So, we arrive at the final stanza of my series on metabolic syndrome. This condition puts you at exceptionally high risk for heart disease and it is one we should all pay close attention to. This will be a short one, because I want to cut through all the studies, all the information, and ensure you take away the most important messages.
Here we go!
How could you prevent metabolic syndrome? You could reduce your risk of this condition by following these important steps:
1. Regular exercise. Have a brisk walk 30 minutes a day to maintain general health, and 60 minutes or more a day if you want to actively shed pounds.
2. Eat healthy foods. Eat more vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken (instead of red meat), and whole grains. Reduce dietary salt and saturated fats. Reduce sodas and fast foods.
3. Maintain normal body weight. Know what your body mass index (BMI) should be and try to shed pounds through dieting and exercise. Remember that, by losing as little as five percent to 10% of your weight, you can reduce both your blood pressure and your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
4. Quit smoking. It is a fact that smoking cigarettes will increase insulin resistance, which will lead to many cardiovascular diseases (e.g. hypertension, heart attack). Ask your physician to help you quit smoking.
5. Periodic monitoring. Ask your physician to check your BMI, fasting blood glucose, cholesterol (HDL and LDL), triglycerides and blood pressure at least once every one to two years, especially after age 40 in men and 45 in women.