We all know the billion dollar weight loss industry is full of tricks and myths. We get all sorts of crazy advice from know-it-all individuals who are trying to get some kind of confirmation what they do is right and effective. Well, if you want to be their guinea pig, then go follow, but if not, try to read more about nutrition and plant based fat loss strategies that are easier and proven to be safe. Just how do you lose weight fast in a world surrounded with addictive processed food products and fast food takeaway restaurants?
Most slim and fit diet plans are trying their best to make you understand how sugar and carbohydrates play a major role in your unbelievably speedy weight gain. Totally avoiding or eating less refined carbs and other refined foods is the key to an absolute weight loss. Do you want to stay slim and younger longer?
Dietary and lifestyle intervention is necessary for your anti aging weight and fat loss intervention, which include your beauty skin care goals. Nutritional intervention is necessary in treating the metabolic syndrome. What is metabolic syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome, MetS, is also called as the insulin resistance syndrome. It is becoming a worldwide epidemic as a result of the increased prevalence of obesity and sedentary lifestyle. In fact, its prevalence in the adult population is very high.
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The metabolic syndrome, unfortunately, is a disease that can mess up your anti aging fat loss efforts, because it has been associated with a group of risk factors that raises your risks of heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. The metabolic syndrome is a lifelong condition that only lifestyle changes can help control the condition.
We all know that insulin resistance plays a key role in the development of metabolic syndrome. Common strategies would be low saturated fat intake, consumption of low glycemic index foods, physical exercise, and prevention of obesity. Although the first formal definition of the metabolic syndrome entered the medical textbooks in 1998, the condition is as widespread as pimples and the common cold.
Indeed, metabolic syndrome seems to be a condition most people nowadays have, but no one is really much aware of its cause and consequences. Even if we can consider it as just a reference of a group of risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and abdominal fat, the name Syndrome X is scary enough to make you think of what it would be like!
The American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, including the National Cholesterol Education Program, have fully identified five risk factors associated with the metabolic syndrome https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-10-138
- Waist circumference greater than 40 inches or 102 cm in men and greater than 35 inches or 88 cm in women
- Triglyceride level of at least 150 mg/dl or using a cholesterol medicine
- HDL level less than 40 mg/dl in men and less than 50 mg/dl in women or using a cholesterol medicine
- Systolic/ diastolic blood pressure (SBP/DBP) 130/85 mm Hg or higher, if not using a high blood pressure medicine
- Fasting blood glucose level 110 mg/dl or higher
To be diagnosed with the metabolic syndrome, you would have at least three of the enumerated risk factors. The association between certain metabolic disorders and cardiovascular disease has been known since the 1940s.
The coronary disease may refer to the plaque buildup, which is a waxy substance seen clogging inside the heart arteries. When the plaque hardens, it narrows the arteries and reduces the blood flow to the heart. The atherosclerosis is a disease in which the plaque builds up inside your arteries.
The plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, the plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. As a result, it limits the flow of oxygen rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body.
This can lead to a cluster of conditions resulting in an increased blood pressure, high blood sugar level, and a highly abnormal cholesterol level. Atherosclerosis can lead to heart attack, stroke, or even death.
Your triglycerides, LDL and HDL
The four components that comprise the metabolic syndrome are the central obesity, increased triglycerides and reduced high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, hypertension and glucose intolerance. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood, which the body uses for energy.
Having a high triglyceride level or fat in the blood puts you at risk of a heart disease and can be a sign of developing the metabolic syndrome. Having a low HDL cholesterol level also raises your risk of a heart disease.
A blood test that measures your cholesterol can be used to measure your triglycerides. To give you an idea about the triglycerides
- Normal is less than 150
- Borderline to high is 150 to 199
- High is 200 to 499
- Very high is 500 or higher
The common causes of high triglycerides are
- Poorly controlled diabetes
- An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Kidney disease
- Regularly eating more calories than you burn
- Drinking a lot of alcohol
One of the metabolic risk factors is having a large waistline or having an apple shape. Unfortunately, for me, the worst of all outcomes is the accumulation of the excess fat around the waist (I hate having a bigger waistline).
Your waist size matters! An excess body fat may bring serious consequences for your health. It is often associated with high levels of LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and low levels of HDL or good cholesterol.
What it can do is to impair your body’s responsiveness to insulin, by raising your blood sugar and insulin levels. An excess body fat has been determined to be a major cause of most people’s death and disability, such as heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, fatty liver, and depression.
Interpreting your waist circumference
- Low risk would be 37 inches and below for men, and 31.5 inches and below for women
- Intermediate risk would be 37.1 to 39.9 inches for men, and 31.6 to 34.9 inches for women.
- High risk would be 40 inches and above for men, and 35 inches and above for women.
An aggressive lifestyle change can delay the development of chronic diseases. Eat right to prevent abdominal obesity. Remember, the only way to reduce visceral fat is to lose weight.
High blood pressure
The high blood pressure is the consistently high force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels. It is also called as HBP or hypertension. The blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries.
One way it causes harm is when it increases the workload of the heart and the blood vessels, which make them work harder, but less efficient. Over time, the force and the friction of the high blood pressure damages the delicate tissues inside the arteries. Having a high blood pressure leads to plaque buildup and if it stays high over time, it can damage your heart.
The LDL cholesterol forms plaque along the tiny tears in the artery walls, signifying the start of atherosclerosis. The more plaque and damage increases, the narrower or smaller the insides of the arteries become, thus raising the blood pressure that can further harm the arteries. This can lead to arrhythmia, heart attack, and stroke.
High blood pressure is commonly called as the silent killer, because you may not feel that anything is wrong with you. The pressure can be quietly causing the damage without noticeable symptoms. If untreated, might put more strain on your blood vessels, heart, and other organs, such as the brain, kidneys, and eyes.
- High blood pressure is considered to be 140/90mmHg or higher
- Ideal blood pressure is considered to be between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg
- Low blood pressure is considered to be 90/60mmHg or lower
A high blood sugar could be a sign of an early stage diabetes. Insulin resistance is a condition when your body finds difficulty using the insulin properly. High blood pressure is more common in people with diabetes.
The cut off point for blood pressure is said to be high is 140/80mmHg or above for people with diabetes and 130/80mmHg for those with diabetes plus complications, such as kidney disease. Please take note that having a high blood pressure means that your blood pressure remains above the cut off point each time it is taken.
This means that your blood pressure remains above the cut off point each time it is taken. That is, your blood pressure is sustained at a level higher than it should be and is not just a one off high reading when you happen to be stressed.
High blood pressure can be
- Just a high systolic pressure, for example 170/70mmHg
- Just a high diastolic pressure, for example 120/104mmHg
- Both, for example, 170/110mmHg
Hypertension has long been known to be more prevalent among obese subjects or in patients with diabetes, or states of insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that facilitates moving the blood sugar into the cells.
Insulin resistance and hypertension are considered as prototypical diseases of civilization due to sedentary life and plentiful food modern environment. A diminished tissue sensitivity to insulin is a characteristic of various pathological conditions termed the insulin resistance syndrome, also known as the metabolic syndrome or cardiometabolic syndrome.
Interventions and approaches
The metabolic syndrome is dangerous because it would not show any symptoms until severe damage has been done. Environmental issues, such as low activity level, sedentary lifestyle, and progressive weight gain are contributors to the metabolic syndrome.
If you have a metabolic syndrome, an aggressive lifestyle change can delay or prevent potential health problems. Looking at the macro causes of the metabolic syndrome, the current food environment has a lot to contribute to the development of this disorder.
The initial management of the metabolic syndrome involves lifestyle modifications, including changes in diet and exercise habits. Indeed, several studies found that diet, exercise, and pharmacological interventions may inhibit the progression of metabolic syndrome to diabetes mellitus.
How can you lower your high triglycerides? You can make diet and lifestyle changes to help lower your levels
- Lose weight and stay at a healthy weight
- Limit fats and sugars in your diet
- Be more active
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol
Gaining weight is often associated with the metabolic syndrome. Recent research suggests that prolonged chronic stress contributes by disrupting the hormonal balance and making it possible for high cortisol levels to circulate, resulting in higher glucose and insulin levels.
Smoking and eating an excessively high carbohydrate diet can result in developing this kind of disorder. At present, there are no surgical interventions for metabolic syndrome.
Beyond these, there are other path physiologic features identified with the patients having a MetS, such as the chronic systemic inflammation, which has its origin in the links between the adipose tissue and the immune system, and increased oxidative stress, which is known to contribute to the progression of this disease.
The adipose tissue can influence and communicate with many other organs, including the brain, heart, vasculature, liver and muscle through the production of adipokines. The adipokines have both pro and anti-inflammatory activities.
Balance is crucial in determining homeostasis throughout the body based on nutritional status. When an adipocyte dysfunction occurs as a result of the adipose tissue expansion, dysregulation of adipokine production can have local or systemic effects on inflammation responses, thereby contributing to the initiation and progression of obesity induced metabolic and cardiovascular complications.
Stress is part of life, but unfortunately, it can make you eat more and gain weight in less time. People under stressful situations usually crave sweet, salty, and high fat foods, because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension.
This soothing effect becomes addicting, so every time you become anxious, you would easily reach for fattening foods. The cortisol produced by stress encourages your body to store fat, especially visceral fat.
Get your cortisol levels and weight under control
- Mind your portions
- Avoid sugars and carbs
- Curtail caffeine
- Power up breakfast
- Sleep 7 to 8 hours a day
Attention is needed here
The metabolic syndrome is associated with fat accumulation in the liver (fatty liver), resulting in inflammation and the risk of liver cirrhosis. There is a big likelihood that your kidneys would be affected by the fat accumulation. It may start to lead the protein into the urine, which may further lead to microalbuminuria.
Obstructive sleep apnea, polycystic ovary syndrome, increased risk of dementia, and cognitive decline are other problems related to the metabolic syndrome. MetS negatively impacts cognitive performance and the brain structure.
A study from the University of Eastern Finland has shown that a high concentration of the indolepropionic acid protects against type 2 diabetes. This acid is a metabolite produced by the intestinal bacteria. Its production is boosted by a fiber rich diet.
Planning your diet, reorganizing your kitchen
Planning a low budget, healthy diet meal plan can be a straightforward prevention strategy. The metabolic syndrome can best be treated by following a Mediterranean diet or a diet that is high in vegetables and fruits.
Get all the nutrients you need by combining cruciferous vegetables + quinoa or oatmeal + fruits. A diet that doesn’t have too much fat, salt or sugar, will give you the best tool to lose weight fast as well as help you prevent developing age related diseases.
Moderation is crucial, balance is the key to living a high quality life. Metabolic syndrome is a reversible condition, but can be done mainly with a big lifestyle change.
The idea is to make you aware that what made you obese and overweight is plainly what you eat and your lack of physical activity, but not really over eating. If you want to lose weight, then you need to eat less to weigh less.
The present lifestyle consists of eating and drinking too much calories in one meal setting. People have too much fat, sugar, and salt, but not enough fruits, vegetables, oily fish and fiber.
Let us not forget that since time immemorial, the fruits and vegetables have been our vital source of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Did the caveman before eat canned goods?
We should eat a minimum of 5 portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Variety is a must. You can have an apple, a banana, pear, or any fruit with similar size.
To give you an idea, 1 slice of pineapple or melon is already considered as 1 portion.
How do you prepare your meal to get your portions in a very strategic way? You can put a banana in your oatmeal breakfast.
You can combine food groups and enjoy your portions in a delicious way. Of course, you need to browse recipes for this.
Many MetS disorders are seen to be the result of eating less fiber foods. As you may have noticed, all diet advice focused solely on increasing your fiber intake.
Let us take a list of high fiber foods for your reference
- Black beans
- Lima beans
- Acorn squash
- Brussels sprouts
- Bell peppers
- Chia seeds
- Sugar snap peas
- Sweet potato
Move more, eat less
What does this mean? If you are already eating a nutritious, balanced diet, and still finds it difficult to lose weight, then you should eat less and move more.
You gain weight only if you put more to your body than the energy that you use. Remember, balance is everything. Over time, your body stores excess energy as fat.
Dietary changes can boost cognition (just to motivate you). If you want to grow old and still remember your child’s name, then maybe this is something you should make in your top list.
It is apparent that diet, exercise, and sleep can alter brain health and mental function. Food functions like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain.
Emerging studies suggest that having a balanced healthy eating meal plan protects the brain and prevents mental disorders. A nutritious, balanced diet can also facilitate weight loss.
A dietary deficiency of the Omega 3 fatty acids has been associated with the risk of several mental disorders. The Omega 3 fatty acids affect the expression of molecules related to learning and memory found in the synapses.
A deficiency of the Omega 3 fatty acids results in an impaired learning and memory. Research suggests that children with increased amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids has been found to perform better in school.
The Australian study of 396 children ages 6 to 12 who had taken a nutritional drink of Omega 3 fatty acids and nutrients such as the iron, zinc, folic acid, and Vitamins A, B6, B12, and C have shown higher scores on tests measuring verbal intelligence, learning, and memory.
Dietary health supplements are beneficial. Your brain is highly susceptible to oxidative damage – what you eat highly affects its molecules and synapses.
An unhealthy diet, such as junk food and fast food could negatively affect your brain’s synapses and several molecules related to learning and memory.
In all clinical literature, the cardioprotective power of the Omega 3 has been thoroughly documented. Its antidepressant and neuroprotective properties are remarkable.
One study about its profound ability to stop age related decline and pathology, shattered and reversed the long standing belief that brain shrinkage and nerve cell death is progressive and irreversible.
Aging individuals who consume more Omega 3 showed an increased gray matter brain volume and new tissue development. It has the intrinsic power to preserve cognition and memory as well as reverse the age related loss of brain function.
Dichi, I., & Simao, A. (2016). Nutritional intervention in metabolic syndrome. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Life Extension (2010). Omega 3 fatty acids increase brain volume.
Nauert, R. (2008). Healthy food can improve mental health. PsychCentral.
NHS. A balanced diet.
NHS. High blood pressure (hypertension).
NIH. What is metabolic syndrome?
Modern living has brought the metabolic syndrome plague. It has definitely affected the lives of people all over the world. Modern living is associated with lower levels of occupational and recreational physical activity due to technological advances.
When the energy expenditure is decreased, while the energy intake stays the same, or increases, the excess energy is stored in adipose and other body tissues. Don’t you know that physical inactivity plus a bad diet have been associated with more than 30 chronic diseases?
Let your food be your medicine! This disorder affects 40% of people over the age of 60. You should change your food choices and eating habits to get back on track.
Avoid fake and processed food, sodas and colas, sugars, trans fat, refined carbohydrates, smoking and drinking, and living a sedentary lifestyle. You can reduce your waist and lose weight by following a plant based diet, or a diet eating more fruits and vegetables. High fiber foods, such as oatmeal and brown rice can help keep your waistline in check.