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metabolic-syndrome

 

 

 

 

 

I encourage you to look at the checklist below and make note if you have any of the follow conditions:

 

1.  High Triglycerides – 150 mg/dL or more.

2.  Low HDL Cholesterol – below 40 mg/dL for men and below 50 mg/dL for women.

3.  Abdominal Obesity – a waist circumference of 40” or more for men and
35” or more for women.

4.  High Blood Pressure – 130/85 or higher (or if you are taking high blood pressure
medication).

5.  Elevated Fasting Blood Sugar – 100 mg/dL or more.

If you checked off three or more of these conditions, you have what is called “metabolic syndrome.” Those with metabolic syndrome are at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases including plaque buildup in the arteries, stroke, and heart attack.

The association of metabolic syndrome and increased risked of cardiovascular disease is confirmed with research from the Pritikin Center for Longevity reporting that one out of four adults, or 64 million Americans, have metabolic syndrome, and the Centers for Disease Control stating one out of four deaths in the United States is caused by coronary disease.

Most often, metabolic syndrome is a result of being overweight, physically inactive, eating a large proportion of calories from simple carbohydrates, and is a result of our lifestyle choices.

This is the good news – we can reduce our risk of cardiovascular diseases by making some better lifestyle choices. It may be difficult to make all the lifestyle changes as once, so tackle one at a time if that works better for you.

Lower triglycerides by limiting alcohol consumption, avoid white flour products, limit sugar to 4 teaspoons a day or less, limit fruits to 2-3 servings a day, and begin walking – even beginning at 10 minutes a day helps.

Raise HDL cholesterol by exercising, lose extra weight, and stop smoking.

Replace high caloric foods with fruits and vegetables to reduce waist circumference. Include strength training in your exercise regime.

Reduce blood pressure by eliminating salt. Remember salt comes not only from the salt shaker, but from processed foods also. Increase potassium in your diet which can be found in Swiss chard, Romaine lettuce, celery, crimini mushrooms, and celery.

Reduce blood sugar levels by replacing simple carbohydrates (white flour, white sugar) with complex carbohydrates (brown rice, whole grain pasta, oats, millet, beans). Fiber found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans will prevent unwanted spikes in blood sugars. Eliminate processed foods and beverages that contain high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners.

By following these recommendations, you will feel better and the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome, as well as the risk of having cardiovascular diseases, will be greatly reduced.
erages that contain high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners.

By following these recommendations, you will feel better and the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome, as well as the risk of having cardiovascular diseases, will be greatly reduced.

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2014 Numbers With Fireworks Representing Year Two Thousand And FThis year drew quickly to an end.  I don’t know about you, but for the last two weeks of 2013, my inbox was inundated with appeals to make last minute tax-deductible donations to charitable organizations that will help among other things preserve the arts, stop cruelty towards animals, improve the environment, save the bees, advance living conditions in third world countries, and support cancer research. Giving to a nonprofit organization at year end is the final opportunity for us to give to meaningful causes and at the same time do what we can to reduce our tax bill.  I have taken the time review my checklist once again – can I add to a deductible IRA account?  Do I have records confirming my business costs so they can be deducted? What else can I do to reduce the amount of taxes I owe? As with all of us, I want to maximize deductions to minimize my tax burden. (Yes, this is a blog on health and wellness – read on!)

As we review how we can minimize our tax obligations, let’s not forget to take to the time to review how we can maximize our health. Although doing both can be a painful process, both need to be done.

While we presently plan for financial wellness in the future, presently planning for our physical wellness in the future is even more critical.  After all, a comfortable retirement is not very comfortable when it is plagued with health problems.  Do you know our health habits of today have an overwhelming impact on the state of our future well being? Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, overweight, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol don’t happen overnight – they have a tendency to creep up on us.  These conditions are most often are a result of a lifetime of our habits.

So ask yourself these questions.  What did I do in 2013 to maximize good health?  What more can I do in 2014?  What are my strengths?  What do I need to do for improvement, and how do I get there? Just as with our taxes, we need to create our road map for 2014 now. Take an inventory of what you are (or are not) doing on a daily basis. Below are some thoughts to get started in 2014 for better health today and in the future.

How many times a week do you eat fast food? Do these meals include fried foods and soft drinks? There are many restaurants that offer tasty, healthier meals at a reasonable price. Take a pass on the fried foods and soft drinks. Instead try a burrito without the calorie-laden toppings like sour cream and cheese. Adding salsa will give the burrito great flavor and you will be making a healthier choice without making a big sacrifice.

Loading up on the greens, beans, and veggies at a salad bar is very satisfying. These foods have lots of fiber and will fill you up without filling you out.

Are you drinking enough water?  Sometimes being hungry is confused with being thirsty.  Be sure to drink plenty of water.

Are you getting enough exercise?  Finding the time can be difficult.  So grab a co-worker and go for a brisk walk during your lunch hour or break.  Studies have found taking two 10 minute walks a day provide the same health benefits as one 20 minute walk.

When was the last time you ate broccoli, sweet potatoes, pineapple or had an avocado?  Be adventurous! Make it a point to bring these vegetables and fruits back into your diet. Build the courage to venture into “unknown territory,” and try new vegetables and fruits in 2014.

Don’t cheat yourself out of investing in your health.  You will be doing your arteries, waistline, and your family a favor.  It is the best investment you can make for yourself now and for your future!

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A new study published in Pediatrics reported an alarming 23% of teens are pre-diabetic or diabetic, an increase of 14% over nine years. This dramatic increase cannot be attributed to genetics.  Today, 34% of children ages 12-19 are overweight or obese contributing to increased risk of type 2 diabetes.  This also puts them at higher risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breathing problems, gallstones, and joint problems – chronic diseases commonly found in adults. A future of damaged blood vessels, kidney disease, coronary artery disease, eye diseases, increased risk of stroke, and a lifetime of medications is not what we want for our children.

We need to be aggressive in attacking type 2 diabetes in teens.  Start by shedding the excess pounds by reducing fat in the diet by eliminating fried foods and dairy products. Read nutrition labels on the side of packaged foods for total calories, sugar, and saturated fat content. Slowly reduce eating packaged foods and increase eating whole foods. Drink water instead of sugary beverages such as soda and fruit/sports drinks. Enjoy outdoor family activities. Encourage playing outside, biking, walking, or enroll children in sport activities to increase physical activity.

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Last week I went to hear New York Times food columnist and award winning cookbook author, Mark Bittman, speak in Madison. He spoke of a visit to his physician in 2007 where he learned he had high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and was 40 pounds overweight.  His doctor told him to become a vegan (omit animal and dairy products from the diet) to reverse his diseases.  He compromised by agreeing to eat the vegan way for breakfast and lunch, and dinner he ate whatever he wanted within reason.  His breakfast might consist of oatmeal or multigrain hot cereal, whole wheat toast, and fruit.  Lunch may have been a salad with sliced fruits and vegetables, bean burrito, vegetable or lentil soup, or vegetable stir fry. Dinner was what he had eaten in the past.

How did he do you wonder?  In six weeks he lost 15 pounds and in three months he lost a total of 36 pounds.  His cholesterol was normal, blood sugar normal, weight normal, sleep apnea gone – his diseases reversed by just making healthier dietary choices with the encouragement from and under the supervision of his physician. His body had begun the self-healing process, and he no longer had to get started on medications.  With the weight loss, his knees no longer hurt, and he was able to resume running – something he hadn’t done for some time.

To avoid these lifestyle related diseases, why not try what Mark Bittman did?  If you have any of these conditions, perhaps your physician may want to supervise you as you move into your Bittman lifestyle adventure!

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