Why Metabolic Syndrome Is Dangerous And How To Heal
Many of us know that metabolic syndrome is a “pre-diabetic” condition, but what exactly does that mean?
Unless we understand specifically what metabolic syndrome entails, we might not realize the serious implications of having it.
It is estimated that one out of four adults in the United States older than 30 has metabolic, or “insulin resistance” syndrome. People can have the indicators for years before noticing the syndrome’s ill-effects such as symptoms of diabetes or heart disease.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions. A person can be diagnosed with it if they have three or more of the following:
- ~ VAT (visceral adipose tissue), or abdominal obesity
- ~ High triglycerides, low HDL and high LDL cholesterol
- ~ Insulin resistance, indicated by high blood insulin levels
- ~ High blood viscosity, or easy blood clotting
- ~ Elevated C-reactive protein, indicating inflammation
- ~ Glucose intolerance, body cannot utilize it for energy
- ~ Couch potato, or limited physical activity
- ~ Aging
- ~ Diet of processed, refined, low-nutrient foods
Two Main Metabolic Diabetes Indicators
Of the indicators that comprise metabolic syndrome, two are most often precursors of diabetes: abdominal obesity (VAT) and insulin resistance.
Visceral adipose tissue, or belly fat, is more harmful that subcutaneous fat that collects below the skin. Belly fat cells secrete certain types of adipocytokines – bioactive substances that cause inflammation in our tissues. They have names like:
- ~ heparin binding epidermal growth factor
- ~ visfatin
- ~ tumor necrosis factor-alpha
- ~ plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1
All VAT cells, or cells in an obese abdomen, contain these harmful adipocytokines. They are fighters much like cells in our immune system. However, immune system cells fight off infections that can harm us. The Darth Vadar adipocytokines fight our normal healthy tissues and trigger disease-causing inflammation.
Fortunately, our body can also produce “good” Luke Skywalker adipocytokines such as adiponectin that reduce inflammation in our body.
The Whole Remedy
The way to turn off harmful adipocytokines and turn on the helpful ones is to eat nutrition-rich foods. We must replace foods full of refined sugars and oils, those that awaken inflammatory adipocytokines with whole unprocessed foods that favor our anti-inflammatory adipocytokines.
Eating nutritious food reduces VAT and improves our metabolic profile. The waistline shrinks, the body’s cells become more sensitive to insulin and can utilize glucose effectively and triglyceride and cholesterol levels become healthier. The risks of developing diabetes or heart disease drop dramatically.
How To Fight
The best way to fight metabolic syndrome is to add leafy and solid green vegetables, non-green/non-starchy vegetables, beans, legumes, fresh fruits, whole grains, some starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds fish, and other lean protein sources to your shopping list.
Sources: American Diabetes Association; Cutler, Michael, M.D., Forbidden Secrets From Nature’s Pharmacy