Metabolic syndrome can ruin your health

Ever heard about "Metabolic Syndrome"? It's also called Syndrome X.

OK, picture this: Is your waistline out of proportion large? Do you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels? If yes, you'd better take careful note of the following....

Metabolic Syndrome is an umbrella term for a number of physical conditions, these having to be present before a diagnosis can be made.

A more comprehensive list of risk indicators:

1. Excess fat in the abdominal area

2. Low levels of the "good" cholesterol - HDL-C

3. High blood pressure

4. High fasting blood sugar, insulin resistance

5. High triglyceride (a type of fat in the blood) level

6. Obesity - a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30

What am I at risk FOR??? Heart disease, diabetes, stroke. All the scary stuff!

If you fit three or more of the above risk factors, you will most likely be suffering from Metabolic Syndrome.

Research has shown that an estimated one in five adults in the United States suffer from this condtion, and in the rest of the world following a western diet will have the same prevalence.

OK then, if I fit the bill, what am I to do?

Firstly, please get a medical opinion, which will most probably lead to a correct diagnosis and a recommended treatment.

The treatment:

1. Take your prescribed medication to get the condition under control

2. Make some lifestyle adjustments - who knows, if you stick to these adjustments, you may find that you will not need your medication any more.....

* Improve your exercise and activities

How? Start walking 30 min perday, or join a gym, or join a cycling/swimming club - the options are endless. Do what suits your schedule and commitments best. This is vital if you want to improve your risk factors.

* Lose weight asap! Importance: VERY HIGH

Lose at least 5% of your weight, and not too fast either. Consult a dietician, and lose the weight under medical supervision. Go here to see how you shape up!

* Closely linked to weight loss - a different eating (not diet!) plan

Now this is where things get interesting: There are so many possible eating plans that it can become highly confusing.

Let's highlight one or two possibilities, you can do your own research on more options.

1. The Mediterranean eating plan:

The Mediterranean eating plan is high in healthy mono-unsaturated fats, e.g. olive oil. Foods that should be eaten are mainly fruit, vegetables, whole grains and maybe a little wine.


• Eat seven to ten servings of fresh, not processed vegetables and fruits daily

• Eat whole grains

• Eat nuts like almonds, cashews and walnuts, but in small amounts

• Use olive oil rather than butter

• Eat fish at least twice a week. Avoid red high-fat meats, e.g. bacon

• Eat low-fat dairy.

• Have a small glass of wine or grape juice daily, if you like

Remember, if you want to lose weight, you have to consume fewer calories than you burn each day. Multiply your pound weight with 15 to establish the calories your body needs per day. If you want to reduce your weight, use less calories per day, but never fewer than 1 200 per day.

Breakdown of calories: 30% from fat, and only 10 of these form saturated animal fats. 60% from carbohydrates, 50 of these from complex carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) 10% (max) from refined and processed sugars

According to The Wall Street Journal article “Health and Wellness: Why to Eat Like a Greek” by Ron Winslow, the Mediterranean eating plan “has been shown in numerous studies and clinical trials to reduce mortality from such causes as cardiovascular disease and cancer.”

2. The vegetarian or vegan route:

The following pages will give you info on how to grow your own vegetables and how to start eating the REALLY healthy stuff:

Healthy food

Healthy diet

Organic foods

Organic food garden

Let's start afresh today - on the road to better health and a bright future!

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