As February approaches, many of us tend to start thinking (tenderly we hope) about hearts. LoneStart Wellness thinks about hearts as well—but maybe from a different view.
- Do you eat two or more servings of meat a day?
- Do you eat fried foods?
- How about many of the commonly eaten fast foods (which tend to be fried)?
- And here’s a surprise – do you drink diet soda?
If you’re nodding yes to these questions, you’re at increased risk for metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors, and includes high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, otherwise known as “good” cholesterol), high fasting glucose levels, and greater waist circumference. There’s also a strong connection between metabolic syndrome and being overweight or obese. The presence of three or more of these factors increases the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The American Heart Association recommends a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grain foods; fish at least twice a week; limiting trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium; and limiting diet soda as well as foods and beverages with added sugar. They also recommend maintaining a healthy weight, blood pressure and blood glucose level, and at least a moderate level of physical activity.
Makes sense to us. In fact, we promote much the same. The question is—does it make sense to you?