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What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Also known as Syndrome X, metabolic syndrome is defined as several conditions that can increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease. These include: insulin resistance, high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose and lipid levels, tendency to develop blood clots, and too much fat around the waist.

More than 30 percent of Americans (and rising) are thought to have metabolic syndrome. It’s associated with obesity, although the two are not mutually inclusive. The truth is, there’s no clear-cut definition or cause of metabolic syndrome, but many experts associate it with insulin resistance and symptoms of pre-diabetes. What can you do?

  • Try to lose or maintain your weight so you’re within 20 percent of your ideal body weight.

  • Add more high-fiber foods and consume a consistent carbohydrate diet.

  • Beans, beans are good for your heart. Research shows that beans can help lower blood pressure in diabetics and reduce risk for developing heart disease.

  • Moderate your sodium intake by limiting table salt or commercially prepared foods.

  • Reduce saturated fat intake from full-fat dairy and animal products.

  • Choose heart-healthy fat sources like oils, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and avocado.

  • Start incorporating regular aerobic activity, about 20 minutes, into your day.

  • Visit your physician for regular check-ups to monitor your vital signs and blood glucose levels.

  • Mull over magnesium with your doctor. Studies have found that taking magnesium supplements can lower your risk for developing diabetes. Or go the natural route with magnesium-rich foods such as whole grains, nuts, and leafy green vegetables.

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