Metabolic syndrome diet includes the dos and don'ts of diet to be followed in the condition of metabolic syndrome, which refers to a collection of diseases or disorders occurring in a single individual that increase his or her susceptibility to heart disease. These conditions include obesity, diabetes, rheumatism, coronary heart disease and lifestyle factors like a sedentary life, low activity and stress. Metabolic syndrome is best prevented and controlled by following a healthy diet low in fats, sugars and carbohydrates and plenty of exercise.
Metabolic Syndrome and Diet: Foods to Consume
The following foods are known to reduce risk of metabolic syndrome which is often by controlling obesity and related factors-
- Fruits and vegetables are very healthy as they are mostly low in cholesterol, fat, sodium and calories, while being high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. They provide nutrition without contributing to obesity and hence metabolic syndrome.
- Whole grains and foods like rice, pasta, cereal based foods, corn, etc. are rich in iron, B vitamins and fiber, and complex carbohydrates that are beneficial for patients of metabolic syndrome.
- Healthy protein foods like seafood, fish, lentils, dried peas, eggs and nuts, which are good sources of iron, B vitamins and minerals. Skinless chicken and turkey or lean red meat contain relatively lower fat content and are healthy for the heart.
- Skimmed milk, low fat cheese, yoghurt or buttermilk should be chosen as alternatives to whole milk or high fat cheese and butter to obtain nutritional benefits of dairy products while avoiding harmful effects of fat content. (Dairy products are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, B vitamins, vitamins A and D, calcium and protein).
Metabolic Syndrome and Diet: Foods to Avoid
- High Calorie and Fatty Foods: These aggravate conditions of obesity and increase risk of heart disease. A diet with large proportion of saturated fats causes cholesterol build up in the arteries, which become clogged, thus putting extra pressure on the heart and risk of heart attack. Examples of such foods are whole milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, sour cream, lard and bacon. Vegetable oils like coconut oil and palm oil also contain saturated fats.
- Sugar: Sugar has no essential nutrients. It provides a short-term boost of energy through the body, but high sugar consumption puts a severe load on the pancreas, and there is increasing possibility of developing diabetes, a contributing factor to metabolism syndrome. It also causes weight gain which is another contributor to the syndrome.
- Foods rich in trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, like fast food, packaged foods like chips, etc. which are meant to be kept fresh for a longer period of time should be avoided.
- Fatty meats, organs like kidney and liver, processed meats, goose and duck.
- Smoking: Smoking should be quit, as it is known to increase risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
For more information on metabolic syndrome and related diet, please visit the following sites-