Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions- Increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels-that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. However, any of these conditions increase your risk of serious disease. If more than one of these conditions occur in combination, your risk is even greater.
Getting more physical activity, losing weight and quitting smoking help reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels. These changes are key to decreasing your risk for chronic long term illness.
1. Exercise Doctors recommend getting 30 or more minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as a brisk walking, every day.
2. Lose weight Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce insulin levels and blood pressure and decrease your risk of diabetes.
3. Eat healthy The dietary approaches to stop high blood pressure (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet, like many healthy-eating plans, limit unhealthy fats and emphasize fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. Both of these dietary approaches have been found to off health benefits- in addition to weight loss. Do you know all the ingredients in the things you eat? Read the labels on all foods you buy. A Few things you want to avoid: Parabens, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein. For people who have components of metabolic syndrome, ask your doctor for guidance before starting a new eating plan.
4. Stop smoking Smoking cigarettes increases insulin resistance and worsens the health consequences of metabolic syndrome. Talk to your doctor if you need help kicking the cigarette habit.
Credits: Mayo Clinic
Denise Nelson, RN
Adair County Health System
641-743-6189 ext: 299
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