According to Mayo Clinic, metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, raising your risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Having only one of these conditions does not mean that you have metabolic syndrome. However, it does mean you have a greater chance of serious disease. And if you grow more of those conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, rises much higher. Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common, as well as one-third of U.S. adults have it. In case you have metabolic syndrome or some of its elements, competitive lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the progression of serious health issues.
Researchers at University of Pittsburg term the healthy life style changes as ‘Dramatic’ because it can make you drug free and can reverse the metabolic syndrome. For instance, a therapeutic life style is the most commonly recommended by the American Diabetic Association, American Heart Association and the Obesity Society etc.
It consists of DIET: Less calories and healthy eating
Type of food intake that has fewer carbohydrates and better fat i.e. unsaturated fatty acids or simply healthy eating patterns has shown to reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Sodium intake should be monitored as many researches have shown direct correlation with high blood pressure. British Hypertension expert Dr. Malcolm Law stated in Journal of Cardiovascular Risk that reducing sodium intake could reduce blood pressure by an average of 10 points (10 mmHg).
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and American Heart Association have established five risk factors that contribute to metabolic syndrome.1 To check the following factors to make sure that you don't have three out of these five factors listed below:
- Large Waist : Men: 40 inches and above; Women: 35 inches and above
- High Triglycerides: 150 mg/dL or higher
- Low HDL (Good Cholesterol): Men: Less than 40 mg/dL; Women: Less than 50 mg/dL
- High Blood Pressure: 135/85mm Hg or greater
- Higher fasting blood Glucose Levels: 100 mg/dL or higher
As reported by American Heart Association there are 47 million Americans suffering from metabolic syndrome. These symptoms can be controlled by modifying your life style along with proper medication and you can successfully be on the path to treatment for metabolic syndrome.
As for the weight reduction, the National Heart and Lung institutes recommend reducing calorie intake by 500-1000 calories/day. This type of reduction in calorie intake can help reduce weight by one pound a week. The following table depicts an ideal calorie intake that a person should comply with.2
Estimated Calorie Intake for Weight Loss:
Body Weight: 150-199: Calorie Intake: 1200/day
Body Weight: 200-249: Calorie Intake: 1200 to 1500/day
Body Weight: 250-299: Calorie Intake: 1500 to 1800/day
Body Weight: 300-349: Calorie Intake: 1800 to 2000/day
Avoid the following:
Avoid regular soda, cookies, most chocolates and juices with artificial flavors and sweeteners. Water is the best drink recommended when trying to lose weight. In simple terms, eat fresh organic fruits, veggies.
Metabolic Syndrome Diet:
Sample diet plan for a day: I have designed the 1200 or 1500 calories diet for metabolic syndrome for a day, it include 3 main meals plus 2 healthy snacks.
Divide your food in portions. Remember, a balanced diet is the key!
Breakfast: Boiled eggs with fruit and whole grain bread
1 Boiled egg: 78 Calories
1 Slice of bread (Multi-grain):100 Calories
½ Grape Fruit: 52 Calories per cup
Total calories: 230 Calories
Nutritional facts: Boiled eggs are an excellent source of protein. Besides, they keep you full for a longer time. However moderation is important in case of high cholesterol levels. One can also resort to boiled egg whites in the case of elevated cholesterol. Adding fruits to your breakfast can be quite refreshing and helpful as well. For instance, grape fruit has been proven to reduce insulin secretion and promote weight loss. According to the study done by Department of Nutrition and Metabolic Research in California, the group that added fresh grapefruit to their diet group lost significantly more weight than the other groups that were a part of the research project.1
Midmorning snack: Flax Seeds Crackers; 10 calories/each
Nutritional facts: Excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) an omega-3 fatty acid and soluble fiber. There are several publications that conclude that flaxseed can modestly reduce serum total and LDL cholesterol levels.4
Lunch: Chicken Avocado Quinoa Salad
3 ounces skinless chicken breast: 140 calories
½ avocado: 161 calories
1/2 Cup Quinoa: 111 calories
4 ounces Cucumbers: 17calories
1 Cup baby Spinach: 7calories
Total Calories: 436
Nutritional facts: Grilled chicken breast is a very good source of protein with less fat due to less use of oil in grilling and it being a lean form of protein. Avocado is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. It’s an excellent source of Vitamin K and folate and great diet for people suffering from metabolic syndrome.
Evening Snack: Yogurt with Cucumber
1Cup yogurt: 107 calories
Cucumber: 1 calories/slice
Nutritional facts: A study done in Boston University showed daily consumption of dairy product helped lower the risk of developing high blood pressure5. Cucumbers are known to be healthy form of fiber and make an optimal diet for metabolic syndrome.
Dinner: Grilled Chicken with Asparagus and Brussels Sprouts
5 ounces Grilled Chicken: 198 Calories
1 Cup Asparagus: 27 Calories
1Cup Baby spinach: 7 Calories
1Cup Brussels sprouts: 38 Calories
Total Calories: 270 Calories
Nutritional facts: Chicken should be skinless or you can take beef and grill it for little change, which covers our protein portion. Spinach is excellent source of Iron, Vitamin K, C, A and folic acid. No doubt there is a Popeye EffectJ. Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts are full of soluble fiber and nutrients. Asparagus has trace of mineral chromium that helps insulin to transfer glucose to cells. Besides, it’s an amazing brain booster and natural diuretic and helps to curb metabolic syndrome.
Increase physical activities. Take stairs, walk for at least 30 minutes every day, and park your car a few spots away than where you normally would. Any consistent activity that increases your heart rate or makes you sweat is quite fruitful. That can be playing ball with your little one or cycling / hiking etc. (consult your doctor first in case of heart conditions).The key point is to enjoy exercise. Try to make it a family event and promote exercise within your family as well. Make it something that everyone looks forward to. Another relaxing activity is Yoga it has been proven to relax and reduce weight. It focuses on strengthening your body tone and burn belly fat. The positive results can be evident if performed regularly and religiously.
1. Report of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/American Heart Association Conference on Scientific Issues Related to Definitionhttp://circ.ahajournals.org/content/109/3/433.full#sec-8
2. Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/R2P_life_change.pdf
3. Division of Endocrinology, Department of Nutrition and Metabolic Research, Scripps Clinic, La Jolla, California 92130, USA.
4. The Center for Experimental Therapeutics, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6021, USA.
5. American Heart Association http://newsroom.heart.org/news/yogurt-may-protect-women-from-developing-high-blood-pressure