Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Metabolic Syndrome

 Surfing through the blogosphere, specifically regarding nutrition, wellbeing and health I found repeated references to metabolic syndrome. Interest piqued it was time to do some reading. The internet and Google, specifically, are wonderful tools at the disposal of anyone interested in stuff. We are truly a blessed generation for possessing such a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips.

 According to Wikipedia metabolic syndrome is...."a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes...." further expanded upon the disease in a plebian manner that even this BA graduate in History was able to undersand....

"The main features of metabolic syndrome include insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol abnormalities, and an increased risk for clotting. Patients are most often overweight or obese."

So from my non scientific viewpoint metabolic syndrome is not some new auto immune disease but rather all the modern scourges; diabetes, high blood pressure/heart disease, blood cholesterol and obesity all grouped together under a new moniker.Makes perfect sense since all are interconnected and related to each other.

Some of the interesting(scary) things that jumped out at me......

"Abdominal obesity: a waist circumference over 102 cm (40 in) in men and over 88 cm (35 inches) in women."

Wow! Back in the mid 80's after graduating university I had a 38 waist. The student lifestyle of beer, junk food and partying damn near killed me. Having developed shingles at the age of 28 because my immune system was so depleted began me on a lifestyle journey to health that continues to this day.

"Metabolic syndrome is quite common. Approximately 20%-30% of the population in industrialized countries have metabolic syndrome. By the year 2010, the metabolic syndrome is expected to affect 50-75 million people in the US alone. "

"Metabolic syndrome is present in about 5% of people with normal body weight, 22% of those who are overweight and 60% of those considered obese. Adults who continue to gain five or more pounds per year raise their risk of developing metabolic syndrome by up to 45%. "

Wow! Not to be an alarmist but we, as a society, seem to be committing collective suicide by food.

"Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of type 2 diabetes (the common type of diabetes) anywhere from 9-30 times over the normal population. That's a huge increase. As to the risk of heart disease, studies vary, but the metabolic syndrome appears to increase the risk 2-4 times that of the normal population."

We wonder why the growing cost of health care continues to soar through the roof?The cost for treating metabolic syndrome is quite cheap....dietary changes and, dare I say it, exercise.

"However, there is now a trend toward the use of a Mediterranean diet -- one that is rich in "good" fats (olive oil) and contains a reasonable amount of carbohydrates and proteins (such as from fish and chicken). "

Vindication! Rich in good fats and contains a reasonable (no doubt the new "grey" area but a good start nontheless) amount of carbs and protein.Right now there are legions of healthy low carb fat eaters nodding in agreement and believing that saturated fat will soon be liberated from the dietary dungeon.

From Sciencedaily.....
"One of the remarkable effects in the data presented that may have contributed to the results is that despite the threefold greater saturated fat in the diet for the low carb group, saturated fat in the blood turned out to be higher in the low fat group due to the process known as carbohydrate-induced lipogenesis."

Read more here.......

 We are what we eat so eat smart and get some exercise. Your body will thank you!

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