It's astonishing how widespread Metabolic Syndrome has become. From kids to the elderly, the syndrome has firmly taken root in our culture.
In fact, the American Heart Association states that over 23% of adults have the disease.
And an astonishing 40% of Americans over 60 have it as well.
What Is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic Syndrome is a modern disease that has resulted from America's increasingly fast paced lifestyle.
A glaring warning signal, it's a billboard telling the world that the body is on a deadly collision course.
With a heavy reliance on fast foods and sodas, Americans have sharply increased their consumption of sugar, (150-170 pounds per year), as well as preservatives and artificial sweeteners.
Not really considered a true "disease," Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of five risk factors that can lead to even more serious diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
The 5 Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome
Blood pressure greater than 135/85
Excess fat around the waistline
Low levels of good cholesterol
High blood sugar levels causing insulin resistance (makes it difficult for the body to process sugar)
What happens if this syndrome is not treated? There are many complications including:
Heart disease and heart attacks
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Hardening of the arteries
How to Lose Deadly Abdominal Weight Without Becoming A Slave to Your Kitchen
Did you know that exercise alone will not reverse Metabolic Syndrome?
Conquering it requires a one-two punch, the tried and true diet and exercise routine.
However, most people balk at the idea of changing the way they eat. "I don't have time to eat healthy!" is the common lament.
But the real issue--and the real gift--with Metabolic Syndrome is learning how to make some time for yourself!
No, you don't have to become a slave to your kitchen to win back your figure and your health.
But change IS at the root of conquering the culmination of years of bad habits.
There are several diet plans that address what was once known as Syndrome X. The challenge with all of them is they require a commitment until that commitment becomes a healthy lifestyle.
Here at Jewell's Naturals, along with moderate exercise, we recommend two different diet plans for a lifestyle change:
Both have their benefits. Neither one of them requires you to spend hours and hours in the kitchen.
Check out our Paleo cookbooks in the store and you'll see what we mean!
We also carry MCT oil, which is excellent for combating the disease.
Include it as part of your diet plan.
And lest you think that changing your diet means giving up comfort food completely, check out Lisa's recipe.
But which diet plan is right for you? For a tailored plan, it's best to work with a health professional.
With that caveat, you can still take a broad stroke approach to your new diet by simply banishing processed foods and drinks.
Healing Metabolic Syndrome is really about eliminating foods that nature never created.
Foods to Avoid
Processed Foods--It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that fast foods are incredibly unhealthy, but a 2015 study backs up our claim!
Devoid of any nutritional value, AKA fuel, luncheon meats, fast foods, boxed and frozen foods are loaded with chemicals. And it's these chemicals that are at war with your body.
It's a lot like giving a fish a peanut butter sandwich. He has no idea what to do with it. That's what happens with your body when you eat fake, processed foods.
Chemicals just have no place in the human body. Researchers in Brazil found evidence to support this. They found that a diet mainly composed of processed food has a high correlation to Metabolic Syndrome.
Artificial Sweeteners--Once hailed as an "healthy" alternative to sugar, sweeteners such as Splenda, Sweet n Low, and NutraSweet, are not as sweet as they appear.
Mounting evidence points to the link between them and weight gain, as well as the development of Metabolic Syndrome, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Avoid!
Trans Fatty Acids (Trans Fat)--Look out for foods with hydrogenated oil. Think margarine, potato chips, coffee creamer, cake frostings, and cookies.
Read labels and then walk away if you see this oil on the ingredient list.
It raises bad cholesterol and triglycerides. And it expands your waistline, promotes heart disease, and, of course, Metabolic Syndrome.
Diet Soda--So what's good about a soda? Nothing! Whether it's diet or not, these are
to be avoided. They are death in a can!
A 2009 study showed that consuming diet soft drinks every day increased the risk of Syndrome X by 36%. Worse, you'll have a 67% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Refined Carbohydrates and Sugar--You knew this was coming, right? There's just no getting around it. Refined grains like white rice and white sugar are major culprits for creating all kinds of disease, including Metabolic Syndrome.
Alcohol--The old saying, "All things in moderation" is true for alcohol. Limited consumption can be good for you. Just don't go overboard.
For men, two drinks a day max. For women, just one. A drink is defined as:
1.5 oz of liquor
12 oz. of beer
5 oz. of wine
Foods That Heal
If you've been eating a mostly processed diet, you are most likely not getting enough good solid nutrition.
And frankly, it's going to feel weird to eat real food! Like any other addiction, it takes time for your body to make the transition to high quality food.
Be gentle with yourself as you ease into good health and a slimmer waistline!
Add wild caught salmon and cold water fish to your diet. These have all kinds of health benefits:
Also add nuts, grass-fed beef, and flax seeds.
Mom was right. Eat your vegetables!
Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale, avocados (for your gut), broccoli, cabbage, and carrots are all loaded with health-promoting properties for fighting disease and inflammation.
Make vegetables your friend!
Trade in that candy bar for fruit! Just be sure you don't overdo it. Fruit contains sugar so you don't want to eat too much of it.
The fruit pomegranate and pomegranate seeds have both been shown to improve Metabolic Syndrome.
Include berries, bananas, apples, pears, oranges, and tropical fruits too. The world's a colorful place. Put some of that color on your plate!
High Fiber Foods
High fiber foods get a lot of jokes, but they do wonders for regulating your system, healing your gut, and shrinking your waistline.
Include oatmeal and brown rice to keep you full longer! Or if you're paleo, opt for fiber-rich foods like sweet potatoes, coconut and nuts.
Making the commitment to combat Metabolic Syndrome will be one of the most rewarding--and challenging--health goals you can achieve!
And it will literally change your life for the better.
If you want some guidance on getting started, suggestions for healthy snacks, easy recipes that won't stress your lifestyle or your wallet, talk to us.
We're here to help!