Metabolic syndrome is one of the major foundations of a number of chronic diseases – from obesity to heart disease. We’ll be diving into what it actually involves and how it skyrockets your risk for some of the deadliest health conditions.
Metabolic syndrome, also known as metabolic disease or disorder, is not just one condition, but rather a group of health issues that occur together, and collectively raise our risk for a number of other chronic conditions. The main culprits behind this metabolic mayhem include excess weight, high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels. We’ll be unpacking what these each entail and what they mean for your health. Now, you might be wondering what the big deal is – well, buckle up, because we’re going to take a closer look at what's involved in chaotic condition.
Insulin plays a vital role in regulating blood sugar levels by allowing cells to take in glucose for energy. But with metabolic disease, the cells become resistant to insulin's charms and don't respond properly, leading to high blood sugar levels and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, metabolic syndrome is a known precursor to this form of diabetes, which is one of the major health epidemics affecting people around the globe.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is when the force of blood against the walls of the arteries is consistently too high. This can strain the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s generally defined as a systolic blood pressure over or equal to 140mmHg or a diastolic blood pressure over or equal to 90mmHg, with the former describing the arterial pressure when your heart beats and the latter when your heart rests between beats. High blood pressure affects an estimated third of Aussie adults. It also happens to be one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure is known as a “silent killer” due to the fact that it often comes without symptoms, but left untreated it can lead to deadly conditions like heart disease and stroke. You probably know that reducing salt and added sugars can lower your blood pressure – but did you know excess sugar consumption can also contribute to the condition? That’s why sticking to mostly whole foods free from added sugars is one of your best bets in warding off high blood pressure, along with the other conditions of metabolic syndrome.
Cholesterol and triglycerides are types of fats found in the blood, and when they're not in the right balance, they can lead to the build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, known as plaques. These plaques can narrow the arteries and impede blood flow, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Contrary to popular belief that animal fat alone is to blame, sugar happens to be a major contributor which often flies under the radar, with studies showing this stuff causes our livers to produce higher levels of bad cholesterol, along with raising our triglyceride levels – these are the fats stored in our blood which increase our risk for heart disease.
Excess weight, especially around the waistline, is often associated with metabolic disease. It can contribute to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, making the metabolic mayhem even more intense. Studies found a link between weight gain, obesity and excessive sugar consumption, and one of the main reasons for this is that the fructose in sugar leads to the development of visceral fat – this is the kind of fat that which wraps around the abdominal organs, making it more dangerous than subcutaneous fat, which is found between the skin and the external abdominal wall. This also raises the risk for conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, with sugar shown to cause insulin resistance. That’s why maintaining a healthy weight is vital to warding off chronic disease – but many people with metabolic syndrome may struggle to regulate their weight if their insulin production is dysfunctional, as appetite and sugar cravings spike and weight gain becomes more likely. This is why these health conditions are grouped together, as they are closely connected and pose a major risk to our overall health.
Chronic inflammation, which can be triggered by poor diet and a disrupted gut microbiome, can disrupt the normal functioning of cells and tissues in the body, contributing to metabolic disease.
So, how can you tame this metabolic mayhem and kick these party crashers out? Well, the good news is that lifestyle changes can be the superhero you need! A healthy diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and getting enough sleep can play a major role in reducing the severity of the condition, not to mention helping prevent its development to begin with.
Need a hand getting your lifestyle goals on track? Whether you’re looking to eat healthier or fight off a sugar addiction, we’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program and we’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
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- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!