Some things in life we have no control over… like rain on a picnic, taxes and teenage angst. But one thing you may be able to control is your risk of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a combination of symptoms that includes impaired glucose tolerance, high cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, and abdominal obesity. This dangerous package is often the pathway to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. A study also shows metabolic syndrome raises colon cancer risk by 75 percent.
But researchers have found even if you already have metabolic syndrome, you may be able to reverse it through diet and exercise.
Lifestyle Choices Change Course of Health
One study looked at diet’s effect alone on metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome who closely followed the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) were twice as likely to reverse their metabolic syndrome after five years as those who didn’t follow the healthy eating guidelines.
The AHEI, developed by Harvard School of Public Health, is a set of nutritional guidelines that emphasize eating whole grains rather than refined grains, white meat rather than red meat and plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and soy. In addition to metabolic syndrome, studies have shown that men and women who follow these guidelines cut their risk of chronic disease.
Another study showed people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes had significant health improvements after only three weeks of diet and exercise. In half the people in the study, their lifestyle change reversed the clinical diagnosis of type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome — even if they were still overweight.
This group followed a high-fiber, low-fat diet combined with 45 to 60 minutes on a treadmill each day. Their diet included whole grains, vegetables and fruits for carbohydrates, soy, beans and nuts for protein, non-fat dairy, limited amounts of fish and poultry, and unsaturated fats over saturated fats. This diet is similar to the AHEI guidelines.
Snapshot of a Healthier Diet
So what choices should you focus on to head off metabolic syndrome or help you turn it around? It’s not about individual nutrients, but rather an overall dietary pattern. Here are some eating ideas from the AHEI nutrition guidelines to get a better picture of health:
- Four times as much fish and poultry as red meat.
- Five servings of vegetables daily.
- Four servings of fruit daily.
- One daily serving of nuts or vegetable protein such as soy.
- More polyunsaturated fats (mostly found in vegetable sources) than saturated fats (mostly found in animal sources).
- 15 grams of fiber from whole grain sources, such as whole-wheat bread, each day.
A Healthy Addition for Proven Results
To complement a healthier diet and regular exercise, add Reliv’s GlucAffect® to your daily routine. This revolutionary, targeted nutritional supplement brings together carefully selected ingredients in amounts proven effective in clinical studies to lower blood sugar and aid in weight loss — two key components of metabolic syndrome.
In a clinical trial of GlucAffect, participants taking four servings over eight weeks decreased fasting blood glucose by 30.4 percent, which returned participants to healthy blood sugar values. In addition, HbA1c, which shows an average of blood sugar levels over time, decreased from 7.59 percent to 6.33 percent. (The American Diabetes Association considers 7 percent or below to be ideal in blood sugar control.) Weight and body mass index decreased significantly in those taking GlucAffect, too. Average subjects lost 15 pounds during the eight weeks and BMIs were reduced from an average of 26.8 to 24.5, which is optimal.