Metabolic Syndrome and Cholesterol Control
Greater than 1 out of every three people in the US have metabolic syndrome as well as 50% of children without metabolic syndrome show markers of developing that syndrome in adulthood.
In this article, I will give you essential information about the signs & symptoms of metabolic syndrome as well as the risks involved.
I will also discuss my recommendations for those suffering from metabolic syndrome, particularly in relation to diet and nutrition with particular reference to cholesterol control.
What is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic Syndrome is a condition categorised by a collection of metabolic risk factors including abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol levels.
Although there is much still unknown about what causes metabolic syndrome, the most critical factors in the onset of metabolic syndrome are your weight, age, how sedentary you are and how much sleep you get.
What are some of the signs & symptoms?
- Impaired ability to tolerate sugar
- Insulin resistance
- High blood pressure or fluctuating blood pressure
- Central obesity (abdominal obesity)
- Decreased HDL cholesterol and elevated triglyceride levels
- Signs of a fatty liver
What’s happening in the body?
Metabolic Syndrome causes the metabolism of a person to become broken so that excess fat becomes stored around the middle of the body and vital organs, rather than in fatty tissues.
Our lifestyles, in general, do not help us avoid metabolic syndrome as we have limited sleep, sedentary lifestyles, poor nutrition, environmental toxins and high-stress levels.
Chronic stress levels undeniably contribute to the fat storage process, along with hormone imbalance and lack of sleep, which are also brought on by chronic stress.
So it’s a vicious circle.
What are the risks?
Metabolic syndrome increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, liver and gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s, as well as certain types of cancer.
Inflammation in the body can cause weight gain and hormone malfunction.
And the hormones that affect our appetite and body weight are highly effected by abdominal fat; a symptom of Metabolic Syndrome.
We may start seeing Calcium being deposited in the wrong places, which causes hardening of the arteries, amongst other things like impaired insulin signallings. And a decrease in our sensitivity to insulin leads to Metabolic Syndrome.
Again, we can see that vicious circle forming.
What can we do to help ourselves?
Inflammation can be caused by environmental toxins like heavy metals, stress, increased belly fat, increased acidity in the body and decreased sleep.
So, an active lifestyle is essential.
Moving the body increases metabolic rate and is key to clearing up Metabolic Syndrome.
For Metabolic Syndrome specifically, our focus needs to be on getting rid of the belly fat. So, we need a good exercise routine.
But remember, the whole body needs to be involved in the exercise rather than the temptation, which is just abdominal exercise.
If you only have fifteen minutes, walk briskly for that time rather than doing crunches!
I also recommend that people attend to their intestinal health and stabilising their blood sugar.
A focus on nutrition, as well as lifestyle, is essential to healing Metabolic Syndrome.
Dr Sandy’s Top Tips for a nutritional weight loss plan
● Easily digestible protein sources, I like hemp, pea & soy – but make sure you choose that which works for your body!
● You’ll want to take in goodly amounts of healthy fats like seed oils, coconut oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, a small amount of nut oil or nuts every day would be helpful too
● Most of your diet should be made up of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, beans and seeds
● If you are going to take in grains, they must be whole grains, but I would recommend that, at least at first, you cut out all grains from your diet and replace them with seeds, nuts, beans and legumes and sprouted foods
● Get a goodly amount of protein from animal & plant-based sources, but if you’re going to eat animal protein you must avoid hormone-laden meats because these will throw your hormone levels out – for people with Metabolic Syndrome this is something we must avoid where we can!
● Take in complex carbohydrates from sources of fibre like leafy green vegetables.
A little bit about Cholesterol control
Stabilising your cholesterol will be hugely beneficial to managing and healing Metabolic Syndrome, and I wanted to take a moment to discuss this.
Cholesterol, especially LDL, will increase when someone is highly stressed, very dehydrated, or when they are going into Metabolic Syndrome.
Hydration is key to ensuring that the cholesterol levels are stabilised. So if you’re going into metabolic syndrome and you’re dehydrated, you may want to consider an electrolyte.
Soy protein alone can decrease the LDL cholesterol on average by 12% – this is a huge decrease, and more than most medications will do.
It will also interrupt your liver’s production of cholesterol, so soy protein is my go-to for decreasing LDL.
Fibre will also go a long way in controlling your LDL levels.
The ideal amount to take in would be 25-30g for a petite woman, 30-35 for a medium-sized person and around 40g for a large man.
While the fibre and soy protein will do wonders for decreasing your LDL levels, they won’t increase your HDL levels. To increase HDL levels, we need B vitamins, vitamin C, fish oils and exercise – even if it’s just those 15 minutes per day!
Now you know
Metabolic Syndrome can cause a lot of issues in the body, including inflammation, mineral imbalance, hormonal imbalance and increased stress levels, to name a few.
For a more detailed discussion of Metabolic Syndrome and the specific products that I recommend, listen to my talk on Metabolic Syndrome.
I put aside a bit of time each month to help individuals with their questions and concerns. If you have questions or require additional information, don’t hesitate to contact my office for a free, fifteen-minute consultation.
You should also check out the following Dr Sandy audio downloads: