Although many people have metabolic syndrome, few know much about it. The American Heart Association estimates that one in six Americans has it.
syndrome – formerly known as “Syndrome X” – isn’t a disease but a group of risk
factors such as obesity, insulin resistance, high triglycerides, low levels of
“good” cholesterol (HDL), and high blood pressure. People with this condition have
a higher risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.
What Causes It?
When you’re short on time, it’s so much easier to hit the drive-thru for a burger, fries, and soda than to prepare a healthy meal. It’s called fast food for a reason! Sadly, fast food is bad for your waistline, and increases your risk of metabolic syndrome, too.
Moreover, our busy schedules don’t leave much time for exercise. Between our jobs and love for our screens, many of us have an inactive lifestyle. Like eating fast food, an inactive lifestyle is bad for the waistline and increases risk of metabolic syndrome.
In addition to lifestyle habits, smoking and hormonal imbalances boost risk as well.
Do You Have It?
Having three of the five following risk factors means it’s likely you would be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome:
levels of bad cholesterol
levels of good cholesterol
fasting glucose levels
Roll Back the Effects
Think you’re at risk of metabolic syndrome? Don’t be discouraged because you CAN turn things around. You’re in control of what you do with your body and what you feed it. You can reduce your risk of metabolic syndrome by eating healthier and moving more!
Exercise – According to the American Heart Association, you need 30-60 minutes of exercise daily to stay healthy. However, if you can’t fit 30 minutes into an already busy day, start small. Ten minutes of physical activity might not be as beneficial but it’s definitely better than nothing, right?
Eat a Healthier Diet – Eat more fruits and vegetables, and less meat and dairy. Also, go easy on processed and fast foods, which contain lots of trans fats, sodium and sugar.
Stick to complex carbohydrates like whole grains and legumes, and ensure that carbohydrates don’t exceed 50 percent of total calories.
Shed some Pounds – Losing just 5 percent to 10 percent of your body weight can roll back insulin resistance and other negative effects of metabolic syndrome, drastically reducing your chances of it becoming an even more serious illness.
Months and years of life are way too precious to lose on diseases that you can prevent. Take care of yourself now to avoid getting sick later on in life. You’ll be so glad (and grateful) you did!
saying is true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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