Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Having just one of these conditions doesn’t mean you have metabolic syndrome. However, any of these conditions increase your risk of serious disease. Having more than one of these might increase your risk even more. If you have metabolic syndrome or any of its components, aggressive lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the development of serious health problems. Daily exercise and changing up the types of carbohydrates that you eat have significant impact on these conditions.
Where to start? Choose to eat more complex carbohydrates, that is, foods higher in fiber. By eating more fiber-rich carbohydrates, you should be crowding out refined, processed carbohydrates. Pay attention to the types of carbohydrates that you eat! Make sure you are choosing carbohydrates with fiber. This is important. Focus on the TYPE of carbohydrates that you are eating.
Eating higher-fiber foods improve your health in many ways:
- Controls your appetite
- Gives you long-lasting energy
- Helps you reach & maintain a healthy weight
- Provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidants & phytonutrients
- Provides balance for blood-sugar levels
- Helps reduce blood-cholesterol levels
- Helps reduce blood pressure
- Promotes a healthy digestion
- Enhances brain function
What are some higher fiber (2.5+ grams per serving) carbohydrates?1 cup of vegetables; 1 average size fruit; 1 oz. nuts/seeds; 1 cup legumes; 1 cup unbroken grains = 1 serving
VEGETABLES & FRUIT (fresh or frozen are the best options)
Spinach, Collard Greens, Kale, Turnip Greens, Artichoke, Carrots, Broccoli, BrusselsSprouts, Cabbage, Onions, Sweet Potato, White Potato, Pumpkin, Apples, Blackberries, Pears, Blueberries, Raspberries, Avocado, Guavas, Kiwi, Dates, Figs, dried Figs, dried Plums, Oranges, Strawberries, Banana
NUTS & SEEDS
Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans, Walnuts, Flax seed (ground), Chia seed, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds
LEGUMES (a class of vegetables that includes beans, peas & lentils; are a good plant-based protein source)
Lentils, Lima Beans, Pigeon Peas, Pink Beans, Pinto Beans, Black Beas, White/Navy Beans, Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, Kidney Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Split Peas, Green Peas, Peanuts
WHOLE GRAINS (unbroken grains that must be cooked before they can be eaten. Flour is an example of a broken grain as well as any other grain products that are not in their natural-whole state)
Old Fashioned/Rolled or Steel Cut Oats, Quinoa, Rice, Pearled Barley, PopcornWhole Grain, High Fiber Cereal with minimal ingredients: Bran Flakes, Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat with Bran
By adding more of these foods into your diet and crowding out foods made with processed flour (which usually come with sugar and unhealthy fats) you are on the path of better health – now and in the future. Don’t wait until you have a serious health condition to pay attention, do it now! Prevention is the best medicine. Food is Medicine. When we eat better, we feel better. Often, we don’t realize how great we can feel until we do – or the reverse of that: how bad we feel until we don’t.
Stay Healthy. Be STRONG. Get After It.