Metabolic syndrome is medical term given to group of risk factors that can trigger type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. It is represented by high blood pressure, central obesity, high sugar levels, high bad cholesterol, and low good cholesterol. It is caused by overweight especially belly fat, aggressive lifestyle, low physical activity, bad eating habits, and sedentary life. Diet modification and losing weight are the first line of treatment for metabolic syndrome. Fibrous food, food rich in potassium, omega 3 fatty acids are certain supplements are considered good for a person who has metabolic syndrome.
What To Eat When You Have Metabolic Syndrome?
Food items that can improve metabolic syndrome are-
Fibrous Food. Eating fiber-rich food is very beneficial for metabolic syndrome as they help to reduce low-density lipoprotein levels (LDL, bad cholesterol). It also regulates the levels of blood sugar. It is recommended to have 25 grams of fiber each day for women and 38 grams each day for men. These food items are fresh fruits, dry fruits, oats, barley, lentils, dry beans, brown rice, cinnamon powder, whole grain pasta or bread and quinoa.
Potassium-Rich Food. Eating the food items which are rich in potassium can control elevated blood pressure and help with metabolic syndrome. It reduces the effects of sodium thereby controlling blood pressure. It is also necessary for a healthy heart. The potassium-rich food items are orange, banana, grapes, dates, lentils, mushrooms, potatoes with skin, oats bran, yogurt, and tomatoes.
Food Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are required for good health of heart and blood vessels. They help in the elevation of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body and help with metabolic syndrome. They are rich in healthy fat and are found in some fish. The sources of omega 3 fatty acids are chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts, avocados, salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, and trout.
Supplements. the introduction of some supplements in the diet can also reverse or prevent metabolic syndrome. However, the US Food and Drug Administration do not control the purity or qualities of these supplements. They should be taken under the advice of physician only as they can affect the action of certain medicines. These supplements are-
- Chromium supplements for blood sugar
- Niacin, vitamin B3 complex, omega 3 fatty acids supplements for cholesterol
- Potassium supplements for blood pressure
- Garlic supplements for both blood pressure and cholesterol
The food items that should be avoided if you have metabolic syndrome-
Sugar-Rich Food. refined carbohydrates; simple carbohydrate is not good for health. They lead to deposition fat. So sugary foods like sweets, white bread, white flour, potato chips, crackers, soda, fruit juices, baked food, white rice, etc is harmful to a person who has metabolic syndrome.
Artificial Sweeteners. excess consumption of artificial sweeteners can elevate sugar levels in the body and should be avoided for diabetes. These artificial sweeteners are saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose.
Trans Fat. hydrogenated oils are found in trans-fat. Trans-fat elevates the levels of bad cholesterol in the body and is associated with heart disease and diabetes. Such food items are deep fried foods, pizza, French fries, margarine, microwave popcorns, biscuits, cookies, potato chips, etc.
Sodium. Too much consumption of food rich in sodium can increase blood pressure. The food items which contain a high amount of sodium are salted nuts, potato chips, smoked meat or fish, frozen vegetables, cheese or packed food and canned soup. One should avoid them as the requirement of salt in the body per day is less than 1/4 teaspoon.
Metabolic syndrome is represented by a group of risk factors that can increase your chances to develop heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. It can be managed by a healthy lifestyle, diet modification, regular exercise programs and losing weight. Low-fat food, low carbohydrate food, and others discussed above can prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome.
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