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  • Writer's pictureTina Shiver

What is Metabolic Syndrome

Sugar cubes with skull and crossbones on them.

If you have belly fat or high blood pressure as well as high blood glucose, then you could be at risk for what is called Metabolic Syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other health problems. It is diagnosed when a person ends up with three of the known risk factors.

The Risk Factors of Metabolic Syndrome

The risk factors include the following:

  • Low levels of HDL (healthy cholesterol)

  • High blood pressure

  • Obesity

  • High triglyceride levels

  • High blood sugar

How to Reduce Your Risk or Metabolic Syndrome

  • Keep sugar out of your diet to stop rises in blood sugar

  • Exercise to help increase your HDL

  • Eat fatty fish or take omega 3 fatty acids to help reduce triglyceride levels

  • Watch your portion sizes

  • Decrease foods that can stimulate too much insulin production

  • Watch your fat intake (especially saturated fat)

Eating to Reduce the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Follow a food plan that is high in fiber, low in sugar, and includes lean protein and healthy fats. These foods can help correct some of the risk factors and reduce the need for medications.

It’s all about balance, which means whenever you have a carbohydrate try and choose one that has a low glycemic index. Good examples would be:

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Vegetables

  • Brown Rice, & Whole Grains

Lower your salt intake by eating out less or at least limiting fast food. Limit your desserts as they raise blood sugar and/or triglyceride levels as well as contribute to obesity.

Once you have even one of the risk factors above it’s important to address it immediately. I use a functional medicine approach which means looking for the root cause. A lot of times it’s poor diet that could be the trigger, however it could also be poor digestion, inflammation or lack of exercise.

As a functional medicine practitioner, I may ask your physician to order specific tests to find out where your body may be unbalanced, however the first step would be to balance the diet with a healthy food plan. That means plenty of fiber, low sugar, lean protein and of course lots of veggies!

If you like black beans, avocado, lime, red pepper and corn then check out my Instagram page I will be posting a fabulous black bean salad this week that is full of fiber, monosaturated fat as well as antioxidant nutrients.

Until next time...remember to eat healthy and move.


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