sugar is often veiled by its chemical names in packaged foods and drinks, so always look for ingredients in the food labels for sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, levulose, maltose and avoid having these foods.
Refrain from having the following refined and processed carbs in the diet such as:
Baked goods (cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries)
Studies have disclosed that having excess amounts of diet drinks and artificially sweetened food may increase blood sugar levels and risk for type 2 diabetes. Hence it is vital to avoid sweeteners such as:
Trans fats are commonly found in partially hydrogenated oils and are added to processed foods to extend shelf life and taste. Trans fats are known to elevate LDL cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. This saturated fat is also associated with type 2 diabetes. It is important to avoid food such as:
Packaged biscuits and cookies
Packaged popcorn with artificial butter
Packaged pizza and fries
Pies and pastries
Cake mixes and frosting
Several pieces of evidence reveal that reducing sodium in food can help lower blood pressure, as consuming too much sodium can raise blood pressure. Salt contains sodium, so it is vital to limit salt intake to less than 1/4 teaspoon per day. Also, limit added table salts and foods that contain high amounts of sodium like:
Table salt, sea salt, Himalayan salt, kosher salt
Smoked or cured meats and fish
Salted butter and margarine