Metabolic syndrome is a scary thing but the more you know, the more you can do something about it. So be prepared, it isn’t a fun topic. But ya’ll know I love to be as open and clear about the threats we face. Knowledge is power, friends! So let’s have some more real talk, and dive a little further into it.
Metabolic Syndrome is a group of conditions that when combined, can greatly increase the chances of developing cardiovascular problems. I’m talking about heart attacks, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, heart failure, arrhythmia and heart valve problems. (Yup, I told you it wasn’t pretty!)
Usually if a person displays only one or two of the following conditions the risk is deemed manageable, but when more conditions are added to the mix, it is known as metabolic syndrome. Okay, let’s do this.
What are the conditions?
- High blood pressure.
- High fasting glucose levels (100 mg/dL or greater)
- Obesity, especially with excessive fat around the abdomen. (Waist circumference of greater than 40 inches in men, and greater than 35 inches in women)
- Triglyceride level of 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) or greater.
- Uncontrolled cholesterol levels (HDL cholesterol of less than 40 mg/dL in men or less than 50 mg/dL in women)
- Systolic blood pressure (top number) of 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or greater, or diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) of 85 mm Hg or greater.
Photo National Cancer Institute
It’s scary, my sweets. And there’s no way to sugar coat it (no pun intended). Metabolic syndrome is a serious health condition. Furthermore it affects about 23 percent of adults and the risk is significantly higher in Black women. As if there isn’t enough crap to deal with! The biggest factors that leads to metabolic syndrome include being overweight or obese, physical inactivity, stress, genetic factors and getting older. And unfortunately, nobody is safe. So let’s take a look at the more positives here.
What CAN we do?
A great place to start is diet management and increasing your physical activity. Actually, we all know we should be doing this anyway. But it is a sure way to protect yourself as best you can. In fact, we love Keto so much we could rave about the benefits for days. But, the bottom line is weight management is key to avoiding developing these conditions. However the cool thing is, by adapting a Keto lifestyle, you’re already eating a heart-healthy diet that’s rich in good fats, proteins and veggies. Moreover by minimizing our carb intake, Keto is very effective in lowering insulin levels which lets the body break down body fat into ketones for energy.
In short this lifestyle encourages us too closely and honestly monitor our insulin levels. In addition we track whether or not we’re burning fat for energy in ketosis, and how our body is really getting the best out of its nutrients. Ultimately, it’s really about taking an honest look at your diet, exercise, how you manage stress and getting enough z’s. To be specific, it’s good to know all the facts and to be honest with yourself about how you’re managing your own health, so you can take back the power! Lastly, check in regularly with your trusted doc, drink plenty of water and above all, be kind to yourself. Because you’re already doing the research you’re in a better position to protect your heart than you were before. You got this!