It’s no secret the number of people with type 2 diabetes is sharply rising. Yet people are often shocked when they’re diagnosed with the complicated disease. By paying attention to some warning bells, especially symptoms of metabolic syndrome, people can take action to prevent or at least delay the onset of diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome is not one disease but a constellation of factors that come together. Based on criteria from the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, people have metabolic syndrome if they have three or more of these factors:
- Larger waist circumference of 35 inches or more in women, and 40 inches or more in men (the “apple shape”)
- Elevated triglycerides: 150 mg/dL or higher
- Low HDL (“good”) cholesterol: less than 40 mg/dL in men; less than 50 mg/dL in women
- High blood pressure: 130/85 mm Hg or higher
- Elevated fasting glucose: 100 mg/dL or higher
Having metabolic syndrome puts people at much greater risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as kidney disease and other problems.
Lifestyle Guide to Fight Metabolic Syndrome
Lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, are the cornerstone of treating metabolic syndrome. Here’s your guide to putting up a fight against metabolic syndrome and ultimately, diabetes.
Lose weight. Yes, we’ve all heard that one before but weight is often the mothership of all metabolic syndrome factors. Losing just 5-10 percent of your weight improves blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and cholesterol, putting a major dent in metabolic syndrome factors and helping you lose the dangerous “apple” shape formed by belly fat accumulation. To get weight loss started, reduce portion size of foods to decrease calories you consume and exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
Lower blood pressure. As we mentioned, weight loss gives you a jump on that goal. You should also follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet developed by the National Institutes of Health, or similar diets that are low in salt — which means less than 1 teaspoon per day — and low in saturated fats. Up your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts, as well.
Improve cholesterol. Replace saturated fats with monounsaturated fats (canola, olive, and peanut oils) and polyunsaturated fats (corn, soybean, and sunflower oils). Eat fatty fish twice per week to make sure you’re getting enough Omega-3. And follow the DASH diet to further improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
Lower blood sugar. Elevated blood sugar can wreak silent havoc on your body for years before the damage becomes apparent — or you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. To lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, exercise regularly and lose weight. And add more whole grains, nuts, and legumes such as beans or peas to improve blood sugar levels.
Another way to help avoid metabolic syndrome is by taking GlucAffect™, a revolutionary targeted nutritional supplement from Reliv. This unprecedented formula of cutting-edge ingredients is clinically proven to help support blood sugar management and aid in weight loss. During an eight-week clinical trial, test subjects taking GlucAffect and participating in a diet and exercise program reduced their blood sugar levels by 30% and lost an average of nearly 16 pounds. To learn more, download GlucAffect’s online product guide.
To learn more about the DASH Diet, visit the National Institutes of Health website.